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View Diary: Try running a science class on $2.87/ student/ YEAR (154 comments)

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  •  THIS is a great idea. NKU has an out-reach (0+ / 0-)

    program, and they sneak us concentrated chemicals that we can dilute ... but I never thought about asking to borrow equipment!  Our incubator died, last Spring, and I literally cried.  It was a 60's era thing that a parent who was a janitor at a hospital was told to throw away, and he brought it to us.  We loved that incubator.  

    We have a really GREAT project that we did in our cell unit swabbing all sorts of places and then testing the efficacy of cleaning product claims ... as well as testing antibiotics ...

    The kids really loved creating their own experimental designs and carrying through the entire scientific method to produce high quality lab reports and articles ...

    We're also going to try a Donors effort to see if we can get another incubator ... and maybe even a sterilizer to pour our own plates!  We could do some real micro if we had that!

    Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

    by bkamr on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 01:53:19 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Is DIYing it an option? (0+ / 0-)

      Do you have anyone with experience with basic electronics in your school, either a teacher or a student hobbyist?  Or some sort of hacker/maker?  An incubator's a pretty simple thing; usually a heating element and a jumped-up thermostat.  It might be simple to fix.  And even if the electronics are shot, it might be possible to replace them with an arduino and about $20 in parts, if that.

      If you want a steam based pressure sterilizer, you can certainly make do with a pressure canner/pressure cooker, so long as it goes to ... crud, it's been a while, is it 15 psi?  I know some of the cruddier ones don't go high enough, but I got an old one for about $20 from Goodwill.  This is totally useable for relatively small-scale agar/growth media sterilization, though you have to be sure to allow the thing to cool down and the pressure to normalize, well, normally before opening it, or you'll end up with agar froth everywhere.  

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