Tag: lab renovation
When I was growing up, I was often told not to “put all my eggs in one basket”. This phrase is meant to convey the idea of risk management – being sure changes in circumstances could not ruin all plans. Even as a young adult watching my grandfather’s horses run at Sunland Park Racetrack, I knew that hedging my bets (literally and figuratively) was probably a wise strategy. Rarely did I bet on a horse to win – it was usually more lucrative to “baseball” a quinella. If luck was not on my side, after my $20 for betting was gone my friend Bob and I would become spectators for the remainder of the evening. If we hit a race or two, it meant we went home with more than we came with. Relatively cheap entertainment, punctuated with support for my grandfather’s stable of horses.
The BIMS program is now looking at the reality of not having our labs ready for the beginning of school. Our $20 in wagers is gone and now we are spectators as walls are built, cabinets are installed, and equipment arrives from suppliers. Did we put all our eggs in one basket, with the expectation that all work would be done by August 23? No. Had we done so, all those eggs now would be broken. We began contingency plans for teaching in alternate spaces before the summer began. Yesterday, science building faculty met to complete the details of what might be taught where and when in order to deliver our programs without compromising quality. We took those broken eggs and scrambled them to make an omelet – to rescue a delightful outcome from an unwanted one.
I’ve often heard that politics is like making sausage – you don’t want to know what goes on behind the closed doors! I have a new appreciation for that mental image after being involved in the BIMS labs renovation this summer. Behind the closed doors of the construction area things are going on with little visible indication of progress being made…and we’re supposed to be in the labs in about three weeks. I think it is safe to say – we’ll be moving into the labs in September! Arghh!
Construction is a bit like a living organism – what you see on the surface belies all that must happen metabolically and genetically deep within. In construction, those underlying activities are plumbing and electrical and cabling and ductwork. Without the infrastructure, the surface appearance is meaningless – the unseen stuff is what makes the seen stuff work. All of us at McMurry and in Biomedical Science are eagerly awaiting the day when the chaos of construction transitions into the order of new spaces and we can move on to our purpose – teaching and research with bright students.
We are not waiting for completion of construction to begin readying ourselves for the fall semester. In the works are alternative educational activities until the labs are ready – simulations, field trips, etc. We also are busy ordering the equipment and supplies that will go into those spaces. So, when we get the go-ahead to occupy the labs there will be a flurry of activity transforming spaces into teaching and research labs. You are all invited to come visit and see for yourselves why great excitement fills the air on campus.
As part of the renovation this summer, our program was asked what equipment we might need to help usher in new teaching and research opportunities for our students. We were excited to have the opportunity to evaluate what our faculty and students want to do in our labs and to adjust our equipment to allow that work to happen.
Our labs are extremely well supplied with equipment for teaching genetics and molecular biology, so this summer we will add some equipment to help us investigate cell physiology and growth. One of those items we made sure to include was fermenters. We ordered five. These fermenters will allow our students to study growth of microbes. Maybe they’ll find out how to maximize growth of oil-eating microbes, how to improve antibiotic production by bacteria they isolate (maybe one of them will come up with a new drug?!), or how to modify foods to improve their safety. Just another example of how BIMS puts learning into action to solve world problems.