Andres Tennus

Viljandi School for Talented Students opened a teaching laboratory in cooperation with universities

Viljandi School for Talented Students opened a new laboratory for practical workshops last week, which is located in the premises of Jakobson School. The laboratory is open for use by all schools.

The laboratory was opened in cooperation with universities and companies. This autumn, students are expected to participate in biology classes, in future chemistry and physics will follow. The class is designed for 16 students, and the first practicums have already taken place. The first activities were DNA isolation and gel electrophoresis. DNA visualization is yet to come.

The laboratory setup and equipment have been obtained as second-round solutions with the support of the University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, the city and county of Viljandi, the Estonian Talent Center and private companies. In the research laboratory, from time to time, an old scientific apparatus stops working due to errors, and automatic pipettes are also renewed for the students' practical works leaving the old pipettes free.

The apparatus prepared for reuse can still be perfectly usable for simpler experiments in school classes and teaching laboratories, as well as for the calibration and giving to schools of pipettes that are no longer used in university laboratories. Schools and hobby schools do not have the opportunity to buy quite expensive equipment themselves, so this use of the second round is a very good example of cooperation between higher education institutions, companies, hobby schools, research schools and gymnasiums.

The Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology supported the teaching laboratory with a PCR machine, a small tabletop centrifuge and a set of  automatic pipettes. Support of several employees of IMCB (Merike Jõesaar, Signe Viggor, Mart Roos, Margus Leppik, Annely Kukk and Sulev Kuuse) was recieved for setting up the laboratory.

The head of Viljandi School for Talented Students, Mari Järve, who has defended her doctorate degree in evolutionary biology at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, is a devoted popularizer of science, a teacher, who takes care of ensuring that children in areas far from big cities also have interesting school lessons, science popularization projects and exciting action for the talented.

In the institute, we appreciate Mari Järve's contribution in student projects every year. For example, the format and tasks of the National Science Popularization Award-winning genetic workshops have been developed by her.

On October 19, the news program Aktuaalne Kaamera visited the genetics class in the opened laboratory in Viljandi (see from 24 minutes).


Photo gallery from the opening of the laboratory on 26.10.2022 (photos: Sulev Kuuse)

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