Scientist for a week

November 22, 2019 - Jane Moore

Archie Nelson is a 4th year pupil at Largs Academy. Archie had been inspired to come to Ayrshire College for his school work experience after reading about Marr College pupil, Daisy Dudgeon, who had spent her time as a Lab Technician for a week at the College’s Kilwinning Campus in 2018.

Archie tells us about his week at Ayrshire College and how it has helped him at the start of his career path.

“I was looking for a science area to work in so I thought the college would be a good place to start. I read Daisy’s blog and I thought it sounded interesting. Working in the Science department for the week really appealed to me so I contacted the department and it has all worked out.

I know that I want to work in a STEM area. I’m currently taking Physics and Chemistry, and plan to take Biology in sixth year. That’s where my strengths are and I’m aiming to do well in my prelims in the STEM subjects I’ve chosen.”

Under the guidance of Engineering and Science Technician, Christine Gorrian, we asked Archie what he had been doing as part of the work experience in the Kilwinning Campus science labs at Ayrshire College. It’s been a busy week!

Monday - we labelled the petri plates with names and dates getting ready for the college classes, and also did some general cleaning and maintaining of the equipment. I also got the chance to work with Brian, the Electrical Technician at Kilwinning Campus who showed me how he makes and designs his own circuits, which was interesting. To see this kind of thing in real life is much more useful as it puts into practice what I’ve learned in school.

Tuesday - we prepared experiments for the Microbiology class, which involved making and pouring the agar. I learned that it’s important to keep the agar warm and in a sterile environment, which was then stored and used for classes. We also took bacteria and put it into a broth. I really enjoyed doing these kind of practical things.

Wednesday - I took part in two classes, so experienced college as a Biochemistry student would. I mostly enjoyed taking part in the experiments as it was very hands on. I could use the things that Christine and I had made up for the class, so I got to see the whole process from start to finish.

Thursday - We disposed of the plates used from the day before, making sure that everything was sterile as that’s really important.

Friday – Christine gave me feedback at the end of the week. I’ve taken away a lot of learning about Microbiology and also the job which is why I came here.

I’ve learned so much about what Christine’s job is like. There’s all this stuff behind the scenes that she works on to keep the department ticking over.

It’s definitely been worthwhile coming to the College’s science department. I’ve loved it, it’s been a really good work experience.

I’m considering Medicine as a career so it’s been really useful. I’ve enjoyed every part of it. Plus the refectory food is great!!”

Find out more about Science courses at Ayrshire College.

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