Lab Crawl: It’s Not Just for Scientists

Oct. 27 open house highlights research across the sciences—and just about everywhere else.

October 24, 2023

Communications Staff

Student participants in Lab Crawl smiling with professor Gunnar Kwakye.
Participants in Oberlin's 2022 Lab Crawl gather around neuroscience professor Gunnar Kwakye (second from right).
Photo credit: Amanda Phillips

Have you ever peeked through a lab’s open door on your way to class and wondered about the research happening inside? Maybe you've heard students talk in passionate terms about the work they’re taking on with their faculty mentors? Oberlin’s Lab Crawl, which happens in buildings throughout campus on Friday, October 27, is where your curiosity turns into opportunity.

Initially fashioned as a celebration of Oberlin science, Lab Crawl is an annual autumn open house that welcomes informal drop-ins on labs and other research spaces, with faculty at the ready to share their ongoing work with students.

This year, Lab Crawl is broadening its horizons. While still retaining its strong roots in STEM, there’s a focus on highlighting research in the humanities (think art history and cinema studies), social sciences (psychology and archaeology, among others), and conservatory departments (TIMARA and musicology). Numerous campus offices are also onboard, among them Undergraduate Research—the office that organizes the Crawl—Bonner Center for Community-Engaged Learning, Teaching and Research; Career Exploration and Development; and Entrepreneurship.

It all happens from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Gaybe Moore fondly remembers Lab Crawl from his days as an Oberlin biology student. Now the 2015 grad is back on campus, in his first year as an assistant professor of biology, and he’s back in line for Lab Crawl—this time as a faculty presenter.

Gaybe Moore with microscope.Gaybe Moore faculty portrait.

Gaybe Moore ’15 as a student in Maureen Peters’ biology lab (left)...and Moore today, as an assistant professor of biology.

Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

“Lab Crawl is an Oberlin tradition has stayed with me since my time as a student,” says Moore, who will lead a demonstration on infection in Galleria mellonella—aka the greater wax moth. “It was one of the first times I saw the many ways scientific research is accomplished. It’s a full-circle moment to show my research during Lab Crawl this year, and I hope to add to the breadth and diversity of laboratory experiences.”

The format is simple: Pick up a Lab Crawl passport in any participating building (Science Center Atrium, King Building, Carnegie Geology Lounge, Center for Engaged Liberal Arts, Severance Hall, Peters Hall, and the Ward and Venturi art buildings) and make your way through buildings and stations, collecting stickers for your passport along the way. Each sticker is also an entry to win prizes in the raffle that concludes the Crawl.

Learn more about Lab Crawl 2023—including a list of participating labs and tips for earning a free T-shirt and unlocking your pizza bonus—on the Office of Undergraduate Research’s Lab Crawl page.

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Friday Afternoon with Lab Crawl

October 30, 2023

This year’s Lab Crawl drew what may be the largest crowd in the event’s illustrious history, with some 500 students and dozens of faculty taking part. Missed out on the excitement? It looked something like this.
A person demonstrating on a whiteboard to students in a laboratory.