a framework for designing student learning environments for the future

Student Narrative: The Nanotechnology Lab


My name is Josh, and I’m a First Year student at an elite university which specialises in the sciences. Normally I am pretty exhausted by the end of the day as our course workload here is really heavy, and we all want to do well, but today i am pretty psyched as i am about to start my optional class in Nanotechnology. Me and my mates love this class as it explores the creative side of the course, not just the ‘same old same old’ academic grind.

The Nanotech Lab itself is awesome! It’s a great contemporary space with large windows with a beautiful view of what’s a snowy courtyard at this time of year. We have state of the art lab benches and equipment up one end of the room and at the other is a flexible lounge space with a kitchenette.

The class focus is on a group project. We have chosen to create a cell counter, the project is going really well, and in fact we are starting to wonder if a patent might be possible.

Halfway through the class I encounter a massive problem, it seems no matter how I approach it I can’t solve it. I ask one of my group members to take a look for some suggestion but he too is out of ideas. One by one the other group members join in until we decide it’s just too crowded and we’re getting nowhere, so we decide to disperse to the lounge area for brain some storming.

In the lounge we discuss the problem over a coffee. Some of us jokingly throw in ideas that are outside the box, but after some thought they may work. Quickly a member grabs his laptops (iPad) and tests the idea, surprisingly it works!

We all help clean up the kitchenette and excitedly head back the to the lab benches. Class is about to end soon, but we will probably stay back to get more done. We all look forward to the outcome of the project.

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