Live from DC, it’s an Edvotek Workshop!

Dear teachers,

You inspire us!  We know how hard you’ve been working to keep your students engaged over the past few weeks, and we want to let you know that we think you are doing an amazing job.

We’ve seen teachers doing PCR in their shed,

…filming chromatography experiments (with a trusty lab assistant),

…and setting up virtual classrooms, complete with Edvotek electrophoresis equipment!

We’ve even seen students setting up some pretty remarkable experiments at home.

vmacocss05_1156408475628-2-IMG_1333So, inspired by you all, I decided to try my hand at getting some experimentation on-line.  We decided to try live streaming a biotechnology experiment on our YouTube channel!  Now, I’m not new to the world of live on-line programming – I’ve run several webinars over the past few years.  Nor am I new to running electrophoresis demonstrations.  However, this was the first time I would be trying to demonstrate electrophoresis while running a live webinar!

My biggest challenge was choosing the right experiment.  There were a few things I considered before settling on a topic for the live stream.

  • I wanted an experiment that I was very comfortable doing so that I could spend most of my energy making sure the technical part live stream was running smoothly.
  • The experiment should have results that are easy for attendees to see without a lot of extra equipment.
  • Teachers are busy! I wanted an experiment I could run from start to finish in about 30 minutes.  This would also be a good demonstration for how an experiment could be run in a short class period.
  • A little history – I had just been working on the Edvotek Electrophoresis Learning Center page, and learned some fascinating things about the development of electrophoresis.
  • Bonus: the live-stream viewers should be able to see the experiment happening in real time

Keeping these criteria in mind, I chose a dye electrophoresis experiment:  Edvotek 101: Principles and Practice of Agarose Gel Electrophoresis.  It’s a simple and fast dye electrophoresis experiment that covers important concepts in electrophoresis, it is colorful and beautiful to look at, and the progression of the experiment can be viewed in real time.

 

nonameSo, what did I learn from my live-streaming experiment?  I learned that live streaming is hard!  It was challenging to simultaneously run an experiment while giving a presentation and making sure that the live-stream was running smoothly.  Preparation is key:  Since my presentation was live, I made sure to carefully plan out what I wanted to say for each slide beforehand.  I practiced my presentation several times, both with and without the electrophoresis gel running.  This was very helpful, as it allowed me to focus on the mechanics of live streaming – managing the cameras and keeping an eye on the live chat – while also running an electrophoresis experiment.

Did you miss our live stream?  The archived video is available here, and the slides (annotated with my script) are available here.

We’re back on May 28 at 1 PM EDT with another Edvotek LIVE STREAM!  Join us as we discuss one of our new kits – Edvotek® MyLab™: Simulating the COVID-19 Antibody Test.  Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get alerts about this and other upcoming events!