The Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University now has a new home for its popular science education programs. The center's new educational lab – designed to expand students' experiences with real-world science applications –recently opened its doors to students ages 10 and up.
The ONPRC Learning Lab will serve as a home to established as well as new outreach programs at OHSU's West Campus. OHSU's science education outreach programs, on both its Marquam Hill and West campuses, support and encourage students to choose health and science careers.
"We are incredibly excited to have a dedicated home for our science programs," said Diana Gordon, the Education Outreach Specialist at OHSU's primate center and a former science teacher herself. "We serve thousands of people each year through our many programs, including tours, apprenticeships, a day camp, and a variety of classes for students of all ages. In fact, the demand for our programs far outpaces our resources. Having a dedicated lab for education helps us to better meet that demand and gives students and adults the opportunity to expand their hands-on experiences in research. We have found that early experiences such as these can influence a student to make science their occupation later in life."
The new classroom lab contains many of the same instruments found in modern health research labs, including:
- Advanced microscopes
- Materials for genetic analysis
- A containment hood for maintaining sterile conditions or working with potentially irritating substances (Note: The learning lab works only with safe materials.)