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Innovative Chemistry & Physical Science Teaching Labs

28th November 2012 Sunderland Universiy


Changing student expectations, financial challenges and other factors are creating changes in teaching and learning with regard to chemistry and physical sciences. This free workshop examined the responses to this in three new developments; the Sciences Complex at Sunderland,the Central Teaching Laboratories at Liverpool, and the Chemistry Teaching Laboratory at St Andrews.

These share many features with other best practice new and refurbished facilities, such as good use of IT-enabled learning, optimised layouts for services and technical support, sharing of equipment, and energy efficient design. However, a more distinctive feature of all of them is large, adaptable, laboratories which can be used to teach either a single large group, or separate groups simultaneously. This approach has also been accompanied by changes in academic structure and practices and technical support. The advantages of this can be increased student capacity with low additional cost, much higher utilisation of expensive space, and more interaction for students both with each other (e.g. between different year groups) and staff. The workshop pprovided an opportunity to hear more about these developments, and to discuss them with peers.


09.45 - 10.15 Registration (with refreshments)

10.15 - 10.20 Introduction
Professor Peter James, Director, S-Lab

10.20 - 11.05 The University of Liverpool's New Central Teaching Laboratories
Lee Reilly, Teaching Fellow

11.05 - 11.50 An Integrated Chemistry Laboratory at the University of St Andrews
Alan Aitken, Director of Chemistry Teaching

12.00 - 13.00 The University of Sunderland's New Science Complex
Building Perspective - Iain Garfield, Head of Estates Services
Academic Perspective - Professor Tony Alabaster, Associate Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences

13.00 - 14.15 Lunch and Building Tours

14.15 - 14.50 The University of Sunderland's New Science Complex
User Perspective - Q&A with panel of academics, students and technical support staff

14.50 - 15.45 Small Group and Informal Plenary Discussion of Key Issues Arising


Information Files:
Lee Reilly - Central Teaching Laboratories Liverpool
Alan Aitken - An Integrated Chemistry Laboratory
Iain Garfield - The University of Sunderland’s New Science Complex