So What DO I DO Now? Helping Students Deconstruct and Reconstruct Lab Safety Protocols

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Students will be able to identify required lab safety practices used when preparing solid media in order to determine when violations could occur, correct these actions and avoid potential hazards through the evaluation of lab safety protocols.

Big Idea

Students should always demonstrate proper health and safety practices when working in the biotechnology lab but getting student to master these routines quickly requires new approaches to "practice"!


5 minutes

In an effort to be able to create novel antibiotics we began with the end in mind and reflect on the current biomedical dilemma and pressing unmet medical need that initiated the journey we are on today! In preparation for future lessons which involve the testing of novel drug therapies students will need several cultures of living bacteria in order to test the efficacy of the antibiotics we design here in our classroom laboratory. In today’s lesson you will continue to learn skills, methods, and procedures for culturing bacteria and maintaining a safe, aseptic work environment. We begin with a previewing our nightly homework, which provides the opportunity for you to evaluate another current global, medical dilemma in preparation for our work in the biotech industry.


SWBAT identify required lab safety practices used when preparing solid media in order to determine when violations could occur, correct these actions and avoid potential hazards. 


BT. 1.4 Demonstrate proper health and safety practices, including use of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for  situations, emergency equipment, storage of chemicals, reagents and compounds, and maintenance of equipment.


10 minutes

Engage (Activate Student Thinking)

In the lesson guide provided, please compose an appropriate caption for this cover of Science Magazine. Be certain to capture the message being illustrated in both the picture and the title on the cover of this issue of Science magazine.


15 minutes

Explore (Guided/Student-Centered Activity)

Station #1: SOP 101 (Media Prep)

Previous student classwork and homework consisted of recording notes while viewing a Solid Media Prep training video then creating a rough draft of a Media Prep SOP based on the protocol illustrated in the video. In this lesson students will evaluate the final drafts of the SOP they and their peers have composed and that we placed on our classroom Edmodo site for review.

Student use the SOP template/checklist provided to evaluate at least three student- generated SOP’s A, B, C, D, E, F.

Media Prep Video SOP Checklist Rubric

I. Purpose (The purpose statement identifies the goal of the SOP.) 

II. Scope (The scope of the SOP identifies who needs to follow the procedure and what the procedure covers.)

III. Responsibility (List the roles that are needed for each task in the procedure.)

IV. References / Related Document (All other SOPs, documents, or government publications that are directly referenced in the SOP.)

V. Definitions (You can use this section as a glossary to define any acronyms or abbreviations that are used in the procedure.)

VI. General Information (Provide background information, or list any warnings or precautions before performing a procedure, this section is the place to list them.)

VII. Materials and Equipment (List all of the materials and equipment needed to complete the procedure.)

VIII. Procedure (This section will include how to perform the task or process covered in the procedure.)

IX. Analysis (Give the reader/user a clear picture of what the procedure is trying to accomplish.)


20 minutes

Explain (Formulate Ideas)

Station #2: Deconstructing & Evaluating SOP’s

At this station students are asked – What is a flowgram? Why is it beneficial to create a flowgram of the laboratory protocols (SOPs) we are issued before completing the task? Using the flowgram rubric, students have an opportunity to evaluate other students flowgrams or illustrated SOP's such as Student A, Student B, and Student C.


30 minutes

Elaborate (Apply and Extend Understanding)/Evaluate (Monitor Understanding)

Station #3: Media Prep Digital Training Courses

Students will complete the Autoclave Operation and Solid Media Prep virtual laboratory courses at the URL’s indicated. Be certain to instruct students to complete the course guides as you complete each course as well as print their certifications upon completion.