New mobile Agri-Biotech lab on display at CCCC

thumb

By Jessica LeDuc
Blade staff writer


 The recreational vehicle parked at Cloud County Community College Friday is for anything but recreation.
The vehicle is actually the College's new mobile Agri-Biotechnology mobile lab, which is based out of the Geary County campus in Junction City. Cathy Castle, instructor of science, and Brenda Edleston, division dean of the Geary County campus, brought the lab to the Concordia campus to give faculty and staff a look at the new teaching facility.
 The $280,000 facility was funded by a U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration grant. The College is one of seven consortium partners to be awarded a $20 million grant to provide workers with academic and industry-recognized credentials and training to meet the need for a skilled workforce. Cloud County received nearly $1 million of the grant, which has funded the purchase of the trailer, a truck to pull it, and pay the lease on a new science building at the Geary campus.
 The College's agri-biotechnology program prepares students for entry-level positions in the industry which is manipulating the genetic make-up of organisms for use in the production or processing of agricultural products.
Edleston said the mobile lab will accommodate 12 students in the microbiology and biotechnology classes. Students enrolled in Castle's online science-based courses will eventually need hands-on lab experience, she said, and that's where the new mobile lab will come into play. Castle will take the facility to a central location to conduct labs for the online students, where they will work with DNA and proteins.
 "Students will be able to see the procedures and processes from beginning to end," Edleston said. "Intensive hands-on experience makes for a better training environment."
 Castle said that on-campus students complete 48 hours a semester of lab work. By conducting mobile labs on weekends, the online students will have the same amount of time in a lab as their on-campus counterparts.
"We're currently out on show and tells," Castle said. "We'll begin teaching out of it in the fall semester."
The mobile lab features self-contained work spaces for up to 12 students. Each work station has a computer and microscope. Castle also has a laptop that is connected to all the computers, which she can use for presentations and to check students' work.
 Two incubators at the back of the trailer give students the opportunity to grow living cells and bacteria. A fume hood provides a sterile environment for bacterial studies. The opposite end of the trailer is a preparation area for Castle, where she can make samples as needed, as well as keep specimens frozen.
 When the grant period ends, in September 2014, Edleston said the plan is take the mobile lab to high schools in the College's service area to introduce students to the world of agri-biotechnology.

NEWS

Possible construction of transloading facility discussed

 The Kansas Department of Transportation officials and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer made a stop in Concordia, Thursday morning, to hear input on possibly constructing a rail transloading facility in Cloud County.  Transloading is the process of moving goods from one mode of... [More]

Courthouse 11-21-14

District Court CRIMINAL  Candice Dawn Beach appeared Nov. 17 and was convicted of a violation of Criminal Damage to Property. She was sentenced to six months in the Cloud County Jail and ordered to pay costs of the action, $158, restitution of $24.97 by Dec. 31. Her sentence... [More]

Commission approves water rate hike

 Starting next month, citizens will see an increase in water bills after rates were raised at Wednesday night’s Concordia City Commission meeting.  After several months of discussion, the Commission last night approved a six-percent increase in water and sewer... [More]

More News

SPORTS

T-Birds topple Broncos, 71-58

thumb

 Once the Cloud County Thunderbirds had finally wrestled the lead away from the Hastings College junior varsity, they weren't about to surrender it. Cloud County trailed Hastings throughout most of the first half, and was down 34-31 at halftime. The T-Birds scored the first... [More]

Hake, Guevara receive football awards

 Concordia High School seniors Drake Hake and Stafen Guevara were presented awards during the Concordia Lions Club Football Banquet Tuesday night at the Catholic Parish Hall. Hake received the Most Outstanding Senior Offensive Player Award, presented in memory of Trevor... [More]

More Sports

OPINIONS

Prairie Pondering

Death knell for college life as we know it?     The books on my shelves which have bright, inviting covers are few. No one would find most of them inviting, and I admit they aren't dusted in weekly cleaning. They don't have  fresh, new titles.  They... [More]

In the Mean Time

 “WHO CARES!!”  What would be your reaction if you saw those words on the face of every clock you looked at?  Recently, I received an advertisement for such a time-piece. All the numerals are in a heap at the bottom and those words are emblazoned across... [More]

More Opinions

Buy Photos