Stockton Offers 'Hands-On' Learning with New Sustainability Lab

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Classes are back in session at Stockton University and those studying sustainability are enjoying a new lab that’s making learning that much easier.

In one of several new buildings at the Galloway campus lies a new sustainability lab.

“The idea is to expose our students to hands-on technological challenges," said Patrick Hossay, associate professor of sustainability and energy studies at Stockton University. "So, it’s actually able to teach our students solar, wind, geothermal, alternative fueled vehicles, electric vehicles, green and high-performance building designs.” 

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The new space allows students to get hands-on training.

“I want the students to have real, hands-on experience. So, we use industrial scale equipment [and] we use real tools. They get their hands dirty," said Hossay. "I like to joke with the kids, if their hands aren’t dirty they aren’t learning enough.” 

And it’s a lot different from what they were used to in past semesters.

“Honestly we used to have a much smaller space and that was a real problem. Now we can focus on the learning," said Hossay. "The equipment is there ready for them to use and what’s really important is we’ll be able to have open lab hours where they can just come in and just play, fiddle around [and] problem solve.”

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The idea is to give them the space and tools to do things they’d be expected to do in the real world. So, when the time comes, they’re ready for a career in sustainability, which is why the lab is filled with several machines teaching them what they need to know.

“We have several solar thermal trainers that allow students to test different ways of collecting the sun’s energy and heating different materials or creating energy from it,” said Hossay.

From 3D printers to working on electric cars, the lab is already making students use their minds in more ways than one.

“You see, part of the challenge is I’m asking them to create solutions that don’t exist yet," said Hossay. "So, they not only have to imagine the solutions, they have to be able to make them.” 

Classes have just begun, but the professor says students are already eager and excited to utilize the new sustainability lab.


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