Hi, Chloe here- I wanted to share an update on the MRSM lab before I go home on the 26th.
First I must congratulate Nina and Fahyim on being the lab manager and assistant lab manager here. Their dedication to the project is amazing and I am sure their leadership of the lab and students and SAROSO members will grow even more than it already has in the few weeks since they have been appointed.
In the next few weeks, the MRSM lab will be welcoming 8 new students. All the students currently in the lab are so knowledgeable of the lab skills, organisation and running I am sure the new students will be experts in no time at all.
Speaking of experts, I am wishing Nina and Alwin good luck (even though they do not need it) for their presentation of the labs Dendrobium anosmum research at the Tunas science competition at the start of March. The Tunas science competition is a science competition between all MRSM schools (science schools) across the whole of Malaysia. The girls will fly to Kuala Lumpa on the 28th to present alongside other students with science experiments.
In terms of the labs running, MRSM now has a planned seed protocol, to record all the seed coming in and out the lab. Below you can see me catching the students up on orchid flower shape and pollinating, on the wonderful Dendrobium crumenatum just outside the lab here.
After just 3 days we saw D. crumenatum seed pods develop and split. Below, you can see Fahyim sowing the Dendrobium crumenatum seed using the syringe method. We are collecting data from orchids around the school on seed pod development so MRSM students and SAROSO members can have something to reference when picking seed pods, as the climate here speeds everything up so much, other records we have found on seed pod collection have not been reliable here. The students have made a map of the school to locate flowering size orchids that they can collect seed pods from, as well as this they use a table to keep track of flowering, pollinating and seed pod collection timing.
The data collection does not stop there, as students also record seedlings entering and leaving the growth room. This data is important in MRSM to provide statistical evidence of the progress here, in terms of contamination going down as students learn more about lab procedures and also as a record of more and more seed being sown and developed seedlings being replanted. Not to mention keep track of the Dendrobium anosmum seedings in the lab- the focus for some research into in-vitro propagation the students are conducting for conservation and reintroduction purposes.
I am sad to be going home, but looking forward to seeing what the lab can accomplish after the students have space to work on their own and Nina and Fahyim are left alone to run everything themselves. I have no doubt I will end up visiting Sarawak again, as I love it here and have made lasting friendships with lab members and SAROSO members.