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Students get creative at home for Virtual Cell Lab Project

Virtual learning is very different from on-campus classes, but it is still learning. Students taking the Introductory Biology Lecture course at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) experienced digital labs as the school has gone virtual for its Fall 2020 semester.  
“The science faculty are working to find meaningful activities that help students learn the material being covered in the lecture portion of the class,” explained Dr. Allsion Landry, Department Chair and Principal Lecturer of Biology. “We did a build-your-own-cell project to allow our students to get some hands-on activities even though they’re at home. They filmed a video to showcase the finished cells, narrating their project to describe the structures and functions inside the cell. This should help them prepare for the exam.”
The labs reinforce concepts taught in the lectures. Students learn about various types of cells that make up living organisms, then utilize that knowledge to build their own cell model, made of household and other craft items.
“Biology is a field of science that is best learned using models,” said Dr. Jason Anderson, Lecturer of Biology. “Many aspects of biology are microscopic, so by having students build a model of a microscopic cell should help them better make that connection.”
Jolie England (Alexandria, Class of '23) is interested in going into neuroscience as a future career because she finds it fascinating how the brain and spinal system works with the rest of the human body to control and maintain the movements and systems of humans.
This year, in a virtual environment, she said she’s learned to take better advantage of online tools such as video lectures and extra practices made by teachers to help learn the material. 
“I have also learned that my teachers are my greatest resource,” she added. “The science curriculum at LSMSA offers more advanced and specialized science courses which will help to further my understanding of science concepts which I would need to understand for my future career goals.”