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Ivy Tech Opens New Outdoor Biology Lab

Ivy Tech Outdoor Lab

(Alex Paul WTIU/WFIU)

Biology students at Ivy Tech Bloomington are building an outdoor biology lab on campus.

“We really like our students to be immersed in living things when learning about life, it’s more exciting, more engaging,” said Chair Biology and Biotech Department Sarah Cote.

The lab is located on a strip of land off Profile Parkway on the edge of campus. Cote said the idea was born in 2019, but due the pandemic, students and staff just set up a flower bed.

“We have a 3-to-5-year implementation plan, to put some trails in our woods, get some bird blinds, have outdoor classes, do some restoration in our pond,” Cote said.

The pond is currently used to collect run off from a nearby parking lot. And Cote hopes students can plant vegetation in the pond to filter out pollution.

Cote said the space will reduce the number of times students have to leave campus for lab assignments.

“Even when we have longer labs, it’s still kind of an issue transporting 24 students, means a bus which means we have to have money to pay for that,” Cote said.

Donations and grant money helped pay for the outdoor lab, which also will be made available to K-through-12 students and the public.

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