By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– Students in the Victor Valley College Chemistry program can now analyze samples using a new piece of equipment, similar to the way physicians use an MRI machine to look at what is going on inside the human body. Thanks to a collaborative effort by Mitsubishi Cement, Cemex, A Family Pharmacy, the Mojave Environmental Education Consortium (MEEC), the VVC Chemistry Department and Southern California Edison, a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) machine will now make learning more meaningful for students pursuing careers as chemists, doctors, quality control analysts or even pharmacologists.
“The beauty of this machine is that it requires little to no maintenance and can run tests in a matter of seconds compared to some of our other machines which can take hours and even days,” said VVC Laboratory Aide John Hoskins. “Already it has greatly improved our teaching methods and we are excited to accelerate VVC students’ understanding of high level chemistry.”
A unique feature of this equipment is its portability. Weighing approximately 55 pounds, it can easily be moved from tabletop to the field unlike other NMR spectroscopy units, which are usually found in very large and environmentally protected laboratories. If you have ever been inside an MRI what you may not know is the machine is spinning around you capturing high resolution images. Most NMR’s also spin the organic matter inside the machine, however, VVC’s new machine does not, lending to its lightness and transportability.
The NMR is being used for the first time in the 2016 spring semester for students in the upper level organic chemistry classes and will make a huge difference for students intending to transfer to the university system like Cal State San Bernardino. Because of the investment of our industry partners, students who already have hands on experience with the NMR and who are also pursuing a degree in Chemistry, will be better prepared for the advanced classes once they reach the University level.
Daniel Garcia is currently in the Nursing Program and double majoring in Bio-Chemisty. An ambitious student, he says he eventually wants to also pursue being a doctor later in life. “Having the NMR here at Victor Valley College definitely puts us on the map. I feel my education is now a lot more balanced and puts me at the same level as my university counterparts,” Garcia said. “This is exciting because now our research projects will also be equally comparable.”
“In the Victor Valley, approximately 10 percent (10%) of the population has a bachelor’s degree or above and every day we are losing top talent to employers outside of the area,” said Victor Valley College Foundation Board President, Eric Schmidt. “Employees born and raised in the region, and who have a degree in Chemistry now have the opportunity to seek careers closer to home as well as secure higher paying jobs with competitive wages. Inevitably, this will contribute to the viability of our High Desert economy.”
The Victor Valley College Foundation is a charitable organization that makes friends and raises funds to help Victor Valley College better serve its students and community. Visit, www.vvcfoundation.com or find us on Facebook to join the growing number of people and organizations who contribute to support our mission.