Sherman Jen Laboratory: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

October 4, 2018
Jillian Westby

I have had the exciting opportunity over the past month to be working as a lab assistant in the science labs in the newly constructed Sherman Jen building. Working in new labs is something most people involved in lab work never get the chance to do. Constructing new lab spaces doesn’t happen often, so here at Royal Roads we are excited and very grateful to be using the new facilities.

The labs are set up as two large teaching spaces that can seat up to 24 students each, separated by a prep room. We are excited about the prep room as the old lab did not have one. This will streamline preparation and cleanup of labs significantly. One of the lab rooms is mainly for microbiology labs, and the other room is mainly for chemistry labs. There is also a smaller lab space that is a research lab used by faculty and grad students. Storage rooms house all of the chemicals, glassware, and field equipment.  Some of the exciting new features include a new vacuum filtration system that will help reduce water consumption, as well as new fume hoods, incubators, dishwashers, fridges, and freezers. And we can’t forget about the chairs! Each lab bench has leg space underneath allowing students to sit on chairs, rather than having to lean awkwardly on stools or stand for the duration of the lab, which can sometimes take up to six hours or longer. The new lab was designed for the specific needs of the science programs, so it is a well-built space for the students and staff who use it.

As for the students using the labs, the B.Sc. in Environmental Science students have recently started their classes on campus, and have already had two successful labs in the new space. Feedback about the lab space has been very positive so far!