Science majors will benefit from new lab equipment upgrades

By Jalyn Bolyard, Online Editor

In December, WLU received a $19,300 grant to purchase devices that will greatly benefit the Anatomy and Physiology labs. Assistant professor of biology Dr. Natalia Omelchenko worked hard and applied for WVEPSCoR’s (West Virginia Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) grant, which is sponsored through the National Science Foundation, in October.

The grant money will go towards four AHK-TA iWorx (Animal/Human Physiology Teaching Kits) stations, which will benefit a wide-span of science majors, including pre-medicine, pre-professional, human biology and exercise physiology to name a few.

There are over 50 different labs that students can perform with the stations. The labs include students looking at their own heart rate, blood pressure, muscle activity, ECG, heart sounds and many others. The equipment enables students to be more hands-on with their work, something Omelchenko upholds.

“You can learn a lot from yourself,” Omelchenko said. “We absolutely needed it.”

Before, the physiology lab was only equipped with two iWorx stations. With classes of 24 students, this meant large groups and a long wait to get the lab done. Therefore, not every student was able to measure themselves with the equipment.

Now, students will be able to be in smaller groups and be more hands-on with the station, leading to better comprehension.

 “This equipment allows us to focus on personalized, hands-on critical education that will lead to improvement instruction for our students,” Omelchenko said.

The equipment should be here the first week of February, just in time for the first physiology labs.

“Right now our students will have an interactive, critical hands-on lab that will benefit them tremendously for the work in their fields,” Omelchenko said. “Not only does this benefit us at West Liberty now, but also the future healthcare of West Virginia.”

The College of Sciences website reads, “We believe we offer the strongest undergraduate basic and Health Science Program in the state of West Virginia and perhaps the nation.”

This new upgrade will bring a stronger, critical learning environment for science students and professors. For more information about the College of Sciences, check out their website at

Photo credit: Media Relations and Jalyn Bolyard