Getting creative with virtual engineering labs
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Science labs are traditionally hands-on, collaborative and in-person, but the pandemic has changed that. University of Toronto Engineering instructors are creating new, engaging and equitable ways to conduct labs so students have the same learning experience.

Stop-motion videos of medical instruments, for example, let biomedical engineering students rotate the images or move them backward and forward, in order to better understand them. ‘Kitchen labs’ use a camera or smartphone in place of a spectrometer so chemical engineering students can measure the dye in a Gatorade bottle. And a highly popular video series uses a leaf blower to help fluid mechanics students analyse a device that uses a pump and transfers momentum.

The goal is to give engineering students the same rich experimental learning opportunities they would get in any other year.

For more information, visit the University of Toronto.

“Labs and design classes are all about applying your knowledge, iterating and learning from your mistakes. And that should still be true online.”
Chris Bouwmeester
Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering
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