Tuesday, 25 February 2014

First Y10 skills tests begin today

The need to train students in laboratory skills from school to University is a key feature of the scientific success in diagnostics, research and industry. I regularly visit expert labs learning new methods; I just spent a year at the School of Tropical Medicine doing just that, and what a pleasure and privilege it was. I have mentioned before the key role played by planning in the success of experiments and the value of failure (as commented on by the CEO of Phynexus). I would like to draw to your attention something that I am constantly asked by our partners: can you make sure students at the UTC are given a grounding in the technical skills required in a contemporary laboratory.

From the first class at Y10, where I asked you to verify the Beer Lambert law and demonstrate the relationship between visible spectroscopy and sample concentration, to the accurate dispensing of thousandths of millilitres using automatic pipettes you have come a long way. Today you will begin the assembly of your skills passport in which you will all individually be able to show any future employer, or academic interviewer, that you are proficient in the technical skills that are used in research, diagnostics and industry today. Take pride in your lab skills, it will serve you well in all aspects of your future working life, and in your hobbies! Today we will see how you can accurately pipette restriction enzyme reactions and analyse them by agarose gel electrophoresis. You have all done this before, but now I want perfect data. Good luck!

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