The Sik Sik Yuen Biotechnology Mobile Laboratory (BML) Program, solely sponsored by Sik Sik Yuen, was inaugurated in 2009 and began its mission of promoting and delivering biotech education ever since.What is the Biotechnology Mobile Laboratory?
The Biotechnology Mobile Laboratory (the MobileLab), built on a 12-metre Euro-V chassis and registered as a Special-Purpose Vehicle, is a traveling laboratory specially designed for teachers and students to participate in hands-on experiments. It is completely self-contained, providing state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for the teaching and learning of science and biotechnology with a minimum of movement for students from their school. The MobileLab also offers science and biotech education for the public in various outreach programs.
For teaching purpose, an elaborate audio-visual system was installed, in which a 42”monitor and eight 26” monitors comprised the displays, together with a high-resolution video procedures to each monitor. In addition, a large 47” monitor was installed on the exterior of the MobileLab and used to showcase our “Biotech-on-Board” presentation, as well as the goings-on inside the lab, for on-lookers interested in this “Big Bus”.
The MobileLab has ten solar panels on the roof-top. The electrical power required for its operation can be drawn from a regular 13-amp household power outlet or from the solar power. There are two small diesel power generators, one supplies ample power for the entire MobileLab while the other serves as a standby. A third diesel power generator supplies air-conditioning, and when the weather does not need any cooling, the MobileLab has zero emission in its operation. In order to accommodate participants who are on wheelchairs, the MobileLab has an elevator that provides easy access, and a special retractable lab bench that suits the participants.
The BML Program currently has three staff: Ms. Sandy Yeung as the Program Manager/ Lecturer, Ms. Vivian Lin, as the Program Assistant/ Lecturer, and Mr. Poon Hing Chung as the designated Driver/ Lab Assistant. With the guidance and support of our Honorary Advisor, Dr. William Mak, we are devoted to science and biotech education and work closely with participants during the classes to provide guidance, demonstration and instruction.
The Operation and Usage of the MobileLab The MobileLab can be parked inside the school campus, and once immobilized and stabilized, teachers and students are brought into the laboratory. Up to 32 students can be accommodated in each class, and for advanced experiments, the number of students would have to be scaled down to 30. Students with special needs can get access to the laboratory using the wheelchair-access elevator.The duration of use for a school can range from one to five days on campus. The MobileLab will then be returned to its headquarter at Ho Yu, and the reagents and consumables will be replenished for the next visit and all wastes from the last visit will be disposed according to prudent, established protocols.The MobileLab can also be used for outreach activities to promote science and biotech among the general public in the communities.