lakshu_s
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:48 am
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Mon Feb 08, 2021 11:56 pm

Hi Mr.Sybee,
Hope you are doing well. I hope your home still has power...how is the weather? It is freezing here today...I really didn't want to get out of my warm, comfy bed. Your first sentence sounds like the first sentence of a novel--I like it! It will take a lot of time in the freezing cold to make the bigfoot family :) I tried to build a mini snow cat in my home, but it started to get dark and very cold so I ended up making a snow hill :(
Yesterday I was preparing last minute for a math test I had to take this morning, so that is why I wasn't able to send anything to you. On the bright side, I got a 100%! I am making progress in the science fair, putting my project presentation and photos. There is a small writeup of the conclusion and application life that I plan send over to you tomorrow. Attached to this email is my statistical analysis and data table for sub-experiment 3. Please let me know if looks good.

[The extension xlsx has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]


Thanks and stay safe,
Lakshita

SciB
Expert
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 am
Occupation: Retired molecular biologist, university researcher and teacher

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:56 am

Winter's icy fingers are chilling the landscape at 5F, but mirabile dictu, it is warm inside--well, warmish--63F. There was 10 inches of lovely powdery snow when I got up yesterday, sparkly in the sun and not even crossed by deer tracks yet. I bundled up and shoveled off the steps to the front porch and the back door so I could get out and fill the bird feeders. The chickadees said thank you. They are so tame, I have to shoo them off the feeder so I can fill it. I started piling up snow for the snow-squatch, but it was so light and airy it would not pack together. I'll try again today.

Yaay! 100 on the math test--that is truly awesome, Lakshita and I am very proud of you. That skill will make college math a lot easier. I don't think I ever got an A in calculus or even algebra, and I struggled with the math in physics.

How are you doing with classes in general? Is your school a hybrid system with a few in-person classes and the rest virtual? Some people do well because like you they are self-motivated and have a goal, and a mom and a mentor...

You are well along with the sci-fair, but check the rules again just to make sure that you are meeting all the requirements. Did the coordinator get back to you about your questions? I'll take a look at your Table 2 and if I have any suggestions, I will let you know.

Get out and crunch around in the snow. I have a sled and i think I may try to find a clear place on the hill. The problem is stopping :~( There are a bunch of trees at the bottom!

Stay warm and safe,

Sybee

lakshu_s
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:48 am
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:28 pm

Hi Mr.Sybee,
I had to search up what "mirabile dictu" meant.. I'm learning new things every day! I'm probably gonna use that in my next essay :) So nice to see the birds are coming even in the snow. I saw some birds flying around my backyard as well! I really don't know how they are holding up though, I can barely step foot outside without bundling up in layers. Speaking of which, we had a snow day today (I still had some homework to work on though)! I will probably try to make a baby snowman tomorrow.

Thank you for being proud of me! My school gives a lot of options--students can either take all their classes in person, take some in-person and some virtual, or go full virtual (however some classes are not available, like biomed). I chose the hybrid option, and it's going pretty well up till now. Of course, having you and my mom helps a lot.

I will check the rules for sure every now and then...just to see if I got everything. The coordinator didn't get back to me, so I sent a follow-up email. Still waiting on the reply..she's probably busy since the science fair is very close.

Looking forward to your suggestions on my third data table...I am also attaching the graph. Please let me know if it is okay and if my error bars are looking fine. I noticed that the person in the statistics video I sent you put little stars on his graph if the groups are significant. So, I included stars as he did. Please take a look and let me know if that looks fine too.

[The extension docx has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]


Thank you so much! Have a nice day :)
Lakshita

lakshu_s
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:48 am
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:15 pm

Hi Mr.Sybee,

One more clarification. I just noticed, we have not mentioned the IV first in the question as usually done in the previous year projects. I modified the question format now. Can you please check on this and make your suggestions. The old is our previously written question and the modified is the new one.

Question:
Sub-Experiment 1:
OLD: Does the water absorption capacity of orange and avocado peel mixture decrease as water salinity increases?
NEW: Does increasing the water salinity decrease the water absorption capacity of orange and avocado peel mixture?
Sub-Experiment 2:
OLD: Does the water-holding capacity of soil amended with orange and avocado peel mixture decrease as the water permeability of the soil increases?
NEW: Does increasing the water permeability of the soil decrease the water-holding capacity of soil amended with orange and avocado peel mixture?
Sub-Experiment 3:
OLD: Does plant growth in highly permeable sandy soil increase as the amount of orange and avocado peel mixture added is increased?
NEW: Does increasing the amount of orange and avocado peel mixture added in highly permeable sandy soil increase the plant growth?

Thanks,
Lakshita

SciB
Expert
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 am
Occupation: Retired molecular biologist, university researcher and teacher

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:26 am

Good morning Lakshita,

I hope your week is going well. I took a look at the questions you just posted and they are accurate and written clearly. I made a couple of minor corrections:

Question:

Sub-Experiment 1:
OLD: Does the water absorption capacity of orange and avocado peel mixture decrease as water salinity increases?
NEW: Does higher water salinity decrease the water absorption capacity of orange and avocado peel mixture?

Sub-Experiment 2:
OLD: Does the water-holding capacity of soil amended with orange and avocado peel mixture decrease as the water permeability of the soil increases?
NEW: Does water permeable sandy soil have a lower water-holding capacity when amended with orange and avocado peel mixture?

Sub-Experiment 3:
OLD: Does plant growth in highly permeable sandy soil increase as the amount of orange and avocado peel mixture added is increased?
NEW: Does increasing the proportion of orange and avocado peel mixture added to highly permeable sandy soil increase plant growth?

These questions could be converted to hypotheses by turning them into statements:
1. Higher water salinity decreases water absorption capacity of OAP-SAP.
2. Sandy soil amended with OAP-SAP has a lower water-holding capacity than loam or clay soil with OAP-SAP.
3. Plant growth on sandy soil is enhanced by increasing amendment with OAP-SAP.

If you haven't stated the hypotheses in your paper, then you need to do that. It is usually done at the end of the introduction in a scientific paper.

Always check my words for accuracy. I am certainly not incapable of making a mistake, so you should always think carefully about everything and not just accept it as true necessarily. I try hard to keep to the objective truth but you should also think about the statements and what questions the judges might ask. It is always possible to overlook something, and a good judge will find it, so take extra time to root out any potential problems before they pop up during the review of your project.

Stay warm,

Sybee

lakshu_s
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:48 am
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:10 pm

Hi Mr.Sybee,
My week is going pretty well, thanks for asking! How is your week going? How is the weather? Were you able to make that snow-squatch today? Here, I had another snow day :) Thank you so much for going through my questions and correcting them. I will make sure to add that to my project presentation. Regarding the hypotheses, I have already written them in my paper before turning the research plan in for SRC approval, as suggested by you before. As you said, I will keep my mind looking out for problems and think about the judges. In fact, just yesterday, I noticed a few phrases in the abstract and rationale weren't past-tense (oops!), so I fixed it. When you get some free time, please check the graph I sent you (in the previous post) and let me know what you think.
As always, your feedback means a lot to me. Thank you for all your help. Have a nice day! :)
Lakshita

Reynel
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:39 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby Reynel » Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:29 pm

Hi Mr. Sybee and Ms. Lakshita,
How are you guys?
We are having a hard time about the results on our SAP. Update on our Orange and Avocado SAP that we made. We oven-dried the mixture for 20 minutes in an oven pre-heated in 180 degree Celsius. Then, we blended it, but the powder didn’t quite turn out as what it is supposed to be. It looks just like the same as the SAP that we made weeks ago. It’s not turning into gel and the SAP doesn’t even absorb water. We didn’t know now what and where did we go wrong since we really followed the procedure as stated by Ms. Lakshita. We also conducted our final batch of Lemon SAP yesterday and the peels will be sun dried today. But we do not have a solution to how will we sun dry it since the batch 1 and 2 that we made last week gets moldy. We really don’t know why our SAP is not working.
I really don't know by now why are our product is still not working. Ms. Lakshita, if you have time, can you please check the files we've posted. It contains photos of our experiment and I hope you can check what's wrong in it. And, the color of our SAP is a bit different than yours, do you think it really matters and could it be the problem?

These are the pictures of our powder, and the SAP when the distilled water was added. It’s more on brown-ish black color compared to Ms. Lakshita’s which is a bit white and orange-y.

[The extension docx has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]



And if possible, can you post the pictures of your procedure, if you have any. So that we can check what might be the possible reason why our product is still not working and where did we go wrong. I hope you could help us Ms. Lakshita. We badly needed your help. Thank you so much!

Thank you for your time,
Reynel

SciB
Expert
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 am
Occupation: Retired molecular biologist, university researcher and teacher

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:13 pm

Hi Lakshita,

Sorry I did not see your first Wednesday message until now. Your salinity graph looks very nice and the stars are correct. The only suggestion I would have is that you are being too wordy in the labels. The x-axis is Source of Water, so you don't need to repeat the word water under each bar, except for the first where I would say Distilled Water. For the y-axis I would shorten it to: Water Absorption Capacity (fold change by weight). In the title, you don't need the word concentration because salinity means salt concentration, so just say "...for water of different salinity." In scientific papers, the graph title is always put in the figure legend. If you don't have a figure legend, then you could put it as you have it.

I noticed Reynel has posted a message, but I don't know what to tell him other than the suggestions I already made. Maybe lemons just don't work like oranges.

Keep learning, but have fun too!

Sybee

lakshu_s
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:48 am
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:03 pm

Hi Mr.Sybee,

Thanks so much for checking. I will make necessary modifications for the graph. I didn't know that. I will make sure to keep your suggestions for my future graphs too. I will send you my other graphs tomorrow. Also I will start using figure legend.

Can you also please check on Interpretation of Results section below:

To evaluate the mean differences between all groups, an ANOVA test was conducted. Furthermore, a post-hoc t-test was conducted comparing each group to the control mean in order to identify exactly which groups differ significantly. The data were expressed as mean plus or minus standard deviation and significance was defined as p less than .05. The results from both tests proved that all groups showed a significant difference.
The calculated standard deviation and standard error of mean were small, indicating that the data is clustered around the mean and therefore accurate. This supports the statement that the data from all three sub-experiments didn't significantly vary.

I haven't checked any of Reynel's messages yet, but if I know something that would help him I will be sure to post that. I did come across an experiment using sweet potatos for the biodegradable SAP (totally different and I'm not sure if it will work, but maybe he would be intrested in looking into it). I hope everything works out well for him!

Thanks and Stay warm
Lakshita

SciB
Expert
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 am
Occupation: Retired molecular biologist, university researcher and teacher

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:45 am

Hi Lakshita,

I hope your ‘hybrid’ classroom is working for you. This is an experiment in a new form of education and nobody knows for sure how it will turn out. As you know, I am a big believer in self-education and lifelong learning, so this virtual style easily works for me. Although it would be nicer to talk to you in person, this virtual platform is successful.

Thanks for considering Reynel’s problem. In science, it is very important that other researchers are able to reproduce your work and findings to confirm them. I think we need a third person to try making an SAP—maybe from sweet potato peels as you suggested, or other ‘waste’ matter. The idea is for farmers in resource-limited countries to have a cheap source of soil amendments that can retain water and give them bigger crop yields. The method needs to work with a variety of organic matter (or ‘biomass’ as some term it) and be scalable so the SAP can be produced in tons rather than grams.

I took a look at your text and made a few edits:

To evaluate the differences among the group means, an ANOVA test was conducted. A post-hoc t test was used to compare each group to the control in order to identify which groups differed significantly. The data were expressed as mean plus or minus standard deviation and significance was defined as p less than .05. The results from both tests proved that all groups were significantly different from control. The standard deviation and standard error of the mean were small, indicating that the data were clustered around the mean and therefore accurate. This supports the statement that the data from all three sub-experiments didn't significantly vary.

Some points of language FYI:
1. Note the difference for comparisons of two items compared to more than two. Between should only be used when you are comparing two things. For a multiple comparison, use the word ‘among’. There is some grayness here, so if you want more usage information, check the Grammar Girl website as it gives a very balanced and useful description of language issues. Accurate communication is critical in science.

2. Don’t forget to use italics for the t in t test and the p in p value.

3. The word ‘data’ is plural and takes a plural form of the verb—data ‘are’, not data ‘is’. If you were referring to one piece of data, you would use the singular form, ‘datum’, but this word is hardly ever seen so that’s why so many people treat data as if it were a singular word.

Have some fun today! I am happy to hear that you looked up mirabile dictu to find out the meaning. I took several semesters of Latin in high school and was amazed that I could learn to read the actual words of Julius Caesar as he wrote about the Roman army's campaigns in Gaul. This gave me a connection with the ancients that I still have and I think they have much to teach us about being human. I wish I had the time and ability to learn more ancient languages like Sanskrit, Babylonian cuneiform and classical Greek--one lifetime is not enough!!

Stay well and enjoy every day,

Sybee

Reynel
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:39 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby Reynel » Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:30 am

Hi Ms. Lakshita,

I guess you haven't seen the last post that we posted here on your topic. I would like to ask for help because we are having a hard time with the results of our SAP.

Update on our Orange and Avocado SAP that we made. We oven-dried the mixture for 20 minutes in an oven pre-heated in 180 degree Celsius. Then, we blended it, but the powder didn’t quite turn out as what it is supposed to be. It looks just like the same as the SAP that we made weeks ago. It’s not turning into gel and the SAP doesn’t even absorb water. We didn’t know now what and where did we go wrong since we really followed the procedure as stated by Ms. Lakshita.

We also conducted our final batch of Lemon SAP yesterday and the peels were sun dried three days ago. We covered it using a mosquito net as we thought it will be the solution to prevent moldings. But yesterday, molds were formed aain for our FINAL experiment in Lemon SAP. We really don’t know why our SAP is not working.
I really don't know by now why are our product is still not working. Ms. Lakshita, if you have time, can you please check the files we've posted. It contains photos of our experiment and I hope you can check what's wrong in it. If its okay for you, can you send us the pictures of your materials, procedures and results to compare the difference. And, the color of our SAP is a bit different than yours, do you think it really matters and could it be the problem?

These are the pictures of our powder, and the SAP when the distilled water was added. It’s more on brown-ish black color compared to Ms. Lakshita’s which is a bit white and

[The extension docx has been deactivated and can no longer be displayed.]




And if possible, can you post the pictures of your procedure, if you have any. So that we can check what might be the possible reason why our product is still not working and where did we go wrong. I hope you could help us Ms. Lakshita since we don't have much time left for the deadline. We badly needed your help. Thank you so much!

Thank you for your time,
Reynel

lakshu_s
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:48 am
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:33 am

Hi Reynel,
I am so sorry to hear that the SAP isn't working quite as well for you. Here are some suggestions I could think of:
1. I noticed that mold was forming on your strained lemon juice. Make sure to not store it outside. Store the lemon juice in a jar in the fridge. The mold is probably due to humidity.
2. Again, if the humidity is too high in your area and the orange and avocado peels are taking too long to dry, I would think about using a pre-made orange powder (you could buy these online). Of course, this may not work. You would also have to find a way to dry the avocado peels separately and add them to the mix. I'm also not sure if the orange peel powder comes from cooked orange peels (as my procedure stated). However, I think it's worth a shot.
After doing these suggestions, if you are still getting a blackish SAP: Considering the deadline, I wouldn't do more experiments. I would use that and submit the project. As long as it is SAP, you are fine for the project. If you are interested (as I mentioned to Mr.Sybee) you can try using sweet potatoes to make SAP.
Stay determined..you got this :)

Hi Mr.Sybee,
How are you doing? Hope all is going well. I had my third snow day today...I hope I have one tomorrow too! Thank you so much for your edits in my interpretation of the results. I changed it accordingly. Today, I did some more edits to my paper and also wrote down the graph titles and labels (for the other two sub-experiments). Can you please check these titles and labels and let me know what you think?
1. Sub-experiment 2:
x-axis: Type of Soil
y-axis: Average Percentage of the Water Retention of OAP-SAP
main graph title: Water Retention of Different Soil Types (of increasing water permeability) amended with OAP-SAP
2. Sub-experiment 3:
x-axis: Amount of OAP-SAP (in ml)
y-axis: Average Plant Growth (in cm)
main graph title: Plant Growth in increasing amounts of OAP-SAP amended with Highly Permeable Sandy Soil in 21 Days
As you know, I am in the process of doing statistical analysis for all of my sub-experiments. For my second sub-experiment, there is no control group. So how would I carry out statistical analysis for sub-experiment 2? Which group would I compare the rest of the groups with?
I am actually taking Indian Carnatic singing lessons, and have done quite a few performances ever since I was little. The thing is most of these pieces are written in Sanskrit, and I don't understanding the meaning until my teacher explains it to me or I do research on my own :( If you ever learn Sanskrit, let me know!
Thanks again for all of your help! Stay warm,
Lakshita

Reynel
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:39 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby Reynel » Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:08 am

Hi Ms. Lakshita,

Thank you so much for helping us, it was very much appreciated! I hope you are doing well with your project. In the last and final batch that we made last Monday, we finally stored the strained liquid in a jar and in the refrigerator. We noticed that the Orange mixture was less moldy compared to the lemon mixture, we also tried removing the pulps of the lemon since that may be the cause of molds since its also a bit moist. Still, the final batch that we made of Lemon SAP got moldy too. We will be trying to conduct a smaller batch maybe tomorrow or the day after if we have the materials again. I would like to ask,
1. how many days did you sundry your mixture
2. did you mix the avocado and orange and sun-dried them together, and
3. what color of avocado did you use, is it the color violet or green?

Also, we also read the research paper about using Potato and Sweet Potato for making an SAP but I've read some papers that Citrus fruits have more pectin compared to others so we chose to use Lemon. We also tried to make it, but we didn't know how does the gelatinization process work.

We will try to conduct using another paper's procedure hoping that it would work. She just boiled the peels, dried them, and powderized. She didn't add the strained liquid nor soaked the peels in lemon juice. We will be trying different processes and I hope, I really hope it will work this time.
Thank you so much for giving us advice and helping us with our project. I hope you are safe and doing well there, Ms. Lakshita! I heard it's your 3rd day of snow today, I never saw one. I'm glad you get to experience that.

Thank you for the help,
Reynel

SciB
Expert
Posts: 2044
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 am
Occupation: Retired molecular biologist, university researcher and teacher

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:34 am

Hi Lakshita,

Enjoy your snow day as I am enjoying mine. It is much nicer to look out the window onto a glistening white expanse of snow than dead brown grass. I like to check for animal tracks in the snow. Try this and let me know what you see. The deer always cross the yard from the woods on one side to the forest on the other and they are easy to tell because they are so large. I keep hoping for a Bigfoot track following them, but so far no luck! I have seen trails of rabbits hopping and our porcupine (she lives under the barn) who goes to the woods for food every day. She got inside once and I had to shoo her out. The quills look quite dangerous! There are lots of crow tracks and footprints of smaller birds. And I see the small toe-prints of Rateena, who visits the seed-cake feeder and chases the red squirrels away. She lives under the kitchen with her family and the squirrels are in the attic. Our house is a regular dormitory!

Here's your edited labels and titles. The labels should be kept as simple as possible and the graph titles should be put into the figure legends below the figure.

1. Sub-experiment 2 [don’t use a colon here—only in sentences]
x-axis: Type of Soil
y-axis: Percent Water Retention [You don’t need to say average because reported values are always the mean. Labels should be kept as simple as possible. You should explain in the figure legend below the figure what was done so the reader knows what the dependent variable was.]
main graph title: Water retention of different soil types amended with OAP-SAP. [This should be the title in the figure legend. You can put the figure number and the title in bold-face type to set it apart from the description. It is best to always show the figure with the legend describing the experiment.]

2. Sub-experiment 3
x-axis: Amount of OAP-SAP (ml)
y-axis: Plant Height (cm)
main graph title: Plant growth in sandy soil with increasing amounts of OAP-SAP. [Figure # and title in bold, followed by description of the experiment in regular font.]

Take care, Lakshita, and good luck with all your other courses,

Sybee


Hi Reynel,

I am glad Lakshita gave you some ideas to help with your project. I had not thought about the problem of mold, but I see now that it needs to be taken into account in hot climates like yours. Microwaving on a low setting can be used to dry herbs and other plant materials so you might want to research that method for your SAP.

Sun drying still would be the best way for a farmer with limited resources who probably does not own a microwave to make this soil amendment. Fungi could digest the pectin in the peels and this will make the polymer not absorb water very well. Somehow the moisture needs to be removed more quickly before the fungi have a chance to take over. Maybe drying the mixture over a low fire first before finishing it up in the sun. I'm sure there's a way to do this--it just requires experimentation--and that's where science comes in--so as Lakshita says--be persistent and it will all work out eventually.

All the best,

Sybee

lakshu_s
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:48 am
Occupation: Student

Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:11 pm

Hi Mr.Sybee,
I ran into a problem with my science project :( Here's what happened: I was sitting down doing my chemistry homework gazing into the white snow looking for animal footprints (as you suggested :)) when I realized that all my plant photos have tbsp labels. My labels on the pots for sub-experiment 3 went like no SAP, 1 tbsp, 2 tbsp, and 3 tbsp. Tbsp isn't a metric unit--so I have to use milliliters, correct? I can use ml on my data tables and graph, that's not the issue. The problem is 1 tbsp=15 ml, 2 tbsp=30 ml, and 3 tbsp=44 ml. That makes it difficult to plot on my graph. Also, I cannot change the labels now on the pots because the plants have grown well past 21 days. I could put a caption under the photos saying the ml equivalent of my tbsp measurements, but I'm not sure if this is okay. Please let me know any suggestions you have on how to fix this. Thank you so much for looking at my graph labels--I will reply to that very soon later today.
Thanks,
Lakshita


Return to “Grades 9-12: Life, Earth, and Social Sciences”