Individual Reflection

  • Pre-Camp: The first project, Extracting of Caffeine from Beverages seems interesting as I have never tried extracting caffeine before. I think it will be a good experience as I get to see professionals at work and also gain knowledge. For the second project, The Fastest Ball Challenge will be fun as we should be testing out methods on how to make a ball move at its fastest speed. And lastly, I hope to work well with this team.
  • Day 1: The first project, The Fastest Ball challenge was a fun project to do as we get to explore ways to allow a metal ball to travel down a track at its fastest speed. We got to learn the energy conversions of the metal ball as it travels down the track. On second part of the same project, we were asked to dip certain objects into a long tube of liquid soup and see which objects were able to reach the bottom of the tube first. Lastly, we got to see how the 3D-printer works and it was very amazing that such a small machine could build so many different things. For the second project, we were briefed on how to extract caffeine and had to come up with 8 bags of tea leaves and each must weigh the same. The session ended here and had to continue on tomorrow's session.
  • Day 2: We continued on with what we have left the day before and it was tough work. We had to follow many procedures in the experiment. I found out that pure caffeine is white during the experiment and was told that it was dark brown due to many other substances clumped together with caffeine for example Tannins and Cellulose. Caffeine is an alkaloid which is also the same as Cocaine, Strychnine, Morphine, Piperine and also Quinine. We tried out many different sophisticated equipment in the lab which is not commonly found in Secondary Schools. It was a fun project as I got to handle rarely-seen equipments and I also got to learn about caffeine. 
  • Day 3
  • Pre-camp: For project A, we are learning about the conversion of energy, for B, about caffeine and how to extract it. These are interesting as we get to have a hands-on experience with professional equipment doing these projects. It will give us a better understanding of the learning objectives.
  • Day 1: For the first part of the day, we did the fastest ball challenge. We had to release a metal ball from the top of a ramp and measure the amount of time it took to travel a fixed distance using photo gates. Then, we had a competition among the odd numbered teams to see who had the fastest speed. The results were not released yet. There were 2 more challenged including the metal ball, one was to make the time taken to travel between the 2 photo gates 1.2 seconds, the other is 1.4 seconds. These results were also no released yet. Since we had extra time, we also did a Fastest dive challenge. We had to choose a shape from a variety of 3D-printed ones, drop them in a tube of detergent and see which one got to the bottom first. The objects were split into 2 categories, heavy-weight and light-weight. For the heavy-weight, we choose the object shaped like a rounded-cuboid. It was the slowest out of all the groups, even though some of them also chose it. In theory, the best would be the object shaped like a pill. This goes to show theory is very different from reality. As for the light-weight category, we chose the teardrop-shaped object. This time, we were second. The learning points for today are that This shape is correct in theory, but another group got first with a different shape. We then started a bit on the next project, extraction of caffeine from tea. We set up 8 tea bags with tea leaves in them for tomorrow. 
  • Day 2: We started off by continuing with yesterday's project, extracting caffeine from tea leaves. We had to wear protective gear at all times when in the lab, like gloves, lab coats and safety goggles. Some of the chemicals, like dichloromethane,  involved in the experiment are actually toxic, so we have to be very careful when handling them. After a long and tedious process of pouring, mixing and filtering, we finally got the end product, caffeine dissolved in dichloromethane. After which, we had to attach the flask containing the mixture to a ROTOVAP, or rotation evaporator. What it did was spin the mixture around in its flask and heat it above a water bath. The pressure inside is also reduced to lower the boiling point of the dichloromethane. When we touched the machine and flask, we were surprised that it was actually very cold instead of the warm of the water bath. This is because the dichloromethane is losing a lot of energy when it boils, so it also loses a lot of heat. When the whole process is done, we get solid caffeine in the form of powder in the flask. We had to scrape it off with a spatula and put it in a plastic bag. After that, we went to a classroom, where the results of yesterday's challenge were released. Sadly, my team did not win anything. All of us still received some pretty cool gifts. One of them is a 3D-printed chain.
  • Day 3

  • Pre-camp: This project seem interesting as it lets us have an opportunity to be able to extract the essence of the caffeine. I think I will learn to biologically extract caffeine. 
  • Day 1:  sick 
  • Day 2: sick 
  • Day 3: sick
  • Pre-camp: This project looks exciting as I can learn about caffeine and its effects, as well as drink it. Question is, can we drink it ? ;) I hope my team will work will together to contribute to a conducive learning experience. 
  • Day 1For the first part of the day, we did the fastest ball challenge. We had to elevate metal ramps at different angles to find which angle would let a ball roll down at the fastest possible velocity. we concluded 35 degrees. We also had to find which angle allowed the ball to roll 1.2 and 1.4 seconds between the two photogates. we then went for a 2 hour lunch. For the second part of the day, we weighted 2 grams of tea leaves and put them in bags, and we then headed back to SST. 
  • Day 2: For the first half of the day, we started by making caffeine. There were many steps involved, such as desalination, stirring, boiling, etc. After that we went for lunch. When we came back from lunch, we proceeded to claim prizes for Day 1's activities, as well as tidy up our blog. We then headed back to school. 
  • Day 3:

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