Tuesday, May 30, 2017
This week in genius hour I continued to run my experiment. Switching to more than one cigarette seems to be helping me progress faster. I am dying with anticipation as to what is inside of the balloons. The experiment has not experienced as hiccups yet and I hope to not. One fear I do have is that the sponges might have dried up a little and therefore would not be able to absorb the contaminates as well. I did manage to burn myself this week and I've been brainstorming ways to maybe not smell like cigarettes afterward. My conclusion is that I will wear rubber gloves from now on while conducting my experiment. However, until my experiment is completed I have little to report.
Monday, May 22, 2017
This previous week went really smoothly. Despite all the growing hype for Prom I was able to get a solid start on my experiment. I was able to obtain all my material on Monday at Walmart for a reasonable price and after school I constructed the artificial lung to make sure everything worked before I kicked off my experiment on Tuesday morning in class. Luckily, the lung worked and I got the green light to start collecting data on Tuesday. Inside the balloons I placed two small squares of white sponges to help collect any contaminates that would collect inside the lungs. The cigarettes also fit very nicely inside the straw that works as the airway. This makes it easier to make sure that I get the sucking power needed for the artificial lung to actually smoke the cigarette. By placing a small piece of masking tape around the end of the cigarette where it meets the straw I am able to operate the lung without having to hold the cigarette. I have also started constructing my presentation but for the most part I am just waiting for my data so I can wrap it all. On a quick side note, it is really gross that my fingers smell like cigarettes after each session of collecting data. The cigarette smoke surely lingers which is why it is nice I have a way to vent it all out of the room while conducting my experiment.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
After the first week of Genius Hour I have successfully thought of an experiment. I will be testing the effect of Natural cigarettes versus Marlboro Red cigarettes on the lungs. I found a cool and pretty simple way to replicate lungs. The most expensive part of my experiment will be the actual purchasing of the cigarettes. I have been pretty lucky to not have really hit any road blocks while coming up with my experiment except for the fact that I wanted to find the best way to showcase build up in the lungs. The tricky part is that with my replica of the human lungs I will be using a regular rubber balloon. Rubber is not a material that would absorb chemicals or contaminants, this proved to be a problem because this is exactly what I am trying to test for. The solution I am currently seeing is using a wet white sponge to showcase what the actual lung would absorb and look like following the smoking of cigarettes. So far my experiment is off to a good start and I can't wait to start collecting data.
Monday, May 1, 2017
This past week in AP Biology we worked with the transpiration rates of leaves. My group decided to test the transpiration rates of two different plants (impatiens and a cactus). This was done by monitoring the amount of water that each leaf took in over the course of two days. This was an interesting lab because it was pretty free as to what we could test and/or compare. The ability to create our own lab made it far more intriguing and engaging because our group was testing something that we came up with and wanted to know. It also made the whole classroom more interesting because every group was testing something completely different. This was also good practice in how to construct a full lab from writing up our own procedure, forming our own question and all the steps in between. I believe that this was a great way to conduct our last experiment before the AP test because it forced our group to think like scientists. The whole process was extremely helpful and I greatly enjoy working in groups because you always have someone to bounce your ideas off of and help you if you run into a road block. Looking back I do wish we were able to test more than just one leaf of each plant because it caused our data to be extremely susceptible to error. Looking forward in Biology I am excited to start reviewing for the AP exam and see how much I remember from this year. On the plus side, having the vodcasts is extremely helpful to look back on.