Choose practical project B? ?
After a first theoretical block, I chose a practical module for my block D. This module offers multiple practical projects, and depending on your degree courses, you receive either a project based on plant science or a project based on biochemistry . But if you have already chosen practical project A, then you will receive a bioinformatics-related project for this one.
Since I am on a path leading to a degree in molecular genetics, I was given the project based on biochemistry. I really enjoyed my five weeks in the lab, along with my learning curve. Here are some tips for your time in the lab:
- Before moving on to the essential tips, I recommend that you be patient with yourself and your lab partner, as you are both on a learning curve. Read the protocol you need for the day and complete the calculations by discussing it in advance with your lab partner. This will reduce a lot of confusion.
- Remember that you and your lab partner are a team; if something isn’t working, it’s a collective goal to fix it – don’t passively point fingers! And if something doesn’t work out, don’t take it personally – take a step back and try to assess what could have gone wrong!
- I recommend being at the lab as soon as possible; pretty much all the necessary information is there, and you and your lab partner need to devise a plan.
- During this plan, be sure to leave time for things that aren’t working. Until the second year, the protocols with which undergraduates work are relatively well tested, but this is the time when the experiments will fail. This is a good thing because you have to learn how to go back and troubleshoot the source of it – but to do that you need to set aside some time to step back and bounce back again.
- As part of your first week to-do list, be sure to add the task of testing everyday-use equipment like pipettes to verify that they dispense the correct volume. Make it a habit each time you enter a new lab.
- Another tip is to keep your lab book and write down even the little things you might leave in memory because you will need them when writing your project report.
- Although not directly related to this module, choose the second module wisely for this block, as the lab-related module will be labor intensive, and if both modules are heavy, finding a balance might become difficult.
Finally, enjoy the five weeks you have in the lab with an exceptionally supportive team of demonstrators and technicians. Good luck and have fun!
Thanks for the reading!