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Apr 29, 2017 01:28 PM EDT

Yale Upgrades STEM Labs, Improves Students' Learning [VIDEO]

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Yale STEM labs
Yale upgrades its STEM labs
(Photo : Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images)

The renovation and reopening of Yale University's Sterling Chemistry Lab (SCL) finished last September but its impact is still being felt today. Students and faculty are enjoying a more fun and interactive type of learning because of the new equipment.

Students from Iain Dawson's microbiology class, Aruna Pawashe's molecular biology classes and Stephen Irons' physics classes are just among the few who have gained the benefits of the newly-improved SCL. They have found that an upgrade in the physical environment has led to an upgrade in learning.

Speaking to Yale News, senior Dale Tager said that having a better laboratory has led to better morale for students and teachers alike. It also created a more cohesive environment for learning.

Jonathan Parr, professor of general chemistry and inorganic chemistry, agreed and described the SCL as an "integrated science space." Being in the lab has led to the idea of being at the center of the university.

The new SCL has state-of-the-art labs for five Yale science departments. These are: molecular biophysics & biochemistry; molecular, cellular and developmental biology; ecology and evolutionary biology; chemistry; and physics.

Renovations took about 159,000 square feet, with 31,600 as additional space. This led to the creation of new teaching labs as well as an overhaul of mechanical systems, new lounge areas and student lockers.

The 93-year-old building was transformed from the inside out. Yale officials celebrated its reopening on Aug. 30. The new laboratory is part of the university's efforts to continue excelling in science, research and education.

Yale continues with its focus on science at the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). It will open six new undergraduate teaching labs and two wet labs with fume hoods. This project would bring together labs from all disciplines in engineering into one space, which was previously scattered over four buildings.

The new labs will have new equipment and computers. It was noted that it will also have collapsible walls to allow labs with a 24-student capacity to triple in size. Additional storage space and portable equipment will allow for labs to be more flexible for different courses as well.

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