LABORATORY TECHNIQUES COURSE
Rules and Tools of Science
NO ONE CAN BE A SCIENTIST OR UNDERSTAND SCIENCE WITHOUT LEARNING THE USE OF LAB INSTRUMENTS, TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT.
This is more important now than ever before because the lab equipment has progressively become more sophisticated with measurement capabilities far beyond ever imagined. This requires acquiring a sense of precision by the user of these instruments also.
Considering these facts, if you or your children are contemplating becoming a scientist or entering any of the science based careers, you or your children must begin by learning lab techniques.
Otherwise you will become a memorizer not an analytical thinker who will parrot things without understanding. Consequently you will stifle your own potential. Furthermore if luck puts you in the position of a decision maker, say if you became a physician, a lab technologist, or a teacher, you could be jeopardizing instead of aiding the well being of those who put their trust in you.
For all these reasons, and there are many more, begin your learning by learning lab techniques.
You will find this experience useful even if you decide not to become a scientist or follow a science based career. The reason: Then you will better understand the world you live in and will be able to make intelligent choices, say in the area of your own health and well being.
With this background, let me invite you or your children to spend a productive summer learning lab techniques at the Center for General and Applied Education.
At this point you may be wondering, and rightfully so, that since there are hundreds, if not thousands of lab techniques, how can the students be introduced to most, if not all, of them in a short span of four weeks. This is possible only because the Center by sifting, sorting, grouping and consolidating has been able to reduce the number of useful techniques to mere 150 which also turned out to be the basic techniques routinely used by scientists to do science.
The Center teaches these in a lab setting, in hands on fashion, against the backdrop of a time line. Science learned this way becomes a story of how science, and the various instruments science employs, developed.
The teaching and learning format at the Center is also systematized to make it dove tail with the way humans learn. The teaching format is thus divided into three phases, namely, WHAT, HOW AND WHY.
During phase one OR THE WHAT PHASE, students learn what various lab supplies, tools and instruments are.
During phase two, OR THE HOW PHASE, students learn how to use these supplies, tools and instruments.
During phase three, OR THE WHY PHASE, students learn why a particular tool is preferred over another.
The coverage of material in these three phases is extensive for the Center believes that it is better to know the whole picture than bits and pieces of it. For instance, when it comes to teaching microscopy, the center teaches not just light microscope but includes dark field, phase and fluorescent microscopes also.
The same philosophy is applied when it comes to other instruments such as spectrophotometers and chromatographic & electrophoresis procedures, just to mention a few.
The main fallacy in education has been, and still is, that we try to simplify teaching by skipping what to us seems too complex for children to learn. They in fact learn better if you teach them the whole thing than leave voids, which would make comprehension next to impossible. If you have doubts about this just imagine how quickly children have adapted to every new gadget that comes along. They in fact are more at home with them than we the so called mature ones.
Another drawback of not knowing the rules and the tools of science and the lab skills which go with them is that the resulting knowledge gap makes text books harder to understand which forces them to memorize science without understanding it. This is also the reason why they find science difficult and begin to run out of science during or soon after the ninth grade.
You can prevent this from happening by letting them experience the whole of science this summer by enrolling them at the Center for General and Applied Education.
The course is of four-week duration. Classes will meet Monday through Friday from 10.00 am to 3.00 P.M. Tuition for the 100 hours hands on lab course is only $600.00 which with a $200.00 Science Incentive Stipend gets reduced to $400.00.
The course will be starting on Monday, July 25, 2005 and ending on Friday, August 19, 2005.
Seats are limited. A $100.00 not-refundable deposit will hold your seat. Balance is payable prior to the start of classes. The Center accepts payment via checks, money orders or via credit cards through the secure Paypal payment system.
Here is wishing that you don't let this unique opportunity pass you by for such a course is not available anywhere else. To register for the class, click here.
Riaz-ul Haque, Ph.D
Associate Professor (Emeritus)
University of Illinois, Chicago
Founder Center for General and Applied Education