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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.

Lab Olympics 2021 Group with Medals.jpeg


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. In 2021, a 1 second penalty is assessed for every 0.1 mL of water that was not successfully transferred as determined by the mass of the water in the beaker. No penalties were deducted in 2022 for spillage. 

2021 Results

1. Paul Szpak: 1:13.50 (49.45 mL)

2. Matt Teeter: 1:36.41 (49.55 mL)

3. Julia McCuaig: 1:37.39 (49.33 mL)

2022 Results

1. Paul Szpak: 1:09.65

2. Julia McCuaig: 1:12.54

3. Adrian Gonzalez: 1:13.16


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.

2021 Results

1. Tess Wilson: off by 13.4%

2. Julia McCuaig: off by 26.4%

3. Matt Teeter: off by 30.2%

2022 Results

1. Adrian Gonzalez: off by 0.3%

2. Madison Curran: off by 4.5%

DQ. Paul Szpak: off by 11.9%

3. Matt Teeter: off by 14.9%


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.

2021 Results

1. Jen Routledge: off by 5.2%

2. Tessa Grogan: off by 15.5%

3. Tess Wilson: off by 30.1%

2021 Results

1. Madison Curran: off by 5.7%

2. Brooke Driscoll: off by 7.5%

3. Olivia Hall: off by 8.4%


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. 

2021 Results (Five Capsules of SRM-1, caribou bone collagen)

1. Julia McCuaig: 94.99 seconds/capsule (7:54.93 total time)

2. Paul Szpak: 101.08 seconds/capsule (8:25.38 total time)

3. Tess Wilson 121.88 seconds/capsule (10:09.42 total time)

2022 Results (Five Capsules of SRM-26, commercial collagen)

1. Julia McCuaig: 69.83 seconds/capsule (3:27.98 total time)

2. Adrian Gonzalez: 78.51 seconds/capsule (3:55.54 total time)

DQ. Paul Szpak 83.82 seconds/capsule (4:11.46 total time)

3. Mariah Miller 92.80 seconds/capsule (4:38.40 total time)


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 event we took the average absolute difference (in mg) of the three capsules from the target weight.

2021 Results

1. Matt Teeter: 0.000 mg off target on 1 capsule

2. Tessa Grogan: 0.001 mg off target on 2 capsules

3. Tess Wilson 0.001 mg off target on 1 capsule

2022 Results

1. Adrian Gonzalez: 0.008 mg off target 

2. Mariah Miller: 0.017 mg off target

DQ. Paul Szpak 0.019 mg off target

3. Anahi Maturana 0.022 mg off target


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. 

2021 Results

1. Matt Teeter

2. Paul Szpak

3. Jen Routledge

2022 Results

DQ. Paul Szpak 1790 cm

1. Adrian Gonzalez 1590 cm

2. Matt Teeter 1565 cm

3. Mariah Miller 1385 cm

Lab Olympics 2021 Paul Pipette Transfer.jpg
Lab Olympics 2022 Olivia with medal 9G4A8299.jpg
Lab Olympics 2021 Julia Reagent Weighing.jpg
Lab Olympics 2022 Medals Microbalance Speed File 2022-04-26, 9 31 54 PM.jpeg
Lab Olympics 2021 Tess reagent weighing.jpg
Lab Olympics 2022 Maddy Bone Cutting 91446e230987ec491c83acfeb9f91df9a9c19964817e74d7140c3
Lab Olympics 2021 Tessa Bone Cutting.jpg
Lab Olympics 2021 Tess Sotput.JPG
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