A High School Student’s Perspective of Chemistry in the Real World

19 08 2014

As a high school student entering a professional lab setting for the first time, I didn’t know what to expect to encounter this summer as an intern working as part of the CAICE IMPACTS study. I am an incoming senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, and have taken AP science classes at my school, but I have never been in an environment such as this. With many scientists from various backgrounds and educational focuses, problems were identified and solved much more quickly than if each person was working alone in a lab. Similarly in the classroom we are able to collaborate with our peers and teacher but rarely are we able to ask advice from students of other scientific backgrounds! The Hydraulics Lab has been crazy and busy for the past 6 weeks with each scientist conducting their own experiment and showing care and passion for their work, which is something that I admire and hope to encounter as I continue to study as an undergraduate next year. Foam DecayOne small project I was involved in worked to qualitatively measure changes in sea foam in the wave flume over a short period of time. The amount of sea foam in the wave flume is directly related to the breakdown of the algal bloom. To the left is a series of images taken of July 23, 28, 29, and 30. We can make a qualitative guess that the foam is decreasing over time.  This foam produces sea spray aerosol particles which seed clouds over the ocean and thus understanding its evolution is extremely important for our planet.  Over the past 6 weeks I have not only learned about aerosol chemistry and links to ocean biology, but I have also learned more about the scientific process and the benefits of having great minds working together to solve a problem.

Namrita Baru, Canyon Crest Academy

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