Saturday, March 21, 2009

What I did at work last week

I work in the science department at a Junior high school. I have been there for about 10 years now. I took over the position from a woman who did this job for 32 years, and retired. Some of my responsibilities include ordering supplies, setting up all labs, mixing all chemical solutions, in charge of all chemicals in school, inventory, etc. Last week I had to make Agar. I do this once a year, and it is a process. Then the kids take the petre dishes around the school with cotton swabs and swipe dirty surfaces, then swipe it in the dish and watch bacteria grow over the next few weeks. It's really fun for the kids, and there are germs EVERYWHERE! Below is my office/lab, where all of the fun stuff happens. First I lay out all of the petre dishes. I have to make 600 of these little suckers, so it takes me pretty much all week. It is a step by step process, that is why it is so time consuming.

Then I weigh out the agar, (43 grms), mix with water (1500 mls.), then have to bring it to a boil for 3 minutes.

Then place the cooked agar into flasks.

Then place the flasks into this big ol' scary pressure cooker. Wait for it to reach the right pressure, then cook again for 15 minutes.

After it cools down, I poor the agar into the petre dishes. Let it set (kind of like jello.) Then refrigerate. One batch only makes about 70, so that's why it pretty much takes me all week to make.

And walla', the finished product!

Have a great day everyone!!


  1. Cool! I bet you are a fun teacher! Having a good science teacher makes all the difference in the world especially for girls. Katelyn had the best Jr. High Science and Math teacher and loves those subjects now. Have a great Tuesday!

  2. Ha! It feels like CSI sometimes.

    Frau, I'm not a teacher, though I feel like it sometimes to the teachers themselves. They are so young now, and are always coming to me for questions. I work for the chairperson of the science department. Don't work at all with the kids. It is only 3 days a week, and the only position of it's kind in the district. I love it!

  3. This looks like a very interesting and fun job!

  4. That was a great post- very informative. Three days a week? My kind of job!