Scene on Campus

Perfectly clear

As for any morning class at Yale, the students in Daryl Smith’s 8:30 chemistry elective come armed with large cups of coffee. But they’ll also be wielding blowtorches. Introduction to Scientific Glassblowing is intended primarily for graduate chemistry students, to help teach them how the beakers, bottles, and flasks that they use in the lab are repaired. “Students will not typically have glassblowing equipment in their labs,” explains Smith, who is shown here repairing a filter flask, “so the emphasis in the class is that students be able to communicate effectively with the professional glassblowers.” Smith, who has been the university’s glassblower since 2005, teaches two courses in addition to making glass for Yale laboratories. At the end of the semester, each of Smith’s students is required to produce a glass contraption called a Hero’s engine—making his class perhaps the only course on campus in which students are required to blow their final.

Mark Ostow

Mark Ostow

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