Forget stuffy lecture halls and humming fluorescent lights. Build robots instead! Or run a nuclear reactor. To rank the coolest labs in the country, we factored in groundbreaking research, undergrad access and sheer awesomeness.
Click here to launch a gallery of the coolest labs in America
Check out the 2011 additions to our list in the articles below, or browse the full set of 25 labs in our image gallery above.
- Build Your Own Spaceship: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Brew the World's Best Beer: University of California at Davis Pilot Brewery
- Probe the Ocean Deep: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Work On the Edge of Earth's Plates: California Institute of Technology Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
- Design a Microdrone: U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground
- Run a Nuclear Reactor: Reed College
- Print New Body Parts: Cornell University Creative Machines Lab
- Put Science on the Big Screen: University of Southern California Visualizing Science Initiative
- Eavesdrop on Nearby Galaxies: National Radio Astronomy Observatory
- Make a Better Soldier: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Human Performance Wing
I would have expected to see this one also.
Don't let Texas Gov., now Presidential candidate, "I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect ..." + "Global Warming Based On Scientists Manipulating Data " Rick Perry know about these labs, especially Texas Tech's,
@oldnassau67 - So you believe the honest and truthful Global Warming scientific community???
The undergraduate integrated circuit fabrication laboratory at UIUC is in-house, can be taken any semester, and is the most hands-on way to learn how to make computer chips:
Don't know if it would qualify in the top 25, but Humboldt State University's Wlidlife and Forestry departments have an entire redwood forest literally in the school's backyard to play (er... do research) in. When I was an undergrad there, I participated in a salamander study, trying to determine their favored microhabitats. The school is also close to a marsh and bay, and 40 minutes up the road is Redwood National Park, where I participated in a study of Steller's jays (I'm co-author of an internal paper for the Wildlife division of the National Park Service).