Discovery Teaching Labs - Make an Impact

Make an Impact

Discovery Teaching Labs

The Discovery Teaching Labs initiative fosters an environment where students can engage directly with state-of-the-art scientific equipment, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. Universities and colleges collaborate with industry partners to curate and develop comprehensive experimental modules that reflect current research practices and technological advancements. Reinforce your commitment to innovation and excellence in STEM education by offering enhanced curriculum that prepares students for their futures in science.

  • Access to Advanced Equipment: Provide students hands-on experience with research-grade instrumentation, enhancing their experimental skills and deepening their understanding of advanced scientific concepts early in their academic career.
  • Curriculum Enhancement: Offer engaging and relevant educational experiences, ensuring students are exposed to the latest techniques and technologies, thereby elevating the overall quality of the STEM education offered by your institution.
  • Career Preparedness: Equip students with practical experience and proficiency in using advanced scientific instruments, enhancing their employability and readiness for careers in academia, research and industry sectors, all which value hands-on technical skills and experimental problem-solving capabilities.

For generations, seasoned research scientists have worked with advanced materials characterization instrumentation including superconducting magnets, vibrating sample magnetometers (VSM), and low-level measurement lock-in amplifiers. However, at the Quantum Design Teaching & Materials Discovery Laboratory at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), undergraduate students have the opportunity to gain firsthand experience with state-of-the-art equipment typically reserved only for graduate students and advanced researchers at most other universities. A Quantum Design Physical Properties Measurement System (PPMS®) VersaLab® is available to students as part of the Applied Physics curriculum and as a resource to perform undergraduate research.

CSUSM's enrollment reflects the population of the region that it serves. The majority of CSUSM students belong to groups underrepresented in STEM, with half of the student body made up of nontraditional returning students and transfers. Over half of all CSUSM graduates are the first in their family to earn a baccalaureate degree. Because every CSUSM Applied Physics major can work with the VersaLab as part of the Advanced Laboratory course, students from any background have access to learning how to perform state-of-the-art solid state physics research.

In addition to the instructional laboratory, many students have used the VersaLab in extracurricular research projects – from looking at the heat capacity of aerogels to determining the magnetic behavior of oxide ceramics. This has been a boon that students have leveraged to obtain research awards, apply to research internships, and gain admission to graduate programs at other universities. Moreover, several first-generation CSUSM alumni are now gainfully employed at Quantum Design, contributing to the manufacture of VersaLabs and other sister systems for an international clientele.

Stephen Tsui
Associate Professor of Physics at
California State University San Marcos
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Discovery Teaching Labs

The Discovery Teaching Labs initiative provides the scientific technology industry with the framework to donate equipment and share expertise, all to enable students to gain access to advanced scientific instruments and learning opportunities otherwise unavailable. By collaborating with academic institutions, industry leaders help shape the curriculum to reflect real-world applications and emerging technological needs, ensuring that the education students receive is both relevant and forward-looking. Moreover, this partnership offers a platform for industry to engage with potential future employees, fostering a direct connection with the next generation of STEM students who are trained on the very technologies that drive innovation in their fields.

  • Enhanced Collaboration with Academia: Fosters stronger partnerships between industry and academic institutions, encouraging collaborative research projects, internships, and other opportunities that benefit both sectors.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Image: Participation demonstrates your commitment to education, research, and community engagement, positively impacting your brand image and fulfilling corporate social responsibility objectives.
  • Talent Pipeline Development: The program cultivates a pool of future professionals equipped with hands-on experience and a deep understanding of research-grade instrumentation, ready to contribute to industry projects and innovation.

At Lake Shore, we firmly believe in the power of education to transform the future of science and innovation. Our partnership with Discovery Teaching Labs (DTL) underscores this commitment, as we provide scientific instrumentation to these labs, enabling students to engage with advanced technology firsthand. This initiative is not just about providing tools; it's about opening doors to future scientists, engineers, and leaders who will push the boundaries of what's possible. Through our contributions, students from diverse backgrounds gain unparalleled access to cutting-edge equipment, fostering a hands-on learning environment that is critical for both their personal growth and the advancement of the scientific community. Our involvement with DTL is a testament to our company's dedication to nurturing talent and advancing science, ensuring that the next generation is equipped to meet the challenges of tomorrow with knowledge, skill, and innovation.

Chuck Cimino
Sr. Director of Measurement Instrumentation for
Lake Shore Cryotronics
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