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Biolab-on-Wheels

Biolab-on-Wheels is a collaboration with Lisa Carrie Goldberg from Action Potential. It is a mobile biolab built on a bike trailer. Using simple home-made equipment, such as DIY microscopes, hand-operated centrifuges and computer fan magnetic stirrers, this lab conducts basic science experiments to audiences while on route. The projects based around Biolab-on-Wheels uses samples of water, plant life and microorganisms from local resources such as parks and waterways as materials and subject matter for experiments. Rather than inviting people to a specific location to watch our experiments take place, we bring our experiments to the people. At the crux of our initiative, we intend to empower and engage citizens through amusing Do-It-Yourself Biology.

The goal here is to demonstrate how everyday objects can produce an intriguing experiment that both illuminates physically and enlightens educationally. We aim to demystify some assumptions surrounding the practice of science in that you need complex technologies to produce scientific research. Our Biolab-on-Wheels allows us to produce experiments in a participatory fashion and with Do It Yourself principles.

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In Sept. Oct. 2013, we produced 2 different prototypes of the Biolab-on-Wheels, one for the Maker Faire, and one for Nuitblanche. I developed this idea further for the more recent Transitions in Progress, also involving the use of a mobile lab.

Maker Faire, Toronto, Sept 21-22, 2013

The Biolab-on-Wheels launched officially at the Mini Maker Fair, on September 22 at Whichwood Barns, Toronto. Using DIY microscopes and samples collected in various parks across the city, we showed the wonders of the patterns, and the microscopic world that hides in plants and water. We also showed how to turn a bike into a centrifuge and demonstrated some easy science experiments that mix and match different liquid and colorful substances. You can find some early experiments here
The development of this first phase of the project is documented in this photoset
here are more images taken by Lisa Carrie Goldberg and here taken by a Maker Faire organizer

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Eco Nuit Parade, Nuit Blanche Toronto, October 5, 2013

We participated in the ECO NUIT PARADE, at the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche on the Front Lawn of CAMH – Queen Street West . For this all night event, we proposed a series of performance experiments that connect the objectives of Biolab-on-Wheels and the overarching theme of light. We showed how natural elements such as citrus fruits and potatoes can be easily combined with LEDs to produce fluorescence and glowing features. The event was organized in collaboration with the Ontario Science Centre and Jennifer Willett’s Incubator lab – University of Windsor.
Images of the preparation can be found here

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