Paper circuits and dilutions

I signed up for the EdLab paper circuits workshop a couple of weeks ago and it was on today at 1pm in the Brooks Building, so I missed out on the first talks at the Wednesday meets. The session was really good fun and has lead to talks of helping out for future events with schools. First we looked at simple circuits with LED's and batteries, but after that we had a go at using a CodeBug - a small device that every year 5 and 6 child is given now at school. It is a simple device that easily allows you to complete simple coding on a computer, needing only access to the internet in order to do this. 

The CodeBug plugs into the computer via USB and you can create your own code or download other shared codes from users around the world with a few clicks of a button. I have never had a go at coding before but this simple and easy to learn format meant I could complete a simple message in a relatively quick time frame. Below is a short video of what I managed to do.

In the lab we tried doing a dilution, yet another different method that we have decided to test seeing as we haven't yet got our pure culture. This method involved filling seven small containers with 10cl of saline solution (a mixture of purified water and salt) before directly swabbing the squid on the area where it was glowing brightest. We then broke off the end of the swab in the first container and then vortexed it so the bacteria was completely mixed in to the saline solution. Next we took 1cl of that solution and put it into one of the other unused containers and marked it -1, this was then vortexed and 1cl was taken out and spread on the agar plate with the corresponding number as well as another 1cl being put into the next saline solution -2. This was repeated until we got 6 complete dilutions, each time you were diluting to a tenth so in theory you should get ten times fewer number of bacteria in each solution and on the agar plates. This will hopefully allow us to get some isolated colonies, it should be much easier to pick out an isolated colony if there are only a handful of glowing spots coupled with less growth on the plate overall, which is what we hope will happen here.

The spreaders we used were very different to the swabs and loops we have used previously, they are flat headed so they can spread out the dilution as evenly as possible using the full agar plate. We then put all the agar plates into the shoebox and into the incubator to grow for the next 24 hours. 

After the Wednesday session me and Nat decided to have a chat about where our work was heading as he had come into our group quite late and I have a very fixed idea in my head about what I want the finished piece to look like and how I want it all to come together. I feel like I didn't want to force my ideas onto him and that we both agreed that as well as working on this idea together, he would also pursue some of his own ideas and work separate to ours. I feel like this was a good idea for both of us because as an Artist I want that freedom and I'm sure Nat does too. It was a very much needed discussion and I feel like we both took something from it and can now work better both together and with our independant endeavours.