Thursday, August 20, 2015

What Has Been Most Challenging- Gentner Lab 2015

I would say that the most challenging part of my project this summer has been acquainting myself with more of the background to the research. Everyone has heard the term “VOCs”, but through my work in the lab, I have been introduced to even more advanced chemistry terms and concepts, which have been both exciting and difficult to grasp. This, of course, is all part of the experience; learning. In our project, especially when it came to actually analyzing the air samples collected, Vanessa and I have encountered things that you wouldn’t EXPECT the average person to know about. I have been introduced to terms such as “aldehydes”, “ketones”, and “aromatics”. I have been able to learn more about the structures, compositions, and the significance of a number of different compounds in the air we breathe everyday. This is, of course, the key to the project; we are going out and collecting air samples to later analyze for compounds, so we have to understand what we are seeing, so that later on, we can communicate OUR new knowledge to others. While a little challenging, the in-depth chemistry knowledge my work in the lab has introduced me to is nevertheless interesting and exciting (not to mention, I will be a little more than ready to take AP Chemistry this coming school year!).

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