Wednesday, June 17, 2015

6/17 Amber Latona

Good Afternoon Everyone!

I wanted to add something about my experience last year in Project SEED since I didn't really mention it in yesterday's blog.

Last year was my first year and I was very nervous at first. I had no clue what to expect. The first few weeks were rough for me for a few different reasons. I did not understand any of my readings and had to ask a lot of questions. I easily get frustrated with myself if I don't know something right away. My research involved a high temperature muffle furnace and it had not yet arrived yet because it had to be ordered...therefore it did not come until about a month into the program...I felt very nervous that I wasn't going to finish any of my research in time.
I also moved in with my cousin for the summer last summer because she lives closer to here and it took some time to adjust at first because I am known to get homesick very easily.
Last summer was the first summer in which I worked two jobs at the same time for 2 months straight. It took a long time for me to adjust to a busy work schedule. On top of that, I switched stands at Kennywood to Johnny Rockets in the middle of June. Not only did I have to adjust to a new stand, I had to learn the menu, learn how to be a fast, efficient waitress, and so on.
I worked long days 7 days a week and did not have much time to relax or spend time with friends.
Although I was upset sometimes, I must say I made the best decisions of my life last summer.
Choosing to become a member of Project SEED has forever left an impact on my life.
I learned how to work efficiently, how to accept failure at times, how to operate lab equiptment, how to be a more confident person, and how to never give up.

Throughout my senior year, I talked about my Project SEED experience here at Duquesne many times. I even used this as a "job shadowing" experience in my senior project...Many people were interested and amazed with my work and such a wonderful opportunity I was given.

aaaaaaaaand that's why I'm back here again this summer!

I worked with blue pigments last summer and I will be doing the same thing this summer. I am doing the same research over again to see if I get different results...I am also doing a few procedures differently.

The name of my research is "Synthesis and Characterization of Blue Pigments"

It involves three elements: Yttrium Oxide, Indium Oxide, and Manganese Oxide.
I have to weigh certain amounts into 11 vials based on an equation, grind each into a mortar, press each solution into pellets, and then heat the solutions three different times with intermediate grinding and repressing.
The purpose of this experiment is to produce blue pigments that are durable, safe, and environmentally friendly.

To produce a blue pigment, the procedure states that "The more manganese added, (while decreasing the amount of Indium), the darker the tone of the blue pigment.

Last year's research was a success & I had a nice blue spectrum! There were some impurity peaks though, so I am hoping to perfect that this summer.


Today I weighed out all of my samples and it took me allllll day because the numbers have to pretty much be exact...it is essential to the experiment. Tomorrow I will start grinding each solution which is going to take a few days because I have to grind each solution for 20 minutes...that is also crucial to the experimemt.

See y'all tomorrow! :)

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