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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:44 pm

Hi Lakshita,

Don't worry. We can figure out a good solution. I had noticed that you used mL in the figure label, but I just figured you would change the Tb to mL in the text. I have also thought that you should indicate to the viewer what proportion the SAP is to the soil. When you say 1 Tb, people don't know what volume of soil you are adding it to until they read the methods section so can't gauge how much it would take to do a whole garden or a farm.

I don't remember how much soil you used in the plant pots relative to the amount of SAP, but I know you have it written down. So, you could express SAP as a percentage of the total volume. This is just a suggestion. You can convert Tb of SAP to mL and then give the volume of soil you added it to in the legend and in the methods section, so a viewer could easily figure out the proportion of SAP:soil.

You are using Excel to do the graphs so just change the x-axis data from Tb to the equivalent in mL and replot the graph.

The plant photos are a problem because you can't shoot them again with different labels. If you have some white or light colored tape you could cut a piece large enough to cover the label on the photo and then write the SAP volume in mL on the tape. If someone asks why you did that you can explain, but I doubt anyone will, and you can simply photograph the photos so you will have jpg's with the correct labels on them.

Did you see any tracks in the snow that you could not identify? Do you have deer that cross through your yard? I'll have to upload some of my trail-cam videos so you can see some of the critters that we share the space with.

Have a good sleep tonight,

Sybee

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby Reynel » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:00 pm

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


Hi Mr. Sybee,

How are you doing Mr. Sybee? I'm glad you've respond to our message here, We are trying to ask the things we needed from Ms. Lakshita just so we could proceed to another batch of our SAP. As much as possible, we are trying not to post a message here in her topic because it's her topic after all. We also posted a message at our own topic, I hope you could give it a check since we've updated you of our future plans there. We will be trying to do different types of experiment tomorrow.

In this experiment we will try to ratio it down and cut down the materials first so we won't waste so many resources. We will be using 3 Lemon, 1-2 avocado, 200ml of distilled water, 20ml of lemon juice, and 50ml of strained liquid.

1. Lemon SAP using Ms. Lakshita's procedure but we will sundry it for about 2-4 days.

2. Lemon SAP using another paper's procedure. We will boil the lemon, sun dry it with avocado for about 2-4 days also, and blend right after.

We are also going to think of more ideas and different processes that we can conduct in order to enhance our SAP. Yes, we will try to be persistent and work on our project. Thank you so much for the help. I hope you are safe there.

Stay happy and enjoy life,
Reynel

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:23 am

Hi Mr.Sybee,
I did actually see some small prints trailing along the patio and garden bed (of dead plants), but I'm not really sure what creature they belong to. I know we got a skunk near or house once. Other than that, we have these long-bodied, brown creature that I stare at from afar during the summer-time (I could never figure out what they truly were). We also have squirrels and rabbits, but all of these of these animals have small feet so I don't really know how to distinguish the prints. Have you ever seen the porcupine rolled into a ball or maybe a baby porcupine (I've heard that they are very adorable)? Unfortunately, we don't get any deer around my home (my mom would probably freak out) :( I can't wait to see your trail-cam photos! :)
1. Thank you so much for the graph label edits--I changed them accordingly. I also took your suggestion on colon usage.
2. 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?
3. I am attaching a couple of my third experiment photos (the ones with tbsp labels) for you to take a look at. This year, we aren't gluing anything to real, physical project board, but rather making a 12-page pdf presentation of our project. So, I don't think putting tape over the pictures would be possible. My idea is to write a "disclaimer" sort of thing within the sub-experiment 3 photos giving the conversion between tbsp and ml used in my project. Please let me know your thoughts.

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



Thanks,
Lakshita

Hi Reynel,
Snow days here are great unless it's -1 degrees Fahrenheit like now and you can't even go outside to make a snowman :( Glad to know that you took some of my suggestions! I will type the answers to your questions in your own topic, so that your post is more organized and mine is organized as well. This will also prevent the blocking of my messages from Mr.Sybee. So sorry for any inconvenience. :)
Thanks,
Lakshita

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:38 am

Good morning Lakshita,

You were up early on a Saturday—like me. The sun is beaming at me through the window although the air is still 5F—brr! I can see the deer trail across the snow from here. They are careful to follow the same path every day. I don’t know what they are eating now as the only green leaves are on the spruce and fir trees. There is some moss under the snow and some desiccated lichens on the trees, but this seems hardly enough to keep a large body going in sub-freezing weather.

Do you have a pair of binoculars? If not you should definitely buy some to watch birds and “long-bodied brown creatures”—sounds like a weasel or ferret. Are there any in your area? We have a weasley (Not Ron) looking animal called a marten that I have seen a few times here, but they like northern forests so probably do not live where you are.

I haven’t seen any baby porkies yet—maybe this spring. The mama is still living under the barn and probably has a nest there. I need a camera bot on wheels that I can send in through the hole to spy on them.

In your second experiment on soil permeability and water retention, you are saying that the most permeable soil, sand, holds less water than the other types of soil, so you want to compare the water retention in sand to that in loam and clay so you can prove that there is a significant difference with 95% confidence.

Oh, I see what you mean about the pots and labels. Yes, you can simply explain in the text about using tbsp. and converting to mL. It doesn’t change the conclusion. I still think you should also calculate the proportion of SAP to soil and maybe even figure out how much you would need to add for a given size plot of ground—say 4 feet by 12 feet. The problem here is the depth of soil to use in the calculation, as a farmer would be tilling the soil amendment in and not just spreading it on the surface. I would say that the SAP would have to be incorporated into the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches, so you could use that number to calculate the volume of soil in the garden and then determine the volume of SAP needed to amend the soil. That’s a useful number to a farmer who would have to know how much SAP to spread on a field to improve its water holding capability. There’s some tricky math conversions needed here, but you made 100 on your math test so I know you can do it!

Enjoy the weekend and bundle up and go outside and look around. Put up your bird feeder next to a window so you can see from inside.

Sybee

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:20 am

Hi Mr.Sybee,
I only slept around 4:15 am yesterday--I would never wake up that early unless I need to. My usual wakeup time is around 10:00 am. I’m a night owl :) I really feel bad for the animals in the snow, but they must have their ways of finding food. I do have binoculars and did try to use them to locate the creature, but by the time I brought my binoculars back from my room to the kitchen (we have a window-deck sort of situation in the kitchen), the “long-bodied brown creature” was gone :( I will try again sometime in the spring or summer. I also like your harry potter reference! I have yet to read the books. Let me know if you see any baby porkies in the spring!
I will do a statistical analysis comparing all the groups to sand, as you said. I did the calculation (didn't incorporate the depth factor) like this:
3 tbsp of SAP= 38 g of SAP
220 g of soil
total volume= 220+ 38=258 g
38/258=0.1472 x 100=15%
I mentioned this percentage in the application to life.

Today, I worked on finishing up the conclusion and application to life. I have attached them below. Can you please look over them and give some of your suggestions? For the conclusion, in particular, I didn't write as much as I would for a regionals level project. Since you and I wrote a long discussion and interpretation of results, I didn't think it was necessary to repeat the same exact information in the conclusion. Let me know if the shortness is okay. One other thing I did differently was that I didn't write down the hypothesis (I usually copy and paste it). I did take your suggestion to write the specific percentage of SAP to the soil for farmers to use and added it to the application to life.

Conclusion:
After the completion of the experiment, it was found that the hypotheses were proved correct due to the following observations:
Sub-experiment 1 proved that the water absorption capacity of OAP-SAP increased as salinity decreased. Sub-experiment 2 showed that the water-holding capacity of soil amended with OAP-SAP increased as the water permeability of the soil decreased. Sub-experiment 3 proved that the plant growth in highly permeable sandy soil with reduced water increased substantially as the amount of OAP-SAP added was increased.

Application to Life:
When most people look at an orange peel, they see fodder for the trashcan or hopefully the compost pile. An innovative product, OAP-SAP prepared using orange peels as the main ingredient, with some lemon juice and avocado skins added to the mix is a natural soil amendment for water retention to help grow better crops. Farmers using the OAP-SAP should know that it works optimally when their soil is exposed to rainwater and when the SAP takes up 15% of the soil (based on the most effective amount of SAP used in Sub-experiment 3). This could be a revolutionary agricultural breakthrough for farmers worldwide who need an inexpensive way to overcome the effects of poor, sandy soil and drought—starvation and economic loss.

Happy Valentine's Day--I hope you have a special evening with your loved ones. :) Thank you so much for your help!
Take care and stay warm,
Lakshita

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Sun Feb 14, 2021 5:50 am

Good morning night owl! Whoo-hoo! Soon you can return to your nocturnal habits.

I am happy to hear about your nature studies. Do you also own a microscope? A good instrument can provide hours and hours of pleasure examining the unseen world. It is much more exciting to view protozoans, plant cells or fungal spores with your own eyes than looking at photos of them. It is like gazing at the Milky Way on an icy clear dark night when you can ponder the amazing event that your eyes and brain are registering the actual photons from stars that may be thousands of light years away—how cool is that!?

I read and made some changes to your conclusions and application. I agree that your conclusions can be brief as you have already elaborated on them in the discussion. I did mention the hypotheses, however, substituting that word for the term ‘sub-experiment’ which is a bit awkward as there really are no ‘sub’ experiments—only experiments designed to test hypotheses.

Conclusions
After the completion of the experiments, it was found that the hypotheses on the characteristics of OAP-SAP under simulated agricultural conditions were proved correct:
Hypothesis 1 was supported by the results showing that the water absorption capacity of OAP-SAP increased as the salinity decreased.
Hypothesis 2 was proved correct as the water-holding capacity of soil amended with OAP-SAP increased as the water permeability of the soil decreased.
Hypothesis 3 was verified by measurements of plant growth that showed increased height in highly permeable sandy soil under low water conditions as the amount of OAP-SAP added to the soil was increased.

Application to Life
When most people look at an orange peel, they see fodder for the trashcan or hopefully the compost pile. An innovative soil amendment called OAP-SAP (orange-avocado peel superabsorbent polymer) was prepared using orange peels as the main ingredient, with some lemon juice and avocado skins added to the mix. The resulting granular product replaced more expensive commercial additives and acted as a natural soil amendment for water retention to help crops grow faster and reduce the need for irrigation. Farmers thinking about making and using the OAP-SAP should know that it works optimally with loamy soil when the SAP is added at about 15% by weight of soil although lower amounts are still useful where farming depends on rainwater alone. This natural water-retaining polymer from what would have been treated as waste could be a revolutionary agricultural breakthrough for farmers worldwide who need an inexpensive way to overcome the effects of poor, sandy soil and drought. Different biomass items such as sweet potato peels or other fruit skins could be tested for SAP production where citrus is unavailable. A simple method such as this could do much to raise the standard of living in resource-poor areas, prevent malnutrition and improve the economy.

Have a happy Sunday—and a nice Valentine’s Day—love is something we all need to give and to receive.

Stay curious!

Sybee

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Mon Feb 15, 2021 12:35 am

Hi Mr.Sybee,
I hope you are doing well! A few more hours until I turn my project in!
I don’t own a microscope at the moment, but I need to get one (or at least rent one) for next year’s project: coccolithophorid algae. Exciting! We’ve used microscopes at school to analyze bone marrow, blood samples, and cells--it was really cool. I do own a telescope though. My mom got it for me a long time ago and I still can’t figure out how to use it. I’ve tried for hours and then given up because my eyes started to hurt from squinting. Another thing for my summer bucket list.
Thank you so much for looking through the conclusion and application to life. I never thought about the “sub-experiment” phrase, but now that you say it, it makes sense to say “Hypothesis 1” more. I have made the appropriate changes.
I wanted to ask you one more quick thing: Just to make sure we were getting the right type, my mom and I bought the sandy soil from a company called SoilsPlus. They were nice enough to mine it for free at no cost. They had to ship it a long way too. I want to mention them somehow in the bibliography (saying we got the soils from them), so I wanted to ask you if this is possible. How would I create a citation for a company? As you already know, I did all my citations in APA format.
I gave my mom a mini massage for Valentine’s day--she said it helped her neck pain a little :) I planned on making a cute card and even brainstormed everything to write in it, but never got to the decorating part. Guess I’ll have to save that surprise for mother’s day!
Thanks for all the help and stay safe,
Lakshita

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Mon Feb 15, 2021 5:34 am

Good morning Lakshita,

I am happy-happy to hear that you are turning in your project paper today. It's always a great feeling to be DONE with a task. I used to put things off until I finally figured out that it only made it worse and the sooner it was finished, the better i felt.

I was gonna ask you if you had a telescope, because that was another eye-opener I had growing up. It was not very powerful. I could make out that Jupiter was a disc but could not see any details. Seeing Saturn's ring, even though really faint, was a revelation. These things I had only read about in books really existed out in space! But to actually view planets, nebulae and galaxies (not mention alien mother ships) in detail, you need a much larger scope with a tracking motor and camera--someday maybe.

There are some companies that sell affordable used scientific equipment including microscopes. Buy the best you can as it will be much more satisfying. It should be binocular for easy viewing and have a place where you can attach a camera. I use my phone camera through the eyepiece opening to take pictures. It's not very good but better than nothing. You can find instructions for doing this on youtube.

Oh, I'm glad you chose coccoliths to study for your next project. They are a fascinating group of marine plankton and can be linked to global warming and ocean acidification. I helped one person a couple of years ago with a project using the species Emiliana huxleyi, which can be grown fairly easily in a home lab. Tell me about what you are interested in so I can think about it too.

What's your weather like? I heard on the news this morning that TX and some other states have had extreme cold, snow, ice and rolling blackouts--that's bad. Here we are supposed to get another 20 cm or so of snow this week, but temps will be comfortable in the 20sF.

Oh, I almost forgot--you asked about how to thank the company that supplied you with the soil, and there's an app for that. All you have to do is add an Acknowledgements section at the end of your paper or somewhere visible and just say that you would like to thank them for their kind help in providing you with the soil sample at no charge. It is good that you thought of that as it shows growing professionalism.

Hope you have a great day!

Sybee

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:27 pm

Hi Mr.Sybee,
I couldn’t have made it this far without you Mr.Sybee. You changed even the tiniest things and made my science fair project beautiful and professional enough to reach the judges. I will send you the project presentation later once I turn it in. I will send it through LinkedIn (my mom’s). The next step after that is preparing for the face-to-face interview/presentation of my project to the judges. I hope you will help me in preparing for that.
I do have a telescope, but not a large, powerful one. The reviews for the telescope I own were really good though, so I know I’ll be able to clearly see the sky’s wonders (including nebulae, galaxies, and homes of aliens). If I’m interested in the future (when I have enough money) I’ll try to get a professional telescope. As for the coccoliths experiment, I haven’t done much research yet on it, so I’ll let you know more details once this SAP project is done. I have to create a home lab as you said, so I will consider using the species Emiliana huxleyi.
We’re getting 9 inches of snow here and it's freezing outside (around -17 degrees Celsius). The news gave frostbite warnings, so I bundled myself up in layers and sat in the snow for a little bit while my mom took some pictures and videos. Then I ran back inside :)I tried blowing bubbles to see if they would freeze, but it didn’t work. I am surprised somewhere as hot as Texas would get that much snow!
I took your suggestion on the acknowledgments and added one line thanking the company after the bibliography section. You have to credit my mom for the idea though--she gave me the idea of adding the company somewhere in the bibliography.

Thank you so much for all your help! Stay warm,
Lakshita

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:11 pm

You are so welcome, Lakshita. Giving you a helping hand now ensures that the world will have good people in the future to solve the problems of today. Your mom and I both think alike in wanting to see you be successful.

Wow! -17C IS really cold for MO. It's snowing lightly here now, but the low tomorrow morning is only -6C which is about 10 degrees warmer than what it has been. How much snow are you predicted to get? They are saying about 8" for us. We are right near the Gulf of Maine so our weather is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean--warmer in winter and cooler in summer--just the way we like it.

Hey, you have all the neat things I had when I was growing up and my mom also encouraged me to be a scientist. I remember being in a couple of science fairs but I didn't win a prize. I did win third place in the state spelling bee, however. That's why I'm such a word nerd!

I am looking forward to continuing our collaboration and hearing about your adventures. Hopefully people will be able to go about their business with less risk this year and maybe someday soon we'll be able to see people's smiles again!! :D

Take care and stay curious,

Sybee

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:26 pm

Hi Mr.Sybee,
I hope you are staying warm over there! It's my 11th day staying at home in a row with the heat going on almost constantly. My mom also told me not to wear any t-shirts to keep myself warm :) I hope that one day I will somehow contribute to people's lives and make them happy, as you said. Like you, I also participated in the spelling bee...I didn't really get any prizes in middle school but did get first place in my elementary school (but not state-level though). It must be nice to have cool weather in the summer, the beaches, and also warm winters so you're not freezing...in Missouri we really don't know what to expect :lol:
I submitted my project, as you know, the day before yesterday. As far as I know, the way it's gonna work is that 6 finalists will be chosen for an interview by 5 Ph.D. scientists and then some of those participants will move on to the ISEF competition. Hopefully one of those finalists is me. Once we know the results from the science fair I will let you know immediately :) In preparation for the interview, we can start actually practicing after the results come, but for now, if you have any questions you think they will ask please let me know so that I will think about them.
I look forward to the end of COVID as well, and look forward to talking with you very soon :)
Until then, stay safe and warm!
Lakshita

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:56 am

Good morning Lakshita,

It’s a chilly 10F here but the sun has finally peeked over the clouds in the east and it is supposed to warm up to 27. Can you see the sun rise from your window? I’m a morning person, and my office is especially nice because it has two south-facing windows to let in the sunlight I come in here to work after breakfast. Do you have a nice place to work now since you are home more than you were pre-virus?

So, your project has been submitted and you just have to wait for the judges to consider it along with the others. Only six finalists are chosen? Out of how many entries? That’s pretty tough competition, I think, but you have a good chance. Your project is clear and well executed, the results are statistically significant and are applicable to helping people, so you do have a lot in your favor, but judges are human [I don’t think they are using AI bots yet] and therefore fallible, so I would not be surprised at anything.

As for potential questions, I think I have mentioned a few things in previous posts. The polymerization chemistry is something I as a chemist would certainly ask about, so be prepared to explain how the ingredients magically [do you have a phoenix feather inside your wand?] transform into a water-absorbing soil amendment. Then, someone may ask why salt reduces the amount of water that the SAP can absorb, so be prepared to explain that in your own words. One of the problems plants have with salt stress is water absorption, so you may be able to make the case that SAP improves water absorption, but be careful to stick to published facts there since you did not test that hypothesis.

The benefit in improvement of water-holding capacity of sandy soil should be obvious. They may ask you why a farmer would need to go to the trouble of making SAP when they could just add organic matter to their soil in the form of compost, but I would argue that SAP has much higher water-retaining properties than compost, although here again be very careful of claiming something as true if you don’t have very good evidence to back it up. You have data from your experiments that you know are good, but relying on published data needs to be done very carefully as the judges as scientists themselves are very aware of the variation in quality of published data, even in peer-reviewed journals.

Lastly, they may ask you something about the stat tests, so be prepared by making sure you know what the stat terms mean, how they are derived, and which tests to use under which conditions. Using statistics correctly is absolutely necessary to your success, so watch the videos again and make sure you understand the theory and application for your experiments.

That’s all I can think of right off, but if some other questions come up, I will send them to you. Do you have any specific questions right now? I would do some searching for soil amendments and see where that leads. You are looking for some way to use a waste product like orange peels and avocado skins, or other plant-based material such as sweet potato peels that a farmer can get for free, preferably, and turn into a soil amendment. Farmers have been using compost and manure for millennia to improve the soil, so you need to be able to explain why the SAPs are necessary now when these other methods have been proven already.

Enjoy the rest of your week and the weekend. Have you started any flower or vegie seeds for setting out in the garden in the spring? You have the plant growing set-up that you can use for this and I can tell you it is a source of joy to come out in the morning and see how the seedlings have grown and to think about them turning into mature plants later and that you have the satisfaction of knowing that you brought them into being.

Keep your journal up to date and enjoy the small, beautiful things around you,

Sybee

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby lakshu_s » Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:35 am

Hi Mr.Sybee,
How are you doing? It's been a few days..so sorry for the late reply. Here all the snow has melted. I made a snowman yesterday (believe it or not, this is the first one I've made with three tiers). Then I thought it was a little lonely and sad, so I made a snowcat for it :) Then both of them melted away today :( I actually do have a large window in the master bedroom of my house, where we can see both sunrise and sunset. In addition, we have a tree line so it's very beautiful to see the sunset behind it. But my room is on the side of the house, so I can usually see only the sunset in my workplace (still really beautiful during golden hour).
I didn't count, but I can safely say there were about 25 entries in the honors division. Imagine having AI bots judge our work...very cool! The questions you sent are very helpful...I will make sure to start preparing my answers to them starting tomorrow (probably gonna practice in front of my mom--very intimidating). Also, I'm so sorry I haven't gotten the chance to send my project presented to you yet. I will make sure to do that this week through LinkedIn.
I haven't put seedlings yet...I gotta get on that. I'm thinking of growing tomatoes, some lima beans, bitter gourd, spinach, and maybe even a pumpkin for this fall or maybe a cabbage.
Thank you so much for all of your help!
Lakshita

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Re: Super-absorbent polymer prepared from orange peels

Postby SciB » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:22 am

Good morning Lakshita.

I like your nice, newsy message. The snow we were supposed to get Monday night into early Tuesday morning turned into rain and our snow is melting. I started Bigfoot a week ago but then the snow froze as hard as granite and I couldn’t work with it. Now it is starting to melt again and is too wet! I’m sure we’ll get some more, and you too because winter isn’t over.

I’m happy to hear that you are planning a garden for spring. It is a great pleasure and useful for the kitchen if you grow herbs. I always make sure I have fresh parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro, coriander, thyme and rosemary in the kitchen garden so when I make parsleyed potatoes or yellow rice, I can just walk outside the barn and pick what I need. And flowers—don’t forget them—so beautiful! From early crocus and daffodils in May, then tulips, narcissus, iris, roses, lupines and many more, it is a continuous procession of pleasure and beauty. Does your mom like to garden? For someone who likes to cook, a garden is essential.

Let me know your ideas about what you think the judges might ask or question you about. I’m sure your mom will come up with some questions too and give you a different point of view. In science (and life in general, come to think of it), you always have to expect the unexpected. You can’t be prepared for everything, but the more knowledge you have the better you are able to reason and make good decisions. Probably one of the hardest things is to stay skeptical. I think humans do not like uncertainty. They want to feel like they understand everything and are pretty much in control, when usually the opposite is true. With experiments you have controls and do stat tests, but this is harder in your life. I mentioned AI judges before as a way to objectively evaluate your work, but I am envisioning something like a personal Alexa with quantum computing power and super-advanced algorithms with whom you can have a real conversation and get some deeper insights into things—a personal trainer for life. What do you think? Talking to a wise human and listening to their opinions can be enlightening and I don’t know if AI can every match that, but it could provide a lot of relevant facts to help you make a better decision for some things.

Only five more days in February, and then on to March and closer to spring—yaay!

Sybee
Mon., February

SciB
Expert
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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 25, 2021 5:36 pm

Good evening Lakshita,

Haven't had a message from you in a couple of days so thought i'd say Hi. Anything new to report on the judging? I know you are busy with your other courses and want to excel in everything.

Tomorrow we get our first covid shot, so will be protected somewhat at least. The new virus mutants are a little worrisome as they seem to be more infectious, but the vaccines are supposed to offer protection against them too. It will sure be nice to be able to take off the masks and see people's smiles again, but I'm not doing it until i'm SURE it is safe, and you too!

If you have any questions or ideas, just send them along and we can discuss them.

All the best,

Sybee


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