Description of Course Goals and Curriculum
This course introduces you to laboratory practices and fundamentals in Chemical & Biological Engineering experiments. You will be assigned four different experiments (each spanning 2 weeks) over the course of the semester and will have the ability to illustrate your understanding of the experiment, it’s history, and guiding mathematical principles via an oral presentation, written report and/or poster presentation.
Learning From Classroom Instruction
You will have lab twice a week (Monday, Wednesday or Tuesday, Thursday) as well as a night lecture. During the lab period, you will have a TA and a professor assigned to your particular experiment who you will have to meet before the first lab period to discuss the setup. It is highly recommended to discuss the goals of the experiment as well as often when preparing the written or oral presentations one will say, “Had I known this is what they were going to ask I would have done so and so differently.” There will always be two groups working on a particular experiment for each 2 week session – a group from Mon,Wed and a group from Tues, Thurs. Do talk and meet up with others working on the same experiment so as to help one another out in terms of difficulties experienced or things to look out for while running the experiment.
Night lecture will serve to provide you the basic expectations of the oral and written reports and various examples will be given with a statement of what was “good” and what “could have been better”.
Learning For and From Assignments
Assignments will fall into 4 categories:
- Lab Notebooks: This is fairly lenient – just make sure to detail the steps you took and any issues you came across during the experiment for reference later
- Written reports: These are written jointly with a partner so it is recommend that you find times that work for both of you so you can work together and bounce ideas off of each other if need. If this is not possible it is recommended you use a Google Document or something similar.
- Oral Presentations: These are prepared jointly as well but only one of you will present. Make sure to present it both to your lab partner and others outside the group to make sure you are presenting the material in a way that is understandable even to those who have not done the experiment.
- Poster Presentation: This is a combination of the written and oral presentations as you will have to make the poster and then present it to 3 different professors who may or may not have been professors for the class itself. It is important to note like in the written reports that formatting takes a LONG time so make sure to have the content ready ahead of time so you can then focus on the formatting.
- TAs – meet with them before starting an experiment, during the experiment, and as you are preparing the assignment.
- Other students with the same experiment: as mentioned above, there will be two groups assigned to one experiment and it is important that you communicate with one another to learn from one another and catch intricacies of the experiment that may have not been obvious to you.