Friday, September 30, 2011

Lab Quote Friday- Stupid Questions

 As part of our safety overview at the beginning of the semester, we have the students do a scavenger hunt.  They aren't collecting anything, but they have a map of the first floor and have to find locations of things like the fire extinguisher, safety shower, eye wash station, etc.  Because the science building can be a little confusing, we also have them mark where the classroom is and where the gender appropriate restroom is.  The restrooms are in opposite corners of the building and not well marked, so it's good for them to learn where they are.
So I'm in the lab when Lab BOY approaches his TA:  So for the appropriate restroom, should I mark the MEN'S restroom?
Poor young female TA didn't quite know how to answer his question.  She glanced at me with a bit of panic on her face and I just laughed.  Eventually she muttered, "Um, yeah, that's fine." 
I probably would have come back with something like, "You're not getting credit for this assignment if you can't even figure out which restroom to use!" 
Another reason I'm just a lab rat and not a teacher!

In a different lab the students were mixing hydrogen peroxide with yeast and measuring how much gas was produced.  As I'm sure you can imagine, the more reactants you use, the more gas is produced.  Simple, right?  So I'm walking around the lab making sure everyone is doing ok.  One group was looking confused.
Me:  How are you guys doing?
Lab boy:  We don't know what's going on here.  We are getting a lot more gas this time.  What did we do wrong?
Me:  Did you use more or less hydrogen peroxide than your first experiment?
Lab boy:  More
Me:  So should that produce more or less gas?
Lab boy:  Oh!!  It should produce MORE gas!