Top Tech Tips?

As it's Christmas... a time for giving...what is your all time Top Tech Tip?
That one tip that has saved you most time or solved a perpetual problem or the one that you wished you had known about years ago!
You're only allowed one so choose wisely young Skywalker...

Here's mine:
I make up all purpose buffers at different pH's and bung them in the freezer. Don't use them all that often (Biologist) but when I do, they just need defrosting overnight. It saves me hours of time over the school year!
 

paul r

COMMITTEE
Pre set as much equipment as possible especially for the required practicals or commonly requested practicals .

Class sets of chemicals
Class sets of reagents
etc

and when it comes back in reset for next time

list all equipment that cannot be reset on a sheet and keep with the box , to make up on the day, for example fresh food or reagents that do not have a long shelf life , power packs that cannot just be kept for one practical etc

Obviously the above is not achievable in a small cramped prep room
 
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clairelucas

COMMITTEE
Buy salt and sugar cheaply from supermarkets, rather than suppliers. Never going to run out, and it took me how long? and this forum, to work that out...
Also nick 'rocksalt' from the site winter salting bins...
Also I have a magnetic whiteboard on fridge and freezer, so don't have to open them to see what I've got in stock...
 
Using bin liner bags to help manage large scale dissections (where cleaning between uses in not feasible).
Every spring, around STEAM week, we have a Curriculum Day for year 8. Dissections in all labs, all day. Hearts, kidneys, eyes (also brain and pluck as demos). It gets quite hectic as you can imagine, especially resetting it...
To speed things up we put our dissection dishes in small/medium bin liner bags. After the kids are finished chopping the organs, they simply slip the bag off, tie it up and place in a larger, heavy duty bin bag. The only thing left to do is replacing the bin liner and the next group can carry on with new dissection.
Also I found out that large supermarket mushroom boxes make good emergency dissection dishes...
 

paul r

COMMITTEE
Buy salt and sugar cheaply from supermarkets, rather than suppliers. Never going to run out, and it took me how long? and this forum, to work that out...
Also nick 'rocksalt' from the site winter salting bins...
Also I have a magnetic whiteboard on fridge and freezer, so don't have to open them to see what I've got in stock...
Nick the rocksalt ! I am a honest science technician how can I possibly steal ! I having never stolen anything in my life , apart from some choccy biscuits and a few more things ...............:thief:
 
I make up all purpose buffers at different pH's and bung them in the freezer. Don't use them all that often (Biologist) but when I do, they just need defrosting overnight. It saves me hours of time over the school year!
Do you make them up with tablets or following cleapss recipes?
 
Buy salt and sugar cheaply from supermarkets, rather than suppliers. Never going to run out, and it took me how long? and this forum, to work that out...
Also nick 'rocksalt' from the site winter salting bins...
Also I have a magnetic whiteboard on fridge and freezer, so don't have to open them to see what I've got in stock...
ha ha I nick the rock salt from the onsite winter salting bins too too!!!!
 
writing on bottles & jars how to make each solution
eg: " 250ml of 0.1M = 2.43g" and so on....
I do this on most things for most common molarities needed
Saves so much time & brain work throughout year!

Can I have another? Freezing anything that can be frozen! Solutions, plants, whatever. Try things that you wouldn't think would work. Don't just listen to anyone that says it won't ;)
 

clairelucas

COMMITTEE
writing on bottles & jars how to make each solution
eg: " 250ml of 0.1M = 2.43g" and so on....
I do this on most things for most common molarities needed
Saves so much time & brain work throughout year!

Can I have another? Freezing anything that can be frozen! Solutions, plants, whatever. Try things that you wouldn't think would work. Don't just listen to anyone that says it won't ;)
I do that type of labelling on my stock acid etc, plus acid dilutions stuck on the outaide of my fume cupboard, along with the CLEAPSS chemical waste flowchart. Anything to stop me looking something up for the umpteenth time!
 
Can I have another? Freezing anything that can be frozen! Solutions, plants, whatever. Try things that you wouldn't think would work. Don't just listen to anyone that says it won't ;)

Freezing sterilized nutrient agar. I usually make a batch of 6x250ml conical flasks, 150ml in each flask. One flask is enough to pour 20 small or 10 larger Petri dishes.
And next time I need it, I just grab it from the freezer and bring it to boil on a hot plate :)
 
I do that type of labelling on my stock acid etc, plus acid dilutions stuck on the outaide of my fume cupboard, along with the CLEAPSS chemical waste flowchart. Anything to stop me looking something up for the umpteenth time!
Handy for chemicals & powders, I need to test our new Amylase & do it. Each blooming tub will test differently Grr.
So it will be Eg:" for 1% starch at room temp, 0.1% = ( insert seconds/minutes)
 
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