The Year 12 Biology excursion to the Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC), which took place on the 5th of June, was a great experience for learning more things about our current topic, the immune system.
Our day started with a short presentation about the cells involved in fighting diseases. Things got more interesting as we started modelling out the actions of the immune system with all sorts of objects, such as using tongs as cell markers, nets as cell dendrites (arms), little plastic cups as cell receptors and ping pong balls as toxins released by bacteria.
Right after this presentation we got the chance to work with real researchers, who are usually working on a range of biological science areas such as neuroscience or cancer research. They helped us conduct two experiments related to testing for antibodies in a cow’s blood and figuring out the right dose of antibiotic needed to cure an infected cow. We were taught how to properly use a pipette and how bacteria are swabbed on an agar plate for incubation.
We all had an amazing day there, surrounded by great people who had fun educating us about the things they are interested in. It was also great to work in an actual laboratory and to see the different tools used for experiments. I enjoyed the day very much and am looking forward to our next excursion there.
Elisabeth Dieck, Year 12