Bench work in the biotechnology laboratory requires that technicians possess certain fundamental math skills and the ability to apply these skills. Beginning biotechnology students often need a "refresher" of basic algebra, scientific notation, logarithms and graphing. They also need practice applying these concepts to the types of problems encountered in the laboratory. This course tries to address both needs, beginning with a review of basic mathematical and algebraic concepts, and continuing with an exploration of laboratory applications. Students learn different methods to solve problems in unit conversion, solution-making and preparation of dilutions. They also discuss the fundamentals of graphing both linear and exponential equations and explore some of the laboratory scenarios in which these types of graphing are relevant. Throughout this course, the importance of units (of volume, weight, etc.) is stressed, as is the need to remain mindful of the context in which various math problems are presented. Beginning students generally take this course simultaneously with the course "Basic Laboratory Methods in a Regulated Environment". The opportunity to practice math skills in a separate course helps students gain a competency and confidence that is difficult to achieve within the context of a laboratory course alone. An ability to construct, solve and analyze math problems is fundamental to students' success in both an academic environment and in their future workplaces.
Submitted by Mary Ellen Kraus
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This week by week summary shows a typical progression of students through this course. Each week is devoted to one or several competencies, and is supported by a combination of reading assignments, classroom activities and lectures, practice problems, homework assignments and quizzes. This schedule is organized into topical units which may be reordered, removed or enhanced, depending upon the needs of the students. The additional materials indicated on this summary are available to instructors, but require registration and log-in.
Click on the appropriate link to download the schedule in either Word or pdf format.