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Lab demonstrations

A part of being a postgraduates in the School of Biotechnology at DCU is lab demonstration responsibilities. I will be demonstrating the labs in Microbiology and Cell Biology for 1st year Undergraduates. I have demonstration duties on Thursdays for the whole day, with two different groups coming in for the morning and afternoon sessions. Going in I was quite worried since I have very limited experience in microbiology and no experience in cell biology. However the first practical was microbiology. At least I knew the concepts behind it and the basic techniques, through my job before starting my PhD. Unfortunately this is what happens when you are in the school of biotechnology.

However when I got to the lab I noticed things were quite different, since we would be working on an open bench rather than a laminar flow hood. Luckily we were too many demonstrators with a small number of students (here there are a number of demonstrators per class: a lecturer responsible who explains the different aspects of the lab and who oversees everything and is actually present throughout the experiment, unlike in Malta where they only pop in generally, if ever they pop in; and a number of postgrad demonstrators who are responsible for a bench of students, of up to 15 students or so and demonstrate each step of the experiment before the students go on to do the same thing). Therefore some of us got sent off whilst I stayed with the lecturer in charge who demonstrated for my group whilst I looked on.

In the second week i.e. this week, we again repeated the same practical with a different group of students. After seeing it being done last week I decided to take the plunge and try my hand at demonstrating it myself. The morning group was not a success. However for the evening group things went much better, since I knew a couple of mistakes I had done in the morning. For the evening group I also had a smaller number of students, so it was easier to explain something that I was not too confident about.

Next week we will have to demonstrate the next practical. Hope things go well 🙂

Dealing with these guys...hopefully they did not agree to proceed

Dealing with these guys...hopefully they did not agree to proceed

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