Alternatives to bacteria incubator

Our department doesnt have the budget for a proper incubator, and to be fair we would probably only use it a couple of times a year.
Has anybody made their own incubator or have suggestions of what to use instead. I was thinking a sealed box and heat mat?
 
I guess what you are going to have to make sure is that the temperature doesn't get above 27C otherwise you run the risk of growing harmful bacteria.
 
Depends on the size required, but you can get mini-ovens instead of full size incubators and they normally will fit a full class set of plates and are about £500ish compared to over a £1000 for an incubator.

Homemade solutions might not be safe especially if it has to be left overnight, but perhaps a waterbath would work.

For example, if you put plates inside a closed tupperware box and then submerge it in a waterbath it might keep temperature reasonably well?
 
Also depending on the ambient room temperature of your labs, you could maybe get away with an insulated box rather than a heated one. Insulation would lessen the temperature difference between night and day for example but it wouldn't be as exact of course
 
You can just incubate at room temp as JFKtech said
or heated plant propagators are pretty cheap and won't get too hot - that's what we use.
 
How about an insulated food box ("cool box") with a wine makers heat pad? Use a data logger, if you've got suitable one to monitor the temperature, or at least a min / max temperature thermometer.
 
plates can easily be grown at room tempurature. I'm sure this is in the CLEAPSS guidlines somewhere, although if your preproom is chilly they may take longer then you need to grow them. We will often only incubate for 24 hours then put in the fridge untill the class needs to look at them anyway.
The only issue you may have is if you need to grow broths at all, but if your not doing A-level then this shouldn't be a problem as you won't need them.
 
We generally keep them in a switched off incubator in a warm lab now anyway as the room temperature tends to hover around 25 C and so not much point heating them during the day.
 
We generally keep them in a switched off incubator in a warm lab now anyway as the room temperature tends to hover around 25 C and so not much point heating them during the day.
Same here. I use the incubator in the hope that it will keep things cooler than the room temperature in my prep room!
 
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