Who told them about algal balls!

Discussion in 'Science Technicians - General Discussion' started by Techitude, May 17, 2019.

  1. Techitude

    Techitude COMMITTEE

    We do AQA here so I've been sat smug that we dont have to do the algal balls for our required practical.

    However...all our science staff went to another school for a biology training session on Wednesday and were shown the lovely and, according to the trainer, super easy photosynthesis practical called algal balls!!

    Now our staff want to try it, one teacher has ever requested it for next week (no chance!)

    Am I just being grumpy that i want to try and dissuade them from doing it?
    Beaker and Joanne Walsh like this.
  2. I got told at a CPD course I went on you can cheat and use copper sulphate balls instead but I forgot to nick the details of it after the course.
  3. We don't have this as part of our SOW but my Biology teacher saw this on a course and we gave it a go last year, reports were that it worked well. Sadly I failed to keep the algae going over the summer and we didn't repeat it this year. Also I was off with a fractured wrist for quite a while and, as I'm a lone tech, lots of non-required practicals suffered.

    It's on the cards again for next year.

    I liked it. I guess I'm luckier than some though, as it's an additional extra and not a part of our course I didn't feel the pressure of trying to get a tricky practical to work!
  4. Lol, no. I hate this practical. It's a core here so we have to do it en masse :(
    I got algae growing really well, then suddenly there were strands of who knows what in it. I asked another school & they said it goes like that sometimes & the 'infection' (?) kills the algae :mad::( I'd had it going for a month!! I ended up with very little algae but lots of green string! ( like Bridget Jones blue soup :p)
    Had to start again after sterilising everything.
    It's one of those practicals that, if it all grows & goes well, is fun, if not it causes no end of hassle.
    clairelucas, Shannon and AllantheTech like this.
  5. We bought algae instead of growing by ourself. It worked well.
  6. My old biology tech just used to nod her head in agreement and then walk away and not order the stuff ........ wait 4/5 months for the conversation to come up again then rinse and repeat. She got away with it for about 4 years due to the teacher turnover and others just giving up.

    I quite liked the challenge so when I started at my new place I gave it a go. It's ok once you get in the groove of it, and churn it out a few times.
    Helen J likes this.
  7. Ok, interesting. Where from? Expensive?
  8. Love it! Can't get away with that with these new 'core' practicals though :(
  9. we bought from Blades. about 7 pounds.
  10. Huh, derrr, didn't think of them! Thanks. They are v quick at delivering so might try them next time.
    Now, if I could just get a company to come in & do the whole darn thing for me...
  11. I do AQA too, I fear the day one of the teachers discovers this prac. I'll keep schtum and my fingers crossed for now!
    Beaker likes this.