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Mountain Empire Community College donates biology lab kits to local schools

Staff Report • Feb 21, 2019 at 11:49 AM

BIG STONE GAP – Students at three high schools in Southwest Virginia are experimenting with new biology lab kits thanks to a donation from Mountain Empire Community College.

Kits were presented to teachers Ashley Burke at Gate City High School, Amanda Horton at Lee High School and Denise Carter at Thomas Walker High School. A total of 15 kits were donated – five to each school – for use in dual enrollment biology classes.

Stacy Adams, assistant professor of biology at MECC, said she was inspired to donate the equipment during a visit to one of the MECC general biology classes being taught at a local high school. She learned it is sometimes difficult for instructors to purchase supplies for the required laboratory component of science courses, so she wanted to help.

“Serendipity must have prevailed,” Adams said in a press release. “The MECC bookstore provided fifteen biology lab kits to the MECC biology department soon after my visit. For me, the next step I would take was a no-brainer; it only made sense to pay it forward by offering these kits to our local high schools where the MECC General Biology I and II courses (BIO 101 and BIO 102) are being taught.”

The kits include all the materials needed to conduct 18 different experiments, from general laboratory safety to ecological interactions. The goal is to provide students with hands-on experiments to enhance their learning experience.

Adams noted that according to a survey of science students completed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, students learn concepts better in the hands-on laboratory setting. At all three of the high schools, students wanted to start working on the experiments immediately, she said.

“This donation is just one of the many ways that MECC supports its surrounding communities and embodies the slogan, MECC Proud,” Adams said.

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