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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Strategies for Success in Lab Courses

October 2, 2023

Since all my labs were online for the first two years of my degree, this semester was the first time I had in-person labs. It was a big change transitioning to in-person labs, and there were lots of new things I had to learn. As the semester proceeded, I gained more confidence in my lab skills. Below are some tips for succeeding in the lab component of courses:

Coming Prepared

Before attending my lab session, I read the lab introduction and protocol if I am given one. The lab introduction provides you with vital background information that is necessary for the lab, and the lab protocol details the instructions for the lab. If I understand what the lab is about and the procedure I need to perform, it is a lot easier to get started when I come to the lab. For the course that had a lab introduction and protocol, my lab coordinator has us print off the introduction and protocol and bring it to the lab session.

Appropriate Behaviour in the Lab

It can be tempting to talk with friends during the lab, but focusing on the task at hand helps minimize mistakes and increases safety. When I have a procedure to perform, I dedicate my attention to the task and save socializing for when we have a break or when the lab session is over. It is also important to follow the safety protocols set out in your lab. In my labs, I always need to wear a lab coat, and phones are not permitted. Following the rules makes sure everyone is safe.


Asking Questions

Something I learned this semester is never to be afraid to ask questions if I’m unsure of something. Since this was my first semester of in-person labs, I was not very comfortable with skills such as using a microscope and pipetting. When I am unsure how to do something, I ask my TA, lab coordinator, or a peer, to make sure I perform the skill safely and effectively. When it is time to do the pre-lab assignment or lab report, I always email the lab coordinator if I need clarification. This helps me ensure I am on the right track.


Doing Pre-labs and Lab Reports

The lab introduction document is an important resource when completing pre-lab assignments and lab reports. It contains information on the lab that helps me answer questions, and may also include helpful diagrams or instructions that help me get started on a question.

It can seem daunting setting foot in the lab for the first time, but over time, it has gotten easier to adjust to lab work. I encourage you to try out these strategies when startinglab courses.


By Victoria Matheou