August 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm

New Chemistry Building Will Bring Labs Out into the Open

A lab in the new chemistry building with bright work spaces and ventilation.

A lab in the new chemistry building

The Chemistry Building under construction between Clippinger Laboratories and Emeriti Park is creating a new look for South Green with its walls of windows, reports Ohio University News.

And moving chemistry labs from the basement of Clippinger into a new building with volumes more windows and light will usher in a new era for science students at Ohio University. Their window on the world will soon include the park setting, full of ponds and trees, not to mention the relocation of vehicle traffic away from the building.

Students from across campus will take their chemistry lab courses in the new building, and Chemistry & Biochemistry(opens in a new window) faculty will relocate many of their labs to their new spaces later this fall.

“The faculty are extremely excited about the new laboratory space. It is spacious, bright, and full of promise,” said Stephen Bergmeier, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Klaus Himmeldirk, professor of instruction in Chemistry & Biochemistry, said that safety and teaching and learning pedagogy are essential, but the “feel-good effect of working in a new, modern facility” cannot be underestimated. And the new labs will be bright and open, compared with the basement labs with black countertops and snaking exhaust pipes.

“The new building will have a huge impact on students in my Organic Chemistry laboratory classes. The motivation to learn depends on the emotional (affective) evaluation of the environment by the student. A laboratory that is clean, safe, and allows for social interactions is certainly more conducive to meaningful learning than a loud, more than 30-year-old laboratory with poor heat regulation and many signs of deterioration,” Himmeldirk said. “Most importantly, the new building will allow us to teach laboratory classes in a much safer environment. For example, all students will be able to work in fume hoods. This will protect our students much better from irritant and potentially harmful gases.”

Read the entire story at Ohio University News.

The old chemistry lab in the basement of Clippinger Laboratory, with dark and dreary furniture and ventilation system.

The old chemistry lab in the basement of Clippinger Laboratory

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