Basic Lab Techniques
Review the metric system, then meet the lab bench tool of the day: the micropipette.
Straight Lines/ Standard Curves
What is "direct proportionality", and how does it relate to your paycheck? How can direct proportionality help you turn a photospectrometer from a boring looking paperweight into a useful device for measuring what's in your water? Extra bonus: Learn all about Beer ... s Law and how to calculate extinction.
Logs and pH
Logs can help you get a handle on numbers that are very large or very small, but most people have a hard time remembering how they work. Learn an easy way to remember them, and get some practice estimating logs of numbers large and small. Discover how scientists use logs to measure real phenomena like the acidity of oranges (pH scale) and the strength of earthquakes (Richter scale).
Calculating Molar Weight
A mole is a number in chemistry, but you'd be surprised how many non-chemical moles we can cram into one short module. Meet garden moles, mole rats, and chicken mole, and also learn to calculate the molecular weight of caffeine and battery acid. Make the periodic table work for YOU!
The Size of Things
Review and practice converting between different metric measurements, then take a tour of the micro- and nano- worlds, meeting strange beasts like monstous dustmites and prickly pollen along the way. Get some practice estimating size visually in microscope field. Know your beasts: never be embarrassed by overestimating a virus again.
Captain Flint’s Roadside Spectacular Aquarium has fallen into disrepair. It is filled with a single shark, some guppies, and a whole lot of cyanobacteria scum. The intern needs to count the cyanobacteria before they start repairs, and to do so, he buys a fancy counting tray called a "hemocytometer." Hilarity ensues as intern bickers with boss over how to use it.
Follow the Units (AKA Conversions)
Learn how to express a number in different units and convert from one to the other without breaking a sweat, staring at the ceiling, or biting your nails.
How do you count something that runs into the millions or billions? Learn how to estimate the number of bacteria in a sample through serial dilution, plating, and scaling up.