Today the team split up and I went to Dayton, OH to visit Carroll High School while Dr. Sedlacek, Juliana, and Riley worked in the clean lab.
I left for Dayton a little before 7am, arrived a little early, and grabbed some Dunkin Donuts to fill the time. At the school I met with Dr. O'Malley and spoke to four of her classes (Chemistry and Physics) and told them about the project, what it's like to do research in college, along with answering any of their questions. A lot of the students had some really good questions about the research process and the implications of the BETA Project. It was a cool experience and they liked the fossils I brought as well! As a bonus, Dr. O'Malley had some free time towards the end of the school day where I was able to talk with her about her experiences as a teacher and get some great advice that I can use in my future teaching practices!
Meanwhile in the lab...
Today, Juliana, Riley, and Dr. Sedlacek came to the lab to find the samples had dried properly overnight and were ready to be run through the cation exchange columns. Based on the specific properties of the resin chosen (the orange stuff in the big glass tubes) the liquid that drips back into the containers is strontium (in solution). The majority of the day consisted of watching the solution drip slowly into the containers, but it was a lot less arduous than yesterday!
We all got out of the lab by 6pm and Riley finally had a chance (and enough energy after lab work) to head to one of the local climbing walls to go bouldering while Juliana and I grabbed some dinner at Spagio. The food there was incredible and Juliana pointed out one of the tragedies of life she realized while eating dinner... there is so much great food and so little time to try it all!
On this page we'll post updates of the BETA Project's progress- stay tuned!