Instrumentation and practical protocols in microbiology and biotechnology in secondary school teaching laboratories

Biotechnology is an exciting and growing subject recently introduced into the guidelines for upper secondary education. The basis of biotechnology can be found in the study of classical biology, biochemistry, and microbiology and then extends to topics of current relevance.

This project offers theoretical and practical support for laboratory experiences focusing on microbiology and biotechnology, providing teachers with various instruments, protocols, and laboratory reagents for practices with secondary school students.

Recommended practices, using the materials provided in the briefcase

The briefcase contains laboratory instruments and reagents.
 Protocols for carrying out specific experiments (also carried out during the refresher courses organized by us) are provided:

  1. Preparation of a sterile solid culture medium
  2. Preparation of a sterile liquid culture medium
  3. Isolation of micro-organisms in pure culture
  4. Sugar fermentation test
  5. Microbial activity
  6. Hand disinfection
  7. Surface disinfection
  8. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and electrophoresis of PCR products 
  9. Lambda precut DNA electrophoresis in agarose gel.

The equipment provided is not tied to these practices and allows others to be carried out at the teacher's discretion.

How to apply for the briefcase

  1. Check availability on the Google Calendar. There are 2 briefcases available:
  • if both are free, nothing appears on the calendar
  • if one is busy, a blue line appears on the corresponding dates
  • if both are occupied, two blue lines appear on the calendar on the corresponding dates.
  1. After identifying the period - maximum 3 weeks - fill in the form at the following link.
  2. Wait for an email confirmation of the selected dates from the Secretariat.
  3. After receiving the email, send to valigetta_biotecnologo [at] valigetta_biotecnologo [at] (the) commodate document (downloadable from this page in the box at the top right) completed and signed.

Pickup and delivery

Pickup and delivery are at the Reception of the CIBIO Department of Trento via Sommarive 9, Povo.

The briefcase can be collected one day before the requested date and returned one day after the requested end date.
Pickup and delivery must occur, by agreement, from Monday to Thursday from 9 am to 12 pm, from 2 pm to 4 pm, and on Fridays from 9 am to 12 pm.

Contents of the briefcase

  • Electrophoresis system with built-in transilluminator (Flash) and power supply unit
  • Precast gel cassette with 12+1 wells (one gel is enough for 13 samples)
  • Electrophoresis kit, including electrophoresis kit and DNA fragments
  • Thermocycler for PCR (for max 32 samples)
  • PCR kit with all necessary reagents
  • Micropipettes with associated tip boxes
  • 1 microcentrifuge
  • 1 vortex
  • powder for LB broth
  • Agar powder for solid media
  • Sodium chloride, peptone, and sugars
  • Sterile plastic tubes of 50 ml and 15 ml 
  • 1.5 ml and 0.2 ml tubes
  • Inoculation loops
  • Gloves
  • Bacterial strain (dH5-alpha).

If the materials in the kit are correctly used, they do not pose any particular risks and comply with safety regulations.

The school must possess:

  • Fridge with space at -20 C (some reagents should be stored in the freezer, others in the fridge. If not properly stored, properly functioning is not guaranteed).
  • Laboratory with counters or tables.
  • Electrical sockets for instruments.

Should the need arise to carry out extraordinary maintenance on the asset, the Tenant (the school) must promptly notify the CIBIO Department in writing, which is responsible for deciding whether or not to carry out the intervention. The CIBIO Department must carry out any operations relating to the extraordinary maintenance of the assets, and the costs are borne by it. The Borrower undertakes to return the assets set out in Appendix 1 at the end of the commodate term in the condition in which it received them, subject to normal deterioration due to ordinary use.