Are laboratory courses necessary?

Rao, C. N. R. (1978) Are laboratory courses necessary? Pure and Applied Chemistry, 50 (6). pp. 525-528. ISSN 0033-4545

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This introductory paper reminds the Congress that Chemistry is an experimental science. A laboratory programme is associated with observations, manipulative skills, data analysis and report writing. Student's atitude to laboratory work vary widely and the spread of interest and enthusiasm should be taken into account when the course is designed. There should be choice of laboratory exercises for each student and mini-research projects should be included, particularly for the higher years. The author reccomends against a final practical examination. Finally the limitations on experimental work in developing countries, and the need for training of laboratory technicians are discussed.

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