Why Are Our Labs So Important?

During X block a few weeks ago, a representative from the College of the Atlantic came to give us information about the school and the general subject of environmental science.

The speaker went on to talk about his personal experiences with the environment. In one of the stories, he told about a trip to Mongolia, where he maneuvered around the language barrier between him and the local experts to identify why a species of fish was rapidly dying. After a three year period, the problem was identified to have arisen as a result of trophy hunting, and so a sanctuary a was created to protect the fish from being hunted.

Part of the speaker’s understanding of his field came from a hands on approach. I found this very interesting, but it makes sense. You don’t ride a bicycle by just studying how a bike works; you take the studying and apply it to real life. This is how science becomes applied in the real world. The real world application of concepts is something that is strived for at the College of the Atlantic. The school has students design their own procedure of adventurous study instead of a major, which allows them to make their subjects of interest into a firsthand experience instead of learning about them through a book.

And all the science classes I have been in, we learn the materials and concepts, and then bring everything together with the lab to see the concepts in real life. Our labs are so important because they give us a new way to actually understand for ourselves, versus just reading about it. The saying “see it to believe it” is true, but you will only understand it when you actually do it.


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