Week One - Toyka Holden
and Susan Goracke
Toyka and Susan weren't too sure about what they wanted to research this summer. There are so many exciting and interesting things and equipment in Bob's lab, its hard to choose just one research project. Out of curiosity, Toyka and Susan wanted to cut up a coke can and see what it looks like under the ESEM (Enviromental Scanning Electron Microscope). To view it under the ESEM the sample had to be placed in resin. Bob taught them how to prepared samples for the ESEM. When they looked at the sample under the microscope, they found more than just aluminum. This discovery lead to their decision to sample various cans and find out what they are actually made of.
Once they learned how to operate the equipment, Toyka and Susan quickly prepared all of the thirteen samples for viewing under the microscopes. This involved cutting the cans, putting them in resin, and cutting and polishing the sample. Toyka and Susan were using liquid diamonds to polish their sample for viewing. For their classroom acitivites, Toyka is constructing a science board game, and Susan wants to extend the Science, Optics, and You kit into a full optics unit.
Toyka and Susan started analyzing all of the samples under the ESEM. They found some interesting elements in the cans. During this week they retrieved the basic data on the samples, but they would need to put the samples under the X-ray and Optical microscope for further analysis. They also started a new project, that already had a bug in it! Toyka and Susan found a tiny sugar ant crawling on one of the tables in the laboratory. They wanted to get a better picture of him so they put him under the ESEM to get a closer look. This closer look turned into a full blown project. They wanted to take a picture of the ant and make it 3-D. This is not as easy as it sounds.
Here Toyka is viewing the can samples on the Optical microscope. While viewing the samples, they noticed small particles in the aluminum cans. They took this over to the X-ray microscope and they found Manganese and Iron in the aluminum cans. They believe that cola companies are using Manganese and Iron to make the cans stronger and reducing the amount of aluminum in the cans.
This picture was taken by Mr. Goddard, but Toyka and Susan
have been working on their sugar ant picture to make it look just like this.
It took 22 pictures pieced together on the ESEM to get the whole ant in
the picture. The ESEM is capable of expanding objects 600,000 times.
Toyka and Susan worked hard and long to get this little, tiny ant as a
picture. They decided to only make one part of the ant in 3-D instead
of the whole ant because it is very difficult to do. During the fifth
week, Susan and Toyka started compiling information for their powerpoint
Week Six - Toyka Holden and Susan Goracke
Take a look at their power point presentation describing their research through the summer.