Welcome to the first “SEAL Week in Review” of the school year! The Google Drive files weren’t available until part-way through the week, so my apologies to those teams who didn’t get a chance to update with their week’s work. A few teams were also struggling with file permissions so I’m sure next week we will have more updates from everyone.
This week’s highlights include our two teams from Irvine- Beckman and Concordia- and the three subgroups from Mayfield:
Beckman HS mostly has new students on their team so they have gone back to the basics, practicing pipetting techniques with iron nitrate. They prepared 4 plates, and ran 2 of them with the SEAL kit. If you have any tips for pipetting or advice for new SEAL members leave them in the comments section!
The Concordia team also has several new members so they have been reviewing the lab techniques for preparing, spotting, and annealing plates. They decided on a naming system for their sample plates (important thing for all teams to consider early on!) and practiced etching the FTO glass so that the sample name is legible. They also considered the best way to clean the glass before depositing the metal solutions. Rinse with water to remove any dust or debris, and then wipe down with acetone or isopropanol- Concordia experimentally determined both work fine- to wipe away any organic impurities on the glass. The first sample they are testing is iron (III) nitrate with bismuth nitrate. Looking forward to hearing about the results!
Lastly, Mayfield is split into three subgroups: RAM, SEA and KEN. The RAM team is continuing work from previous years with bismuth, vanadium and a third metal. They chose tungsten and are testing ratios that have worked well in the past for Bi, V, X combinations- 8:1:1, 8:1:5, 8:1:8. The vanadium solution wasn’t fully dissolved and the spots formed coffee rings after annealing, but the spots did turn a nice bright yellow. Team SEA is working on a testing system to analyze the effect of colored metal salts with non-colored salts. Colored metal oxides should be better at light absorption so they have a pattern to test various combinations that should all be colored in some way. Lastly team KEN is continuing work on their varied ratios template. They have made an iron standard plate to practice and a CoZn sample with the extreme varied ratios pattern.
If you have any questions on the work these groups are doing, leave your question in the comments and hopefully we can start a discussion. Be sure to update your Google Drive file this week so we can get highlights from everyone for next time’s “SEAL Week in Review”!