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Remote Web-Based Science Laboratory (RWSL)

Control live labs. Anywhere. Anytime.

The Remote Web-Based Science Laboratory (RWSL) provides students and educators access to high-quality online labs in real time, both from home or in the classroom, when most convenient for them. More


Albert Balbon has pioneered distance education delivery at North Island College for 29 years. In 2002, Albert and Ron Evans created a system to allow distance astronomy students to explore the universe from the comfort of home using a remote telescope. That technology paved the way for development of the RWSL in 2004.

Today, Albert works with North Island College and the North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO) to further develop and share this technology with innovators.

In a lot of cases, [schools are] still not using equipment that’s this high end, even in face-to-face experiments, because schools can’t justify the expenditure for a piece of equipment they may only use once or twice a year, whereas the RWSL allows us to use it every week of the year, if we want to. Where we see one of our biggest advantages is in labs that require very precise, high-quality data or very rare pieces of equipment that schools are just not able to afford or have access to.
PJ Bennett, NANSLO Lab Technology Manager

NIC's Remote Web-based Science Laboratories, or RWSL, allow users to view, interact, control and collect real data from actual science lab equipment in real time over the Internet. Students can view and control many types of equipment, including microscopes with camera and auto loaders, spectrometers with varying light sources and autoloaders, and air tracks/sleds. The remotely-accessible scientific equipment available through RWSL removes barriers such as region, lab availability, or the cost of maintaining multiple labs, and provides students with equal access to high quality scientific experiences.

RWSL has been developed with funding from various organizations who support advances in education technology, including BCcampus, the Next Generation Learning Challenges, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Research Papers


  • NANSLO leave site – The North American Network of Science Labs Online provides support for innovate science curricula to students across North America.
  • US Department of Labor leave site – The US Department of Labor fosters, promotes, and develops methods to improve working conditions, advance opportunities, and assure work-related benefits and rights for citizens of the United States.

Current Labs

  • Introduction to Microscopy
  • Mitosis & Meiosis
  • Buffers
  • Diseased Cell
  • Enzyme
  • Membrane Diffusion
  • Membrane Osmosis
  • Hematology
  • Histology – Epithelial Tissue
  • Histology - Connective Tissue
  • Histology - Neuronal Tissue
  • Cell Types
  • Cell Types Prokaryote, Protista and Fungi
  • Parasitology
  • Photosynthesis
  • Acid Base Titration
  • Emission Spectroscopy
  • Beer-Lambert Law
  • Beer-Lambert Law - Food Dye Concentration in Sports Drinks
  • Citric Acid in Popular Drinks - Titration
  • Colligative Properties - Freezing Point Depression
  • Gas Chromatography
  • Accelerated Motion
  • Electron Charge to Mass
  • Uniform Motion
Randall Heidt,
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives,
Naomi Tabata,
Manager, Centre for Applied Research, Technology and Innovation,
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