3M Lab Equipment Finds New Home at Fanshawe
November 28, 2008
"It's like free kittens," Ketola said. "They send me a list and say, 'Can this go to a good home?'" Quite often, it can.
3M started donating equipment two years ago when Kent Nielsen and Jennifer Johnson, research chemists in 3M Canada's technical labs, met Christine Keller who was enrolled in Fanshawe's Biotechnology program.
"We recognized the need for advanced educational tools at the college," said Nielsen. The chemists also recognized that, "geographically, the College and company are nearly neighbours and the Biotechnology program can realize exceptional use of equipment, which provides hands-on practical training to the students." Also, 3M Canada currently employs two co-op students from Fanshawe College and the donations allowed 3M to reorganize its facilities for new projects and related tools.
The latest equipment donations include a diamond saw, a freezer and a tissue sectioning apparatus. There is also a rain booth and an anti-vibration table.
The rain booth, Ketola explained, is a "controlled environment so you can do experiments on acid rain introducing different chemicals. It's like a plant incubator for introducing different environmental conditions involving rain." It is already being put to good use.
"In a first-year biology course in second semester," Ketola said, "I have them do a plant project and this now introduces a new dimension to the project because I can deal with serious environmental conditions and control them in a way that we couldn't before."
The anti-vibration table mutes any vibrations coming from the building it is in. "If you are doing really careful analytical analysis in terms of recovery from a chemical process or any equipment that requires no vibrations," Ketola said, "it eliminates the vibrations around you increasing the accuracy of results."