An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh. — Tom Nansbury

Due to my management and health and safety training, I’ve always been closely aligned to CLEAPSS . For many years we have followed a method to do the practical activity Investigating photosynthetic dehydrogenase activity in chloroplasts: (“the Hill reaction”) provided by our examination board.

A friend once told me that one of the most frightening experiences of his life was when both he, and his now wife, were waiting very anxiously for the result to appear on one of those pregnancy testing kits. 

Recently I was invited to join my workplace CoVid-19 Self testing scheme. With my own partner in the high risk category, I agreed. The next day, I received a CoVid-19 rapid lateral flow home testing kit. We were advised to test ourselves on Sunday and Wednesday of each week and there was sufficient materials to last one month. So early on Sunday morning, when my household was still fast asleep, I opened the box and placed its contents and instructions on top of my kitchen unit. I read the insructions, watched the 14 minute video and began the test procedure. It felt like an A Level practical. I probably would have felt more comfortable wearing my lab coat at this point. Nevertheless, I used the "cotton bud" to swab my tonsils and nasal cavity. That was unpleasant. I wanted to sneeze. After depositing the contents of the innoculated liquid onto the test strip, I set the countdown counter of my mobile phone for 30 minutes as directed in the instructions and waited. That was even more harder than the shoving a cotton bud up my nasal cavity! My mind quickly flooded with "Could I be positive?", "What if I'm positive?" 

My mobile phone loudly sang out a cheery melody after 30 minutes. I looked at the test strip. One line at the "C". I re-read the instruction to check and found, that I was negative.!Whoopee dance time.

Returning back to my friend whose girlfriend thought she was pregnant. It tured out on that occasion she was negative as well. But I now understood the frustration and worry the two of them must have gone through on that Sunday morning so many years ago. The entire process took me on the first occasion 90 minutes. However, now that I am familiar with the practical (sorry testing procedure) I should be able to do this on future occaisons in less than 40 minutes time. 

 

Many of you will remember the Tim Hunkin Channel 4 programmes on "The secret lives of machines" by Tim Hunkin and Rex Garrod.

Tim is launching a new YouTube series of videos aimed at makers and designers. the trail for which is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JAgXz6xO0s

These look as if they will be both entertaining and informative. They will be launching at the start of next month so keep an eye out for them.

Perhaps I'll learn some tips as to where I've been going wrong all these years.

 

Boris Johnson has set out the government’s school reopening plans, confirming that all schools will reopen to all pupils on March 8.

The prime minister said that “two weeks from Monday 22nd February, pupils and students in all schools and further education settings can safely return to face-to-face teaching, supported by twice weekly testing of secondary schools and college pupils”. Those pupils and teachers in Northern Ireland and Scotland will be shortly informed of their own arrangements

Arrangements for Scotland

"Scotland's youngest children and some senior pupils returned to the classroom on Monday, and Ms Sturgeon said schools were the "immediate priority".

It is hoped that the next phase will see the remaining primary school pupils return from 15 March, with more senior pupils back in the classroom "for at least part of their learning".

Deputy First Minister John Swinney told Radio Scotland's Drivetime show that this would not just be senior pupils studying for qualifications, and that he wanted to see all S4 to S6 pupils "back into the school system" on this date if the data allows."

Arrangements for Northern Ireland

There is a "strong case" for all pupils in Northern Ireland to return to classrooms by 8 March, Education Minister Peter Weir has said.

He said he believed health officials at Stormont had been "over-cautious" in recommending a phased return. On Monday his party leader First Minister Arlene Foster had called for the executive to revisit its plan. Mr Weir said he wanted to see "movement across the board" in getting pupils back into classrooms more quickly.

Timstar is expanding into learning spaces laboratory designs and by completing their survey will help them ensure that the specialist teaching spaces they design are future-fit, engaging, and inspirational. If you are planning any new labs, prep rooms or redevelopments they would love to hear from you.

Please consider be kind enough to complete their Timstar - The Science of Space – Laboratories of Tomorrow Survey  

The Science of Space – Laboratories of Tomorrow (timstar.co.uk)

The level of science technician support in schools is falling, says a recent Royal Society of Chemistry report

School science technicians are often overlooked as a profession. That’s why RSC – in partnership with the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and with input from the Association for Science Education (ASE) – commissioned a piece of research analysing the school science technician workforce in England.

The research was carried out by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER), and analysed the Department for Education’s school workforce census – an annual data collection of school staff in England.

Today RSC is announcing the publication of a new report, "The Science Technician Workforce in English Secondary Schools", detailing the results of this research.

Read both the key findings and read the report here

The Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Award 2020 has been awarded to Stacey Wheeler from Mounts Bay Academy in Penzance, Cornwall.

Now in its twelfth year, the competition is open to science technicians working in Education across the world. The judging panel, consisting of esteemed industry professionals, look for evidence of individuals who go ‘above and beyond’ in their daily work - Science Technicians who embrace their work, enjoy the challenges and look to offer continuous improvement in the services they deliver.

https://gratnells.com/blog/post/gratnells-names-science-technician-of-the-year-2020

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