Big number for the new year: the learning lab welcomes its 15,000th pupil
Osnabrück Biology set a new record right at the start of the year: The now 15,000th student has taken part in a course at the experimental teaching-learning laboratory "Explain-OS" under the direction of PD Dr. Knut Jahreis. This means that the learning laboratory has now been an essential extracurricular learning location in the greater Osnabrück area for 16 years.
Since 2008, the "Explain-OS" learning laboratory has offered pupils the opportunity to carry out scientific experiments in an authentic laboratory with professional equipment and under expert guidance. In one of the 14 different courses, for example, DNA material is amplified using the standard molecular genetic method "polymerase chain reaction" (PCR) and then separated in a gel electrophoresis by applying a voltage field. In further steps, the "genetic fingerprint" of the alleged perpetrator can be determined and convicted as in a good criminal case. The special thing about the learning lab is that the pupils are active themselves and are allowed to carry out every single step of the experiments themselves, thus learning directly and from hand to head.
But not only the pupils benefit from this special insight into practical scientific work, prospective teachers can also use the learning lab to develop and test experiments for their own lessons. This brings modern, practical teaching into schools and prospective teachers can gain important experience in advance. As conventional classrooms often do not have the equipment of a laboratory, many teachers make use of the wide range of courses offered by "Explain-OS".
Over the past 16 years, the scientific director of Explain-OS, PD Dr. Knut Jahreis, has been able to get many school classes and courses interested in biology, many of them in the long term. "Sometimes we see each other again," Jahreis is happy to tell us, "our 10,000th visitor to the learning lab, who was awarded the prize in 2017, returned to study biology after graduating from high school and has since moved on to her Master's degree." Just like Benjamin, the newly designated 15,000th student, she was also presented with a copy of the standard biology textbook "Campbell". With this biology textbook, which has been written and revised by Osnabrück biology teachers and professors since 2009, Benjamin would definitely have a solid foundation for studying biology. And maybe in Osnabrück too?