Narrator: This is Science Today. A newly inaugurated learning lab at the University of California, Riverside, is reinventing the way that college students can learn about science. Genetics professor Susan Wessler explains that her frustration with the traditional lecture format led her to design the novel interactive lab.
Wessler: Science is something that is done. Students, when they start out, they're presented with this giant tome and there's somebody in the front pontificating to them about this and that. That's not science. Science is asking a question, having the tools to answer that question, then at the end what you have, if all goes well, is you have found something new. That's exciting.
Narrator: The goal of the class is to teach freshmen the computational and experimental tools of genome analysis. Students work on research problems taken from Wessler's own genetics lab and design their own experiments.
Wessler: Real science in action and they love that. The students get to acquire expertise, because what we demand of them is that they master something.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.