ORANGE, Calif. – There's no doubt that senior molecular biology and biochemistry major Daisy Haas expected be filling up an Erlenmyer flask come the fall semester, but it's where she's doing it that's surprising.

“As a rising senior I was really nervous as my classes were getting more specialized,” Haas said.

What You Need To Know

  • Chapman University shipped just over 300 general chemistry kits and 24 analytical chemistry kits to students

  • Lab kits provide students with hands on experience while they are learning remotely 

  • Over 88,000 coronavirus cases have been reported at American colleges and universities

  • Chapman is currently remaining with remote instruction until Orange County restrictions are lifted


Haas isn't in a Chapman University lab... she's participating in a lab from home.

She's still able to get the hands-on experience because the university shipped her her lab equipment.

“It’s obviously really different, but I’m still having a lot of fun with it. We’re designing a lab experience where we can take lab samples at home and also lab samples outside,” Haas said

It isn't just a few items either. Each analytical chemistry kits is comprised of 45 pieces, valued at an estimated $3,000 - on loan from the university.

Dr. Matt Gartner is an associate instructional professor at Chapman University and Haas's analytical chemistry professor.

Even though he's working from an empty lab room nowadays, he says it's important that his students are still getting the opportunity to learn in a hands-on and collaborative way.

"“I think somebody holding a beaker and holding a graduated cylinder or looking at the data from a spectrometer that’s they have in their homes, that is so much more valuable than looking at a data sheet that just pops out to them and then trying to figure out what to do with it,” Dr. Gartner said.

And paramount in the equation is safety.

According to a New York Times survey, over 88,000 coronavirus cases have been reported at American colleges and universities since the pandemic began.

Haas says she’s glad she can feel a sense of security in being at home and her class’s status not having to be subject to a coronavirus curve.

“I think I feel safer being at home, and I also really enjoy knowing that I have all of this at home for the rest of the semester. Nothing is going to change drastically in the middle of the semester if there are too many cases or anything like that,” said Haas.

It’s easily the most distinct of the 10 labs she’s taken as a Chapman student, but as she gets ready for graduate research and obtaining her PhD, she’s looking at this year as an opportunity to mix it up.

“Being able to kind of adapt to the unique experience that we’re having and still have fun with it and explore science is really important. And so even though it’s not normal, it’s still really educational and really fun,” Haas said.