PAGE 2 OF 2
Over the summer, the charged-up students willingly worked long hours, learning by doing—and by trial and error. “I am behinddd!” wailed one team member in his blog. “We grew cultures overnight yesterday hoping to do minipreps and digests today, but we forgot to add antibiotics to our media. Oh, boy.”
The students learned to adapt to Lim's serious and demanding style and to take it all with good humor. “We sometimes joked before lab meetings that it was gonna be a long one if Wendell was there,” recalls Jacqueline Tam.
And they learned the worth of Lim's mantra—“keep it simple,” she says. “Whenever I'd go off on a long spiel when we were practicing our presentations, he'd say, ‘Sorry—I dozed off. What were you trying to convey on this slide?’ This really helped simplify our ideas.”
At the November competition, the Cellbots team earned a silver medal but didn't place among the finalists. Tam acknowledged the team's disappointment at the outcome but says, “we are definitely very proud of our team, our project, and what we accomplished.”
Lim is far from disappointed. He's already signed up to coach next year's team.
“These young, smart people don't have the biases of experience about what's possible and not. They are an incredible source of creative, out-of-the-box ideas.”