2.7.2013                Coming up soon: BioRefinery3D
1.7.2013                Updates: Publications added
6.-8.5.2013            CSEDU 2013, Aachen, Germany
8.1.2013                Microbiology experiment now online
18.10.2012            Organic chemistry experiment now online
20.10.2011            EDUCAUSE 2011, Philadelphia, USA
20.-22.6.2011        NBE 2011, Salla, Finland
6.-8.4.2011            ITK2011 Hämeenlinna, Finland (our presentation is available online)
17.-19.3.2011        The Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) (Poster session), Second Life Virtual World, Landmark
9.-10.12.2010        Tekniikan opetuksen symposium ReflekTori 2010, Espoo, Finland

What is LabLife3D?

Practical skills are one of the core competencies in natural sciences, where skills and experience are gained through extensive laboratory experimentation. However, current laboratory courses at Aalto University are burdened by heavy expenses for modern and safe equipment, facilities and reagents. Students suffer from large class sizes and overlapping schedules with other courses. Although learning by doing is the ultimate goal of practical laboratory classes, it is evident that the current curriculum lacks the space and time for the learning experience to mature. Consequently, many students pass laboratory classes without developing a critical thought process of connecting theory with practice. LabLife3D helps to bridge the gap between theory and practice by supporting contact teaching with simulations and virtual experimentation using the Second Life platform.

LabLife3D engages students to experiment and critically evaluate the inherent behavior of biological or chemical material in a shared local space. It facilitates engagement by offering experimentation in a risk-free environment. Also the non-biotech/chemistry major students across Aalto University can participate in experimentation and contribute to their multidisciplinary knowledge of experimental work. This allows them to better understand the experimental work as a major activity of many commercial and design ventures engaged in life sciences.

The virtual laboratory LabLife3D has one section dedicated to cleanroom facilities and the other to chemistry. The students can discuss and reflect their work in the lobby. LabLife3D is housed in the Aalto Archipelago in Second Life virtual world and is freely accessible for visitors.
So far two laboratory “practicals” have been designed, one for microbiology (working with viruses in a cleanroom facility) and one for chemistry, focusing on safety in the laboratory. Piloting of these “practicals” took place in September and October 2010 with students from two courses participating.

The LabLife3D laboratory can be visited in Second Life in Aalto Archipelago:

You can contact us to find out more!