Research Poster Competition Winners / Abstracts - Physical
Polar and Non-Polar Cleaning
Emma Costa, Jennifer Shmukler, and Sima Zhukovski
Kingsborough Community College
Polar molecules are attracted to each other because they
have a positive and negative pole, and the opposite poles
attract each other. We hypothesize that the principle of "like
dissolves like" will apply to stain removal. Polar stains
will vanish when treated with polar substances, which is the
same for non-polar stains treated with non-polar substances.
We tested a few stains (mascara, red wine, pizza grease, berry
juice, and red ink) on cut pieces of fabric and carpet squares.
To treat the stains we used household products such as rubbing
alcohol, white wine, hot water, and dishwashing liquid. Polar
stains were treated with polar cleaning agents, while non-polar
stains were treated with non-polar cleaning agents. Our results
supported our hypothesis. The polar stains were substantially
diminished when treated with polar cleaning agents, and the
non-polar stains were substantially diminished when treated
with non-polar cleaning agents.
Chromatography: Can Food
Dye Cause Allergic Reactions?
Chromatography is the use of various physical methods to
separate or analyze complex mixtures, and it is used in food
processing, chemical and bioprocessing industries, and crime
labs. This project is important because candy has food dyes,
and these dyes may contain allergens that affect the body.
It is crucial that one knows which candies to
eat, especially if he/she has allergies. I hypothesize that
the food dyes in the tested samples will contain allergens.
For this experiment, I decided to use methods that involved
paper chromatography. I took multiple samples of colored candy
and separated the food dyes. Using these methods, I identified
components of food dyes that are likely
to cause allergic reactions.
How Does the “Mpemba
Effect” Work With Different Mediums?
College of Staten Island
Most people believe that cold water freezes faster than hot
water, however, in some conditions this is incorrect. The
purpose of this experiment is to test the “Mpemba Effect,”
which proves that hot water is able to freeze faster than
cold water. To test the “Mpemba Effect,” liquids
such as seltzer, orange juice, milk, and water will be used.
The same amount of each liquid will be boiled on a stove in
a closed container. The containers will be placed in a freezer;
the time it takes for the liquids to freeze will be recorded
with a stopwatch. After researching the effect and properties
of the “Mpemba Effect,” I hypothesize that it
will prove true when applied to these liquids. This information
will allow people to save freezing time and energy.
A Study of Solar Storms
Farmingdale State College
A solar storm is when activity on the sun interferes with
the earth’s magnetic field. Severe solar storms have
the ability to knock out a large portion of the world’s
electrical grid. A grid of magnetometers that are positioned
around the world is currently in place to measure the effects
of solar wind on the earth’s magnetic field. This data
published and updated every 15 minutes in K-index, a code
that is related to the maximum number of fluctuations of horizontal
components observed on a magnetometer. Scientists predict
that a large solar storm may occur within the next few years,
with a target date of May 2013.
This study aims at measuring the magnetic field at different
places and analyzing the data to find out the possibility
of the occurrence of a solar storm. Experiments were conducted
at different places to measure the strength and direction
of the magnetic field. Data was analyzed using statistical
analysis methods, and the results were used to predict the
possibility of the occurrence of a solar storm in those places.
How Many Bacteria Can be Removed From Contaminated Water By
Boiling it for a Given Length of Time?
Reliable sources of freshwater are becoming increasingly
scarce. Varying techniques for disinfecting water have been
identified—i.e., using gold to identify mercury in water,
or using visible light to kill bacteria. Despite these technological
advances, one of the cheapest and most effective ways to disinfect
water is boiling. My experiment aims
to find the ideal length of time that contaminated water should
be heated for it to be safe enough to drink.
To find the answer, water was collected from Onondaga Lake
in Syracuse, New York and boiled for 30 minutes. During this
process a microscope was used every two minutes to sample
and record changes in the water’s bacterial content.
Tap water was collected and served as a control. This data
will be plotted against time to evaluate boiled water’s
effectiveness in removing biological contaminants.
Making an Effective Wind Tunnel for Use in a Classroom Environment
Alex Lambros and Ella Perkins
Can an effective aerodynamic wind tunnel be created through
simple construction and with the use of household materials?
The unique and simple construction of a wind tunnel will be
able to work in a classroom environment through simple construction
techniques, and with materials found in the average household.
It will be a good teaching tool for aerodynamics.
Geospatial Analysis of Lead
Levels in Soils Around Our Roadways
Samir Nasim Mohammad, Aashma Dhakal, Manuela Namba, Sophia
Steffen-Cruz and Olivia Yotat
Rochester Institute of Technology
Lead is a heavy metal that can cause serious health problems
in humans, such as brain damage. Lead can accumulate in the
human body over time, so it is critical to identify even the
smallest sources of exposure. One source of lead in the environment
is gasoline combustion in cars, which can leak into the soil
around roadways. To study the lead levels surrounding our
roadways, soil is sampled over a one meter grid along a heavily
used road in Henrietta, New York. The soil is made into slurry
and acidified before adding a regent. The color of the reaction
indicates the parts per meter (ppm) of lead contained in the
soil. Each sampling location is recorded with a GPS device,
and this allows for geospatial analysis of lead levels in
the soil around the roadway, and helps us to understand its
effect on the health of the soil.
Monitoring the Quality of Our Drinking Water at School
Omayra Ruiz, John Davis, Kherie Ernise, Timarra Thomas and
Rochester Institute of Technology
Edison Tech High School was built on a land fill that may
be polluting its water supplies. We tested the water from
the school’s drinking fountains and sinks to compare
it to water from taps and bottles outside of school (such
as one’s home). Water testing kits will be used to detect
pH, dissolved oxygen, water hardness, nitrate, phosphate,
bacteria levels of several water samples. We hope to find
whether Edison Tech’s water is polluted, and where and
what are the worst places. If the water in school is polluted,
then why are they allowing students to drink it? Also, why
does the school not test the water more often? Drinking contaminated
water might be affecting our brains, and we are supposed to
Kelvin Soeh and Bob Willie-Kweh
Mohawk Valley Community College
The purpose of this project is to make an egg float in tap
water. This was done by changing the density of water. Normally,
if placed in water, an egg will sink. However, an egg can
be made to float if the water density is altered by adding
a chemical. When conducted, this simple experiment made an
interesting and exciting result. By adding table salt to the
beaker of fresh water, the density of the water was modified
in a way that made the egg float. We used varying amounts
of salt for this experiment, and different observations and
readings were recorded for the various amounts of salt. We
observed that after adding the salt to the water, the egg
floated because the density of the water became greater than
Projectile motion physics applies to virtually every aspect
of life. This project sought to accurately analyze the effect
of air resistance on a projectile. Knowledge of projectile
science can be used for rocket science or video game programming.
My findings have disproved my initial hypothesis that air
resistance with a more complex equation and program does not
have a large enough effect on projectile for the added cost.
Depending on variables, air resistance can influence projectile
up to 300%. My research showed that companies must account
for air friction when considering money to be used for projectiles.