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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE science faculty give tips to pass lab classes

By Amber Veytia/reporter

Preparation and planning are key to surviving a science lab, science faculty told NE students Nov. 3.

Doubling as actors, the faculty showed 104 students the difference between a prepared science student and an unprepared science student.

While acting like prepared students, two teachers performed an experiment called “How to Extract DNA from Anything Living.” Across the stage, two other teachers performed the same experiment as unprepared students.

The unprepared students did not have a lab manual, had not read the assignment in advance, bothered the prepared students by asking them questions about the experiment, did not follow the directions and texted on cell phones during class.

In the meantime, the prepared students seemed to enjoy conducting the experiment, completed the experiment faster and could discuss and retain the materials that were just covered.

NE biology professor Marius Pfeiffer, who narrated and portrayed their teacher, emphasized that students should know why they are doing each step of an experiment while conducting it. He said understanding the process will help students retain the information better and, therefore, perform better on tests.

Pfeiffer said being hands-on in the lab makes the science come to life and is the “reward” for taking that class. 

“Lab is fun, and being with other people is fun,” he said.

Biology professor George Aliaga said it is important to re-read materials from the lab afterward to help retain the information.

“You lose 80 percent of what you hear in lecture, so it is important to have the repetition of reading it after class,” he said.

During a question-and-answer period after the presentation, teachers told students to not take more than one tough class on the same day of the week, to always carry all their science books to both lab and lecture and to take a three-prong approach.

The three-prong approach includes doing pre-lab —reading and preparing before class, attending class and performing the experiment and performing follow-up — re-reading materials and studying. If science students follow the three-prong approach, they will pass the class, Aliaga said.

NE student Sheryl Crump hopes the session will prove useful.

“I came to this presentation because I just left Anatomy and Physiology and heard this was happening, and I thought it would help me better prepare for lab,” she said.

This sentiment was repeated by NE student Jason Gaydosh.

“High school does not prepare students for college labs,” he said. ”So when Dr. Aliaga recommends something to me, it behooves me to listen to him.”

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