Miscellaneous Lab Experiences

I usually give each school job/experience its own entry, but I felt like lumping these together and highlighting a few key points. For the record, I really enjoyed each of these labs, but I had to leave each job to complete my coop internships, which were full time. Enjoy!

Research Student at the Nutrition Lab:

When did I work?

  • Sophomore year, 10 weeks, 4 hours per week

What did I do?

  • Label petri dishes and test tubes
  • Wash out test tubes used in food science studies


  • Grad students were super nice
  • Learned about some micro
  • Learned about variance in bacteria found in pre-prepared foods in Philly
  • Got a special acknowledgement/thanks on scientific publication
  • Got 2 credits of an A for research (0.5 credit X 4 hours)
  • Provided initial interest in learning more about research


Fossil Cleaner at the Paleontology Lab:

When did I work?

  • Junior year, 10 weeks, 3 hours per week

What did I do?

  • Clean off dirt from fossils
  • Piece together and stabilize broken pieces of fossils (with aide of grad students)
  • Take/watch someone else take 3D fossils scans
  • Watch/help crack open jackets that housed fossils packaged from field work


  • Bragging rights I got to touch dino bones 😛
  • Learned the research work done at my university in this field is really impressive (found one of the largest sauropod fossils!)
  • Was in the background of some PBS-like documentary being filmed
  • Oddly stress reliving to clean dino bones
  • Helped me get over leaving the Academy of Natural Sciences


Prep Aide at the Bio Labs (classes)

When did I work?

  • From Freshman year to Senior year; 4 years, 6-10 hours per week

What did I do?

  • Help set up the equipment for bio classes in their labrooms
  • Clean dishware
  • Clean up after lab sessions
  • Sterilize stuff in autoclave
  • Make solutions and pipette them
  • Make medias and agar gels
  • Keep bacteria stock
  • Inventory chemicals and waste chemicals
  • Label stuff
  • Helps TAs/profs when needed
  • Make almost parody-like tutorial videos on how to use lab stuff/make bio stuff


  • Everyone I worked with was so nice ❤
  • Flexible hours
  • Practice lab technique
  • Animals in the lab were funny
  • Learned about other classes before taking them
  • Felt like profs & TAs were always super nice to me
  • Met a lot of my bio friends via this workstudy


This xkcd comic used to be posted outside the old prep lab 🙂

All in all, I was lucky to have had lab experiences that have either steered me towards exploring other parts of bio, practice lab skills, or purse some random interests of mine.


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