Samantha Taylor – Independent Project

Samantha Taylor – Independent Project

Class of 2017

Introduction to Topic

STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Throughout the years, STEM has increasingly become part of our everyday lives, and is the reason for an improved convenience in living.  Since, STEM is such a crucial part of our lives, the education system has been implementing and encouraging the idea of STEM learning into the curriculum of primary and secondary schools. The concept of immersing students into the different possibilities that STEM fields offer,  is to promote the thinkers of tomorrow to innovate and invent new ways of making our society better.

Project Description

My project was an educational outreach to elementary school children, specifically fifth graders. I love science and therefore wanted to express my passion for it to those younger than me. So, my outreach consisted of a lesson/demonstration and then an activity for the students. For the lesson, I had a powerpoint presentation that highlighted my speaking points so that it would flow smoothly. During my lesson, I spoke about why I was there and how I was excited to share what I know with them. I then continued to speak on my summer experience and what I did and accomplished there. I transitioned my summer experience involving the in-vitro skin model to then demonstrating the layers of the skin using different types of foam and each of the layers functions. After the demonstration, I went on to compare how like humans, strawberries also had skin layers to help protect them too. This lead to the strawberry DNA extraction lab. This was done by giving each student a bag with a strawberry in it, and then putting 5mls of detergent in the bag then smashing it all up in the bag. Once that was done, the children poured their strawberry onto the strainer that was over the Dixie cup, they then utilized the spoons to smash the juice out of the strawberry as much as possible. Once all the juice is drained, 10mls of isopropyl alcohol are added to the cup, the children were able to see the white blobs of DNA that formed on the top. After that, the students went on their way and Ashley and I cleaned up our mess, packed our things and went home.

Experience Description

For my shadowing experience Kristen Krebs, Lauren Gray, Kristy Chau and I completed an internship at USAMRICD at APG and worked with Erik Eaton and Timothy Varney (Ph.D). Although Kristy was under a different assignment, Kristen, Lauren and I were under a task to create an in-vitro human skin model. During our first day at the internship, the three of us were given a different layer of the skin. Kristen was the epidermis, Lauren was the subcutaneous layer and I was the dermal layer. The goal of our project was to not only create each of the skin layers but to bind them all together to then achieve a functioning in-vitro human skin model. Our purpose for doing this was to then use the skin model to test defenses that could be implemented to then prevent sulfur mustard from causing major damage to the body. My  layer was the easiest to replicate because it’s mainly elastin and collagen used to create it. The epidermal layer was a little temperamental but worked eventually, and the subcutaneous layer took a while to achieve, especially because Lauren at one point accidentally killed all her cells. During our time there, we had what was called brown bag lunches where a guest speaker at ICD spoke with the other interns about a topic of their choice, some were very interesting and others extremely dry and hard to follow. Something that was bothersome was that interns weren’t allowed to use computers unless it was their mentors and they were there watching us. I feel like they should of had us apply for CAC cards once we were accepted into the program so that we could get them in time for our internship. At the end of our internship, we had a presentation where our family and friends were invited and we discussed what we did all summer. Our group’s presentation was the easiest to follow and we were also entertaining. Our internship lasted from June 20th, 2016 to August 12th, 2016. I loved the experience, I loved the people I got to meet and the mentors who I worked with. Through this experience i’ve found that i love working in labs. Although, i’ve also found that research isn’t my cup of tea, but that ok, i’ve learned so much and am extremely grateful for the opportunity.

Innovation Description

The day before the STEM outreach at Forest Hill Elementary school,  I went to Jo-Ann’s, Walgreens, and ShopRite to acquire all the materials necessary for completing the lesson and demonstration I had planned. Each of the these stores had the certain materials specific to my lesson and in total took about 2 hours to acquire all the materials. My first stop was at Jo-Ann’s, there I bought a bag of shredded foam, high-density foam that is 2” x 15” x 17”, as well as some craft foam that was a  multi-colored variety pack. Next I went to Walgreens and got some 70% isopropyl alcohol, dish detergent, plastic sandwich bags, and plastic spoons. My last stop was then to ShopRite, there I got about 6 cartons of strawberries and 3 strainers. The day of the event I started to prepare my materials at about 8AM. At my house I found an old tub that I could use for my skin layer demonstration, and the two other strainers I would be utilizing along with the three other strainers that I had bought at ShopRite. My friend, Ashley Amundsen, served as a videographer and photographer for me during the experience so before she came over my house to help set up she went to Bestbuy to get an SD card so that she wouldn’t run out of storage on her camera. She also went by Target and bought about a pack of Dixie cups for the outreach event. She ended up being about two hours late, because she always runs late and she ran some errands for me. By the time she arrived at my house it was then 10AM. While she was out and about, I was creating a simple powerpoint presentation to accompany my lesson and demonstration. The powerpoint presentation was just white with a few words on it so that the kids could keep up with what I was saying, but it was simple enough to not be distracting. Once I finished the powerpoint presentation I set up my materials on the kitchen counter and had Ashley do a mock recording of me presenting my lesson. After each run, I would watch myself and then correct my mistakes and build my confidence up. We practiced at total of four to five times. From the beginning of getting our stuff together to finishing up practicing, it lasted about 5 hours. After a couple of trail runs, Ashley and I went to  Chick-Fil-A to fill up before we went over to the elementary school. After lunch, we went back to my house and got all our materials and drove over to Forest Hill Elementary School. Once we got there, we checked into the main office and then went up to the second floor to go set up for the lesson. Ashley, prepared her camera while I set up my powerpoint and all my materials for the demonstration/lesson and activity. I had a total of three classes come in and for each class I talked about my summer experience at USAMRICD at APG, and how my team and I attempted to create an in-vitro human skin model in order to use it as a way to test defenses against sulfur mustard, also known as mustard gas. Then I went over the different layers of the skin using the various foams, the shredded foam was the subcutaneous layer, the high-density foam was the dermal layer, and the craft foam served as the epidermal layers, and in total there are five. I explained to the fifth graders that I was doing this because I wanted to share my love of science with them, and hopefully get them interested in the STEM fields, or at least appreciate it. I then proceeded to connect how just like us, strawberries also have layers of skin to help protect them from the environment, and in each layer of the skin the cells have DNA which tells the cells what to do.   So that the kids will remember the experience and what I taught them, I then incorporated a strawberry DNA extraction lab at the end of the lesson. This was done by giving each student a bag with a strawberry in it, and then putting 5mls of detergent in the bag then smashing it all up in the bag. Once that was done, the children poured their strawberry onto the strainer that was over the Dixie cup, they then utilized the spoons to smash the juice out of the strawberry as much as possible. Once all the juice is drained, 10mls of isopropyl alcohol are added to the cup, the children were able to see the white blobs of DNA that formed on the top.    In hindsight, this was a lot of work, I ended up needing the help of Ashley and the teachers to effectively achieve the activity. All in all the children loved it. This took about 4 hours in total to do, this is including set up, the actual lessons, and tear down. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the kids did as well.

Project Topic

Introduction to Topic

STEM is an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Throughout the years, STEM has increasingly become part of our everyday lives, and is the reason for an improved convenience in living.  Since, STEM is such a crucial part of our lives, the education system has been implementing and encouraging the idea of STEM learning into the curriculum of primary and secondary schools. The concept of immersing students into the different possibilities that STEM fields offer,  is to promote the thinkers of tomorrow to innovate and invent new ways of making our society better.

Project Overview

Project Description

My project was an educational outreach to elementary school children, specifically fifth graders. I love science and therefore wanted to express my passion for it to those younger than me. So, my outreach consisted of a lesson/demonstration and then an activity for the students. For the lesson, I had a powerpoint presentation that highlighted my speaking points so that it would flow smoothly. During my lesson, I spoke about why I was there and how I was excited to share what I know with them. I then continued to speak on my summer experience and what I did and accomplished there. I transitioned my summer experience involving the in-vitro skin model to then demonstrating the layers of the skin using different types of foam and each of the layers functions. After the demonstration, I went on to compare how like humans, strawberries also had skin layers to help protect them too. This lead to the strawberry DNA extraction lab. This was done by giving each student a bag with a strawberry in it, and then putting 5mls of detergent in the bag then smashing it all up in the bag. Once that was done, the children poured their strawberry onto the strainer that was over the Dixie cup, they then utilized the spoons to smash the juice out of the strawberry as much as possible. Once all the juice is drained, 10mls of isopropyl alcohol are added to the cup, the children were able to see the white blobs of DNA that formed on the top. After that, the students went on their way and Ashley and I cleaned up our mess, packed our things and went home.

Experience

Experience Description

For my shadowing experience Kristen Krebs, Lauren Gray, Kristy Chau and I completed an internship at USAMRICD at APG and worked with Erik Eaton and Timothy Varney (Ph.D). Although Kristy was under a different assignment, Kristen, Lauren and I were under a task to create an in-vitro human skin model. During our first day at the internship, the three of us were given a different layer of the skin. Kristen was the epidermis, Lauren was the subcutaneous layer and I was the dermal layer. The goal of our project was to not only create each of the skin layers but to bind them all together to then achieve a functioning in-vitro human skin model. Our purpose for doing this was to then use the skin model to test defenses that could be implemented to then prevent sulfur mustard from causing major damage to the body. My  layer was the easiest to replicate because it’s mainly elastin and collagen used to create it. The epidermal layer was a little temperamental but worked eventually, and the subcutaneous layer took a while to achieve, especially because Lauren at one point accidentally killed all her cells. During our time there, we had what was called brown bag lunches where a guest speaker at ICD spoke with the other interns about a topic of their choice, some were very interesting and others extremely dry and hard to follow. Something that was bothersome was that interns weren’t allowed to use computers unless it was their mentors and they were there watching us. I feel like they should of had us apply for CAC cards once we were accepted into the program so that we could get them in time for our internship. At the end of our internship, we had a presentation where our family and friends were invited and we discussed what we did all summer. Our group’s presentation was the easiest to follow and we were also entertaining. Our internship lasted from June 20th, 2016 to August 12th, 2016. I loved the experience, I loved the people I got to meet and the mentors who I worked with. Through this experience i’ve found that i love working in labs. Although, i’ve also found that research isn’t my cup of tea, but that ok, i’ve learned so much and am extremely grateful for the opportunity.

Innovation

Innovation Description

The day before the STEM outreach at Forest Hill Elementary school,  I went to Jo-Ann’s, Walgreens, and ShopRite to acquire all the materials necessary for completing the lesson and demonstration I had planned. Each of the these stores had the certain materials specific to my lesson and in total took about 2 hours to acquire all the materials. My first stop was at Jo-Ann’s, there I bought a bag of shredded foam, high-density foam that is 2” x 15” x 17”, as well as some craft foam that was a  multi-colored variety pack. Next I went to Walgreens and got some 70% isopropyl alcohol, dish detergent, plastic sandwich bags, and plastic spoons. My last stop was then to ShopRite, there I got about 6 cartons of strawberries and 3 strainers. The day of the event I started to prepare my materials at about 8AM. At my house I found an old tub that I could use for my skin layer demonstration, and the two other strainers I would be utilizing along with the three other strainers that I had bought at ShopRite. My friend, Ashley Amundsen, served as a videographer and photographer for me during the experience so before she came over my house to help set up she went to Bestbuy to get an SD card so that she wouldn’t run out of storage on her camera. She also went by Target and bought about a pack of Dixie cups for the outreach event. She ended up being about two hours late, because she always runs late and she ran some errands for me. By the time she arrived at my house it was then 10AM. While she was out and about, I was creating a simple powerpoint presentation to accompany my lesson and demonstration. The powerpoint presentation was just white with a few words on it so that the kids could keep up with what I was saying, but it was simple enough to not be distracting. Once I finished the powerpoint presentation I set up my materials on the kitchen counter and had Ashley do a mock recording of me presenting my lesson. After each run, I would watch myself and then correct my mistakes and build my confidence up. We practiced at total of four to five times. From the beginning of getting our stuff together to finishing up practicing, it lasted about 5 hours. After a couple of trail runs, Ashley and I went to  Chick-Fil-A to fill up before we went over to the elementary school. After lunch, we went back to my house and got all our materials and drove over to Forest Hill Elementary School. Once we got there, we checked into the main office and then went up to the second floor to go set up for the lesson. Ashley, prepared her camera while I set up my powerpoint and all my materials for the demonstration/lesson and activity. I had a total of three classes come in and for each class I talked about my summer experience at USAMRICD at APG, and how my team and I attempted to create an in-vitro human skin model in order to use it as a way to test defenses against sulfur mustard, also known as mustard gas. Then I went over the different layers of the skin using the various foams, the shredded foam was the subcutaneous layer, the high-density foam was the dermal layer, and the craft foam served as the epidermal layers, and in total there are five. I explained to the fifth graders that I was doing this because I wanted to share my love of science with them, and hopefully get them interested in the STEM fields, or at least appreciate it. I then proceeded to connect how just like us, strawberries also have layers of skin to help protect them from the environment, and in each layer of the skin the cells have DNA which tells the cells what to do.   So that the kids will remember the experience and what I taught them, I then incorporated a strawberry DNA extraction lab at the end of the lesson. This was done by giving each student a bag with a strawberry in it, and then putting 5mls of detergent in the bag then smashing it all up in the bag. Once that was done, the children poured their strawberry onto the strainer that was over the Dixie cup, they then utilized the spoons to smash the juice out of the strawberry as much as possible. Once all the juice is drained, 10mls of isopropyl alcohol are added to the cup, the children were able to see the white blobs of DNA that formed on the top.    In hindsight, this was a lot of work, I ended up needing the help of Ashley and the teachers to effectively achieve the activity. All in all the children loved it. This took about 4 hours in total to do, this is including set up, the actual lessons, and tear down. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the kids did as well.

By | 2017-05-15T15:22:09+00:00 May 15th, 2017|Biomed Capstone Project 2017|0 Comments

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