Lab Olympics are a fun, team-building event that showcase the lab skills of our members. In August 2021 we held our first Lab Olympics with six events: pipette transfer, reagent weighing, bone cutting, micorbalance speed, microbalance accuracy, and parafilm shot put. We hosted our second Lab Olympics in April 2022. In April 2023 we added a new event: bone crushing volume.
Using a standard 5.75" Pasteur pipette, transfer 5x10 mL of water from straight-walled culture tubes to a beaker, spilling as little as possible in the process. At least 49.5 mL of water must be transferred as determined by a balance.
With a single scoopula scoop transfer a predetermined amount of a reagent onto a weighing boat. The lab member with the closest weight to the target is the winner. The 2021 and 2022 events consisted of weighing 1.000 g of potassium carbonate. In 2023, the target was 333 mg of calcium carbonate.
Using a dental drill, remove a single chunk of bone with a weight that is as close as possible to the target. For the 2021 competition the target was 200 mg and the bone being cut was a kangaroo tibia. For the 2022 competition the target was a 250 mg chunk of the same kangaroo tibia. For the 2023 competition, the target was a 333 mg chunk of a cow tibia.
Weigh five aliquots of a standard reference material and encapsulate them in 4.25x5.00 mm tin capsules as quickly as possible. Capsules must have weights confirmed only after encapsulation is complete. Times in the table below are the average time in seconds taken to weigh one tin capsule.
This event takes place concurrently with the microbalance speed event. The lab member that records the weight closest to the target is the winner. For the 2021 event, the target weight was 0.555 mg and the winner was determined based on the closest single capsule to the target weight; ties were broken based on the second closest capsule to the target weight. For the 2022 and 2023 events we took the average absolute difference (in mg) of the three capsules from the target weight.
PARAFILM SHOT PUT
We have accumulated a 655 g ball of used parafilm. The aim of this event is simple - using strict shot put form, launch the parafilm ball as far as possible. We did not measure distances in 2021.