As faculty prepare for online Fall 2020 classes, tales of ingenuity and perseverance abound. Biology professor Jacquie Van Hoomissen shares the following from her colleague, Ryan Kenton, biology:
“I hope you are all staying sane (and healthy) prepping like mad for the semester that no one has ever had before.
I am currently assembling take home kits for Micro Lab – something that I thought I would never do – but here we are. So, what is the best, most fun, ingenious, item in the kit?
- Some may say the glitter/water mixture that can be streaked to obtain “isolated colonies” onto a homemade gelatin petri dish
- Others will say the shipping box itself, which once punctured a few times will act as a “tube rack”
- Most will agree it is the foldscopes (https://www.foldscope.com/), a paper microscope that once hooked to your phone can achieve 1000x magnification (I have attached my pictures of bakers yeast and sweater fuzz)
- But no, the crown jewel was created last night by my genius wife. By using our kitchen microplane we shaved 40 different colors of crayons into a container. We then tixed in water and aliquoted into 1.5ml tubes. A circular piece of paper is then cut and placed inside of a petri dish. This mixture can then be poured over the plate by the student to create a diverse set of “colonies.” Students can then pick and patch these using the provided “sterile” toothpicks onto a 32 grid on another petri dish–something that is done in the lab to begin to find antibiotic producing bacteria.
For more information or to marvel over his genius wife, contact Kenton at 503.943.7694 or firstname.lastname@example.org.