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Teacher Testimonial
Ready-to-Learn with Carolina Ready-to-Ship Microbiology Lab Kits
by Distance Learning Staff
Dr. Emily Booms helps her students to thrive with the knowledge and skills they gain during hands-on microbiology labs.

Name: Dr. Emily Rumschlag Booms

Role: Associate Professor of Science

Institution: Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL

Challenge: Adapting microbiology labs for the pandemic-driven remote class setting in a way that keeps students engaged, challenged, and learning.

Solution: Carolina’s Ready-to-Ship microbiology lab kit

Results: The ready-to-ship microbiology lab kit provides Dr. Booms with labs that support the course objectives, are easy to implement, and engage students. The kit also gives students the opportunity to learn the basics of microbiology and lab techniques they will need for advanced courses and/or laboratory careers.

Helping Students Succeed During the Pandemic

Science teachers around the world faced an incredible challenge in 2020: providing their students with meaningful laboratory learning at home. Dr. Emily Rumschlag Booms successfully tackled this challenge for her microbiology students at Northeastern Illinois University.

During the last few weeks of the 2020 Spring semester, Dr. Booms utilized virtual labs in her microbiology classes, and she found her students struggled with the data analysis when they didn’t do the actual hands-on data collection themselves. They were also much less enthusiastic about the virtual labs. So she spent the summer searching for a better solution.

Dr. Booms evaluated the Carolina ready-to-ship microbiology kit and believed it would give her students the opportunity to learn and build lab skills while supporting the course objectives. When the Fall semester got underway, she found just that.

The first thing she noticed was the positive difference in her students’ enthusiasm. Her students were very happy to be conducting their own labs again. “I had no idea that students would miss that so much!” Her students also collaborated as they conducted their experiments. Interactions such as “could you hold that back up and let me see that test tube,” were common and encouraging!

Dr. Booms soon found her students excelling. “The labs in the Carolina kit give students the ability to manipulate and develop those hands-on skills that they need, that you just can't replicate in a virtual environment,” she explains. “I think the Carolina kit gives them more independence and responsibility than even some of our face-to-face lab sessions have.” When it came time to assess her students’ comprehension and retention, Dr. Booms found her remote students performing “just as well as I would expect in-person lab students to do.”

The easy logistics of using the Carolina kits is also appreciated by Dr. Booms. “The kits have everything the students need,” she explains, “and with Carolina’s direct shipping to students, I don't have to worry about my prep staff sending out kits or needing to ask students to come to campus to get their materials.”

Easy to implement, engaging, skill- and knowledge-building, supportive of course objectives—just what professors like Dr. Booms and her students need!


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