Westmoreland science, health students benefit from technology upgrades

Date Published: August 21, 2017

Microscopes1In advance of the upcoming expansion of Science Hall, Westmoreland County Community College purchased 24 microscopes for use in the college’s current science labs.

Science and allied health students studying Anatomy & Physiology II began using the Leica DM500 microscopes during the summer 2017 semester. Grants from the PNC Foundation, First Energy Foundation and the Robertshaw Foundation funded the equipment purchase.

One of the microscopes is currently equipped with a camera, which can display what is under the microscope on a large screen.

The college is looking for a donor to help equip all of the microscopes with cameras, so that students can capture and share crisp, clear images without having to stop to take photos with their phones.

This fall, the college hopes to purchase another 19 microscopes to be used by students studying Anatomy & Physiology I, according to Cynthia Proctor, dean of Business, Math, Science and Engineering.

“Students will get hands-on experience with technology seen in hospitals, professional schools and other colleges,” Proctor said. “It’s rigorous, but we’re going to prepare them well.”

In addition to the microscopes, Westmoreland recently purchased a document camera which is used by faculty members as they assist students with dissections. Proctor said the college hopes to add more of those cameras and expand the upgrades to Westmoreland’s education centers.

“Technology allows students to spend more time on critical thinking,” Proctor said.

The expansion of Science Hall will include a new Science Innovation Center that will house labs for biology, anatomy, interdisciplinary work and faculty offices. Groundbreaking is set for this fall.

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