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ABE at St. Ivo Academy, Cambridgeshire, UK

Tips for Techs

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The author, Jonathan Davies

First published in the ABE UK monthly newsletter.

At St. Ivo, we have been running the Amgen Biotech Experience for our year 13 groups for the past 7 years. Each year we aim to create individual trays of equipment and reagents per student, which works really well in the classroom. Our first tip for techs would be to ask for reduced prep the first couple of days the kit arrives and spend those days aliquoting out all the reagents into sets for each lab and then re-freezing them. Doing this makes everything run a lot smoother for change over between labs (chuck what you don't need in the autoclave bag and top up from the pre-aliquoted solutions) plus helps to identify if you need extra of anything in plenty of time. The handy tech list per lab is amazing for this, too. 
 
From my own perspective, running the ABE course has always been enjoyable and it gives me an opportunity to pull out the stops. We tend to use a large 4-levelled trolley so we can have individual sets for students (1 or 2 student sets per tray) with an autoclave bag taped to the side along with any of the shared equipment/solutions. We find this works really well and allows for a smoother change around. The students get a lot out of the course and always have very positive things to say by the end of it (and not just that there are some amazing orange gloves). I have only ever had positive feedback from the teachers running the course who seem to enjoy it as much as the students.
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If you would like to share your ABE experience as a blog post on the ABE Program Office website, please contact Kerry Ouellet at kouellet@edc.org. We'd love to share more from our amazing educators!

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