Delaware Technical Community College dedicated its two new science laboratories Tuesday at its Jack F. Owens Campus in Georgetown.
The $1.9 million facilities were made possible through various donations and offer additional space to better accommodate the college's biotechnology and food service programs. The labs also provide more room for courses like general biology, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology.
Ileana Smith, vice president and campus director at Del Tech, said laboratories are different from classrooms in that they require a lot more resources; but they are very critical to the learning of science.
"We definitely learn science by doing those lab experiments that bring principles to life and that teach us the procedures and the techniques that are so essential," Smith said. "Science is critical for so many career fields. Today is about the education of skilled technicians; education that translates into jobs in healthcare and in the processing of our food. Those are careers that will impact our lives and the lives of our loved ones."
Del Tech President Orlando George said the college's labs began to exceed their capacity in the fall of 2010, when 800 of its students could not access one or more upper level science courses.
"It's these high-tech science labs that students in programs like allied health, food safety, [and] biotechnology [are] provided the hands-on experience that allows them to progress more towards a degree in fields that are in high demand by Delaware's employers," George said.
Parker Hall, vice president of research and development for donor Perdue Farms, said his company recognizes that in the food industry, there is nothing more important than ensuring safety in supply.
"The food safety program, in combination with the new science labs at Del Tech, will serve as a valuable training ground for future food safety and quality assurance personnel, not only at Perdue, but also at other poultry and food companies in the region," Hall said.