Dr. Edyta Greer, Macaulay Honors College, Fall 2017

Blog Entry 2: Thinking About Lab

For your second blog post, please reflect a bit on the following points, and answer as a unified post (don’t answer in bullet points).

  • What, in your opinion, is the purpose of doing a lab in school?
  • A lab is a very controlled environment – you are typically not designing the experiment and there is typically an expected result. Is this pedagogically useful? Why or why not?
  • Are labs necessary for a non-specialist science course like ours? Why or why not?
  • What do you hope to gain from the lab experience?
  • What would a “lab” in a non-science course be like? For example, in a history course or an American literature course, what sort of thing would fulfill the same role as the science lab?
  • Why can’t you use the same style of academic writing that you would for an English or history class on a lab report?

1 Comment

  1. Jacqueline Butler

    I think we should do a lab in school to become familiar with the scientific process. It’s one thing to learn about what science is from a detached, academic perspective – and quite another to experience it hands on. Even though when we do entry-level experiments in the lab we are following a rigid procedure which we expect to yield pre-determined results, this is useful firsthand experience. Only after doing “repeat” experiments will we understand how to design and carry out new experiments.
    Personally, I’m hoping to actually visit and try out the equipment in the Baruch science department for the first time. Since I got credit for AP Bio and AP Psychology in high school I don’t need to take science in college. Although this is a timesaver, I feel like I am missing out on the authentic lab experience which most of my peers will have. Visiting the lab this week may make up for what I have been missing.
    Of course, lab is a component to the course meant to prove kinesthetically that the information being taught is true and relevant. I think that a trip to an art museum, stock exchange, or historical site would fill the same role in another course.
    Naturally, the style of writing for a lab report will differ from the style of writing used to write an English paper or history essay. Because science is fact and theory based, there is no room for the experimenter’s opinions and feelings. However, since English and history are more open to the individual’s interpretation of literature and/or events, the author should insert the “I” into his/her writing.

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