Friday, June 28, 2013

Blog Challenge #2

The purpose of blog challenge number two was to get action shots of our fellow SEED members working on their projects (below). We were also assigned a partner that we were directed to interview and create a biography on and post it along with our action shots; It can be found underneath the pictures. 

Part 1

 Deion working on one of the Macs in the computer lab
Cheyenne is viewing her crystal nanoparticles in Dr. Aitken's lab
Kelly is adding solution to a beaker
Emily is viewing pictures taken with the SEM
Charlie is picking out buffer solutions from the cold room

Part 2

My partner for this blog challenge is Cheyenne Simmons. She is 16 and a Junior at Sto-Rox High School. She has lived in McKees Rocks her whole life and became interested in science in the 7th grade. Her main influence was her teacher, Mr. Howells. He taught Earth Science and she found this to be extremely interesting. So interesting, in fact, that she wishes to study Earth Science in college. She is undecided as of right now as to where she wants to attend but she has a few ideas in mind. 
In the Project SEED program, working with her mentor Jacilynn Brant, she is currently constructing crystal nanoparticles. She is observing nanocrystalline under the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and using EDS, or Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy, to take pictures of and acquire the elements inside of the crystals. In the future, she will be observing individual crystal particles with the SEM. 

Blog Challenge #2

For this challenge, each student must take a photo of the other five students ENGAGED IN THEIR SCIENCE EXPERIMENT (i.e. Emily working with the SEM, Cheyenne making crystals, Charlie doing whatever the heck Charlie does, etc.). Please make sure the other students are wearing appropriate PPE or the picture is invalid. They do not have to be pictures during ACTUAL experimentation (Photos can be STAGED). Pictures must be posted and have a caption.

Then...................(yes, there's more :)

You must talk to your selected partner and write a LENGTHY paragraph about their project. In the paragraph, include the person's name and a short BIO (where they are from, how old, year in school, interest in science, etc.)

Partners: Emily/Kelly


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blog Challenge #1

I have loved science ever since I was a little girl.  My love for science has grown so much over the years that I had decided that I want to become a Forensic Scientist. I have watched just about every NCIS and CSI shows and become so interested in the field I would like to study it and soon become a Forensic Scientist.  With my career choice comes the choice of colleges.  I have not yet decided if I want to go away for college or stay close to home so I have been looking at a wide variety of colleges , some close to home and some farther away.  Some colleges that I have looked into are Duquesne University, Pace University, and Arcadia University.

Duquesne University- Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Duquesne University is located in Pittsburg, PA and requires an undergraduate to have a 3.0 cumulative QPA/GPA and a 2.5 QPA/GPA in math and science to attend the third year of the Forensic Science and Law Program.  To attend the first semester of Duquesne I would need 4 credits of advanced chemistry, 1 credit of advance chemistry lab, 4 credits of calculus, 4 credits of biology, 3 credits of thinking and writing across the curriculum, and 1 credit of research and information skills.  The program offered by Duquesne is also a 5-year program and the curriculum allows students to take course work leading towards a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry or Biology. The program is also accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission.

Pace University- Dyson College of Arts and Science
Pace University is located in Westchester, NYC and requires 4-7 credits of English, 3 credits of Writing in Disciplines, 0-3 credits of Computing Foundation Core course, 3 credits of Math, 3 credits of Foundational Science, 3 credits of Public Speaking, and 0-6 credits of Second Language Proficiency.  Pace offers both a Bachelor's and Masters degree in Forensic Science.  The students of Pace (both undergraduate and graduate) are supported by the Chemistry and Biology department. "The criminal, forensic chemistry, and forensic biology programs have fully equipped facilities for forensic chemistry and forensic biology, including the new DNA sequencing lab and specialized laboratories for crime scene reconstruction, forensic microscopy, questioned documents, and virtual crime scene reconstruction." Pace University is also a 2-year program for Forensic Science.

Arcadia University- Master of Science in Forensic Science (M.S.F.S.)
Arcadia University is located in Glenside, PA and requires first year students to take a set of core courses in Biology and Chemistry that concern both general and specific topics in Forensic Science. The M.S.F.S. program is nationally accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Committee.  Arcadia also offers a guaranteed internship at the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education.  Arcadia prepares students for careers in private, state, and federal agencies, gives students an opportunity to attend autopsies and consult on cold case investigations, and become recognized by the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC) by taking the Forensic Science Assessment Test (FSAT) prior to graduation.  Arcadia University is also a 5-year program in Forensic Science.

Blog Challenge #1

My love for science has grown immensely over the past few years, but it was not until recently that I decided I wanted to go to school for Pharmacy. I think it would be a great field for me to get into because I love all of the chemistry aspects of it. I would be able to help people through dispensing medicine rather than actual hands on medical work. I know of a few people who will be attending their final year of Pharmacy school this upcoming year and I can always go to them for when I need more information. I know that a lot of people are telling me that I should go away for college, but I really have my heart set on staying in Pittsburgh. I have a few colleges in mind that will keep me closer to home. Although, I am considering colleges that are a little further away. These colleges include: St. Francis University, Duquesne University,  and Lake Erie College.

St. Francis University
When applying to St. Francis it is required that you have at least 4 years of English, 3 years of Math, 2 years of Science, 2 years of Social Studies, 4 years of Academic Electives, and your standardized test scores. The University of St. Francis and Midwester University have created a dual acceptance program in pharmacy. You must apply to both schools and once accepted you may begin to obtain your associates degree at St. Francis and then finish your pharmacy education at Midwestern. St. Francis does not offer a specific pre-pharmacy major but they do offer a biology degree for students interested in pursuing pharmacy.

Duquesne University's Mylan School of Pharmacy
It is required that you have your standardized test scores for admissions and the classes that were recommended for admissions are as the following: 4 years of English, 2 years of a Foreign Language, 2 years of Math, 2 years of Science, 2 years of Social Studies, and 4 years of Academic Electives. Anyone who is looking to attend the Mylan School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University must first apply to their two-year Pre-Professional Pharmacy study. Once you complete this program you will be able to apply for placement into their School of Pharmacy. If accepted into the program you will then begin your four-year professional phase. The University gives a strong preference to those students who started their pre-pharmacy education at Duquesne as Freshman. Most of the students in the professional phase completed their pre-pharmacy at Duquesne University.

Lake Erie College
To be excepted into Lake Erie College, your high school requirements must include: 4 years of English classes, 2 years of a Foreign Language, 3 years of Math, 3 years of Science, and 3 years of Social Studies. It is very important for admissions to a have a great GPA, application essay, and standardized test score. As for the programs they offer, you would have to attend two years at an accredited undergraduate school followed by 3-4 years of professional pharmacy education at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. They also offer a year round curriculum which allows students to graduate one year early. The main campus is in Erie, Pennsylvania with 3 additional locations. One of which is Seton Hill University. Seeing as I would like to be closer to home, I would be able to attend Seton Hill for my undergraduate education and then attend LECOM to finish my education in their pharmacy program.

Blog Challenge #1

Ever since I was a child I have been interested in science. What first interested me about science was stars. I used to look up at the stars with such amazement until I figured out that they were just massive balls of helium and hydrogen. As I grew up I became interested in the inventions and theories of Einstein, which spiked my interest in nuclear engineering. In 1905, as part of his Special Theory of Relativity, he made the intriguing point that large amounts of energy can be released from small amounts of matter. This theory eventually lead to the development of the atom bomb. I then started to do more and more research on nuclear engineering. The colleges that I would like to attend are the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, and the University of Tennessee.

University of Pittsburgh, Main Campus, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the first college that I ever considered to go to for nuclear engineering. For admission, you must have your high school transcript and admissions test scores(SAT/ACT). Half of the students that are admitted have an SAT math score of 590 and reading score of 570. For the Nuclear Engineering Undergraduate Program, students can chose to major in Engineering Science with a concentration in Nuclear Energy. For a certificate in nuclear engineering it is required that students take three units of ENGR 1700: Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, ENGR 1701: Fundamentals of Nuclear Reactors, and ENGR 1702: Nuclear Plant Technology. This will also give the students a background in nuclear engineering. Pitt offers a variety of internships and fellowship programs, which is why I really want to go there.

Penn State University, Main Campus, located in State College, Pennsylvania,  offers a very immersive nuclear engineering program. For admission, you must have your high school transcript, GPA, and admissions test scores. Half the students that are admitted have an SAT math score of 570 and a reading score of 530. It is also required that you have three units (years) in math, science, English, and social studies. Their nuclear engineering program is ranked eighth in the nation. As a nuclear engineer at Penn State you have the chance to participate in the Toshiba-Westinghouse Fellowship Program, which allows you to work on your own research project with a Penn State nuclear engineering faculty member.

University of Tennessee is a college that I would be honored to attend. I actually had a chance to speak with a representative of the university that talked to me about their nuclear engineering program. For admission you must have your high school transcript, GPA, and admission test scores. Half the students that are admitted have a SAT math score of 530 and a reading score of 510. To get into the nuclear engineering program it is required that you have a minimum grade point average of 3.0- 4.0 or a 3.0 during your senior year of undergraduate study. Students must also submit an application for admission to the Graduate School. Once selected, students may elect a traditional nuclear engineering program focusing on fission energy or a radiological engineering concentration, which prepares students for careers in the radiation safety field. Students without a Bachelor of Science degree must take the 433 and 470 course for graduate credit.

 These colleges present the best programs for me if I do decide to go for nuclear engineering. They each offer a number of different scholarships for students. Both Pitt and Penn State are fairly close to where I live. If I do decide to go to the University of Tennessee I will have family members there that will support me. I believe I have what it takes to make it in to anyone of these colleges because of my work ethic and strive for success.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blog Challenge #1

Ever since i was a kid i was alway interested in building and creating things. I use to have un-realistic dreams. I remember when i was young i tried to build a robot with scrap metal i found around my house.  I've always been interested in engineering, either mechanical or structural, or maybe even civil. I'm also interested in chemistry but i still think i rather go into the engineering field.

Im interested in the University of Pittsburgh, they offer a good engineering program that caught my eye.  I talked to different people from the university about the college and go some valuable information. I learned about the courses they offer in the mechanical engineering major, credit requirements  how many years ill spend in school, tuition, etc.  My school is also located in the middle of the campus so i know the rea well.

Penn State University also caught my eye. They are the number #1 recruitment college in America. I also talked to a representative from Penn State and im planning to visit the campus over the summer, sometime in July. I found out that 1 in every 50 engineers is a Penn State Engineer.

Im also interested in Carnegie Mellon University, they offer an excellent engineering program that i would lov to be apart of. I'm actually working with CMU during my senior year building a prosthetic arm with Dr. Steve Collins. The only problem with this school is financial issues. I dont know if i will be able to afford the school and not to mention how competitive the school is.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Blog Challenge #1

Ever since i was little I've always have been interested in science. I've become more interested in earth science after 7th grade when my teacher made it fun. I've always like to watch the lightening during thunder storms. I know i'm crazy for sitting outside during a thunderstorm but i cant help but to go when it calls me. I really like that field because its amusing to me.

Some colleges/universities that offer the field  i want to work in is, Cal U with Earth and Space Science Education. The requirements it makes is you need a high school transcript, you have to have a letter of recommendation, and you also have to have official SAT and ACT scores. The Programs that they offer there are not so much in what I'm doing but what in other fields that like nursing and sports.

Another college/university that offers the field i wish to work in is, IUP with Earth and Space Science a Program there will let me work in the field with a wide variety of teacher that will push me to succeed in my field. The requirements that they have are you must have at least a 2.6 GPA out of 4.0.

The last college/university that offers the field i want to work in is, Columbus State University also with the Earth and Space Science. They really don't offer programs that involve my field of work. But there requirements are having a high school diploma, SAT scores of 440 critical reading- 410 math or ACT scored of 17 reading- 17 math.

Blog Challenge #1

Throughout my whole life I have always been interested in science. When I was younger, I wanted to be an entomologist and work in the biology field. More recently though, I've been interested in the engineering field and I think that's what I want to study in college.  To be more specific, when I say "engineering", I'm talking about biomedical engineering. I chose BME because I want to improve the health of people around me and improve the health field altogether. I want to design devices that could potentially solve health problems in people all around the world and between you and me, the pay isn't that bad either. 

Three universities that I am interested in attending that offer programs in biomedical engineering are the University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Rochester. 

The University of Pittsburgh located right here in Pittsburgh, does not have a GPA/QPA requirement since there is a wide variety of grading scales from school to school but 60% of their admitted students graduated within the top 10% of their class. High school record, class rank, test scores, and activities are considered during the admission process. Their biomedical program offers hands-on experience and the chance to utilize their state-of-the-art facilities on campus. There are 30+ undergraduate courses offered at Pitt and they award bachelors degrees in science after 4 years. 

Johns Hopkins University located in Baltimore, Maryland, is very picky with their freshman admittance. They admit those who are in the top 3-5% of their graduating class and they only admit 18% of all students who apply. 75% of that 18% have GPA's that are between 3.5 and 4.0. For SAT scores, they look for scores between 2100 and 2400. 4 years of a foreign language is recommended and it is helpful to take the most advanced classes that your high school has to offer. Their biomedical engineering program was ranked #1 for it's specialization in BME/BE in 2011. JHU's BME website didn't give me very much insight into their program but after reviewing the personal blogs and forums of some JHU alumni, I've determined that though it's a lot of hard work, the program is worth the 4 years of long nights and longer days.

The University of Rochester located in Rochester, New York, is another very highly-respected university that I have thought about applying to. Though they don't have specific minimum requirements for admission, most  Rochester students graduated from their high schools with an unweighted GPA of 3.8 or higher. They graduated within the top 10% of their senior class and have taken between 2-7 advanced placement courses. SAT scores that are accepted by admissions are between 1900 and 2200 and ACT scores range between 29 and 33. Freshman that have been admitted display qualities like leadership, creativity, and enthusiasm. Setting up an on-campus interview is encouraged and might increase your chances of being accepted. I really like their BME program because they give students the opportunities to put their ideas right into the medical field. 

Though every college listed here is a long shot for most people, I believe that I have the potential to land myself into any one of these BME programs. I think I will be accepted due to the fact that I already have a high GPA, am first in my class as of right now, and plan on taking AP courses this year and my senior year. I might sound cocky, but with the competitiveness of today's job market, I can't afford not to be. 

Blog Challenge #1

For this challenge, which will be due by Thursday, June 27th, the following guidelines must be met:

- Choose a potential career for yourself that, in some way, involves science (Write one paragraph explaining why you have chosen that career)
- Research 3 colleges/universities that offer programs in that field
- List any potential requirements to be accepted into the college/university
- Explain the program offered by said university/college (ex. classes offered, number of years, post-grad requirements)------- each explanation should be at least 1 paragraph

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My name is Kelly Pesta, I am from Boardman High School, this is my first year in the Project Seed program, and I am very excited to be able to work in Duquesne University for the summer.  The topic I am going to be researching and working on is the "Identification of Organic Gun Residue." These last few days I have been reading and trying to understand what my topic is about.  Throughout my research learned about the many different types of mass spectrometers.  One specific type is called the Quadruple Mass Spectrometer, which is the machine that I will eventually be using.  I am excited to be researching this topic and hope to get a lot out of it throughout the summer.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rough Start

Hello everyone! I'm Melissa Fowkes, a soon to be junior at Sto-Rox High School. This is my first year in the Project SEED program and I feel so privileged to be able to work in Duquesne University's chemistry and biochemistry department. I hope to accomplish a lot over these next eight weeks, but first I need to get a better understanding of what it is I'm doing now.
The project that I am going to be researching and conducting over the next few months is titled "Predicting the Structures of Peptides in Water form Calculated Vibrational Frequencies". Whenever I started reading up on my topic and I started seeing Quantum Mechanics and equations with Greek lettering thrown in, my first thought was "What did I get myself into?!" I was and still am intimidated by everything but I am confident that I will get a grasp on the topic soon enough with help from my mentor, Dr. Wheeler, and Scott. My progress on my topic is off to a very slow start. So far, I've learned how to use GaussView 5.0 and basic commands in the Linux operating system. I'm still questioning a lot but chemistry, math, and I are tighter than three peas in a pod and I am fully confident that I will understand what is going on eventually. I'm ready to begin my research and eventually be able to participate in group meetings and even, if I'm lucky, understand what the Computational Chemists are talking about.

Post #1

This is my second year being a part of Project SEED and I can't tell you how excited I am to be back! This year went by so fast and it feels like I've never even left. However, I am a little upset that a lot of the grad students who were in my lab last year won't be here this year. We are almost through our first week being here at Duquesne and it has gone pretty well, so far! These past few days I have been mainly refreshing my memory and learning more about the SEM and EDS through reading. For my project last year, an experiment was designed that remotely utilizes the SEM in high school chemistry laboratories via internet connection. This year I am going to continue working on high school outreach, but also begin quantitative analysis on the following: Cu2ZnSiS4, Cu2CdSnS4 doped with Mn or Co, and AglnSe2 doped with Mn. I am really excited to be doing more analytical research this
summer opposed to what I was working on last year. I can't wait to get started! :)

Here are some of the images I took last year using the SEM.

Increased magnifications of the penny imaged using the SEM

                                     SEM images of the crystallized salt candy      

                                  SEM images of the crystallized sugar candy