DuPont Funds OCU Virtual Biology Course

President Smith with the Circleville DuPont Plant Manager David Pigion
Photo: President Smith with the Circleville DuPont Plant Manager David Pigion

DuPont Plant Manager David Pigion awarded a $6,250 check to OCU President Mark Smith on October 24 to fund creation of a virtual Biology course at Ohio Christian University.

This “Virtual Biology Lab” grant will fund development and offering of a biology laboratory course using a computer program that employs virtual commonly used laboratory equipment and procedures to simulate performing experiments, rather than using a physical Biology laboratory. 

Mr. Pigion stated, “Even those who do not enter scientific fields benefit from science education through enhanced critical thinking and scientific inquiry skills and understanding the relationship between explanation and evidence. DuPont needs employees who can think that way.”

Dr. Smith thanked Mr. Pigion and Dupont for supporting Pickaway County.  Smith, a former high school science teacher, commented, “Incorporating technology to simulate laboratory conditions can provide an effective and safe, less environmentally caustic, and lower cost approach to offering these types of courses in a traditional laboratory classroom.  Simulations also provide advantages over hands-on laboratory work such as allowing students to perform more complicated and hazardous experiments, obtaining reproducible results more quickly, and fostering a deeper understanding of experiments.”

DuPont funded a similar project in 2008 that allowed development of a virtual chemistry lab course that has been taken by hundreds of campus and online students, both college and high school students.  OCU now has a nice virtual science lab, located in the Science and Logistics Center that opened August 2010, in which this course will be offered.