iCLEM Week One, by Mary Tran

Monday, June 19, 2017

On Monday, since I didn’t attend iCLEM’s family night it was pretty awkward for me because I didn’t know anyone. We all sat in awkward silence in the main lobby room until Mr.C aka Lauchlin came to get us. We all got assigned seats and laptops which was pretty cool. And it was pretty convenient how they gave us our own room to stay in if we came early or came late, which made me happy because it was better than sitting in the lobby. We did an icebreaker to ease off the awkward vibe among us eight students by playing a “snowball” game which required throwing balled up questions at each other. Later on the day we were required to do our General Employee Radiological Training (GERT) training because it was needed to access our badges and for us to be in lab because of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). After lunch time we went to the Berkeley Lab’s main office on the hill for badging which was pretty cool because they gave us a cool badge holder too. It felt really official as if we were scientists too working at JBEI. Our required homework for that day was to bring an item that we think produces cellulose.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

On Tuesday, we all brought in our items in. I brought an apple. In the morning we did a ‘get to know me’ poster and posted it all over the classroom for decoration. Something that was interesting to me was the food program at JBEI for the iCLEM students. Except for catering food for us everyday, they provided us a chance to pick food from a grocery list and we prepare meals ourselves without buying store bought food all the time. Then Ben, the Safety Manager, came in to talk to us about safety in the building and lab safety as well Personal Protective Equipment. Later on the day we inoculated our samples and put them in warm rooms that were at certain temperatures that produced a foul smell honestly.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

This day was short day because we finished our online training and had presentations from director Steve Singer about deconstruction of plants. And during lunch we had a little panel from the scientists which gave us the opportunity to ask them anything we want. This way, we became more comfortable with them as they shared their life experiences and how they got to JBEI and their struggles/successes of being here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

We started off with a presentation of iCLEM social media so we can share and promote what we do at JBEI in iCLEM. And I thought that was pretty cool because we are able to share it with potential future iCLEM kids next year! Then we learned about how to be financially stable and how to work with our paychecks so we don’t end up going broke. Next, Mr.C taught us how to write emails and how to use ‘BCC:’, and ‘CC:’ so we don’t embarrass ourselves in the future (which was very helpful information). Then to the fun part, with Science Advisor Jesus we were able to practice and learn about using different pipettes and what we can do to prevent breaking them. Last but not least, we went over Excel training with Mr.C who taught us a cool trick to organize our data in a quick and easy way.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The last day of our first week! We spent the morning getting ready for our lab by answering pre-lab questions and reading over our lab procedures for the day. Then we had a presentation from Chris about his job and work of measurements. Something that I really like is that we get to have a 15 min break after every activity and which were able to eat snacks drink water and go to the bathroom. After that we went to Subway to eat. And then we had a presentation about fuel synthesis. Following that we had to start and finish our fermentation lab which was a process that requires patience and consistency. It gave a glimpse of a scientist’s life and experiences. At the end of week, I can say that I’ve learned so much out of JBEI already and I’m excited for the next 7 weeks.