Journal Entries:




I am finishing up my CV and getting ready for my job performance review with Joe. I will check in with Esmé soon so we can figure out how RoCCS should move forward.



I got the pH buffer capsules and calibrated the pH sensor. I added a line of code that changed the readout by about 0.10 pH to ensure the code would give an accurate reading. I presented at poster night and created another pH buffer solution that I dipped the pH probe in to show the audience evidence of the working pH probe. 



I’ve found a code that works for the pH probe on Vernier, and now I’m creating a pH buffer with Megan to calibrate the pH sensor. We have also ordered other pH buffers from Vernier, so I don’t have to make all of them and save some time. To calibrate the pH probe, I am using a buffer of 4, 7, and 10. I made the 4 pH buffer using distilled water, potassium hydrogen phthalate, and sodium hydroxide. I am also working on the poster and I will be doing the main piece of the poster, which will be about the pH probe. 



I was out sick and then Spring Break happened, but now I’m back and working on the pH sensor. This is the link I’m using:



The pH probe is an Analog (BTA) Sensor and plugs into the Vernier Arduino Interface Shield in an analog spot. I’m using these pages:



I got the pH probe today. It is a Vernier pH sensor. Here is the page I am using to learn more about how to use it: I am using this page to learn how to connect the sensor to an arduino:



I am researching the dependancy of coral on pH and salitinity. I have plans to write a white paper explaining pH and salinity. pH is the measure of acidity or basicity of liquids. A pH below 7 is acidic, a pH of 7 is neutral, and a pH above 7 is basic. The pH of the water the coral is living in is important to monitor because it could determine the coral’s quality of life. I am using this site to further my research: The site states, “In reef aquariums containing corals, hobbyists maintain great success at a pH range of 7.8 to 8.5 with an alkalinity between 120 and 200 ppm.” The site also writes, “We also know that lower pH levels, below 8.3, suppress the rate of calcification within corals. This means that while you can safely house coral with a pH as low as 7.8 and as high as 8.5, you really want to shoot for a pH of 8.3, or as close as you can get, to maximize growth among our corals.” A pH that is lower in the morning and increases as the day continues is normal and happens because of the rise and fall of carbon dioxide in the water. Corals take in carbon dioxide to do photosynthesis, and as the light increases, the rate of photosynthesis rises, so more carbon dioxide is removed from the water. When there’s less light/when it’s darker, the carbon dioxide levels rise which lowers the pH. This fluctuation is harmless if the pH stays within the recomended range. You should try to minimize the gap in fluctuation as much as possible. 



I have been learning about statistics in data so we can understand our findings better. I recently learned the equation for standard deviation and I am going to find the standard deviation of our data from the temperature thermistor data. The problem I’m running into is finding the data. Someone deleted all of it, so I’m not sure how I can continue. I’m also researching the definition of a null hypothesis. 



I’ve been on thanksgiving break, and then I was sick for two weeks, so I haven’t been at WISRD for a while. While I was gone, Wills started building a box to contain our probe during delivery to St. Monica and Esmé continued her work on the breadboard. St. Monica will get the thermistor and circuits soon.



We presented our poster last week and finally met the MORI team in person. The presentations went well and now we are packaging the thermistor and circuits to send to MORI.



Last week we fixed the Arduino’s code and it now gives a comprehensive temperature readout in degrees Celcius. We have to package the circuit and send the code to MORI probably within the next week or two. We’re also working towards finishing the RoCCS poster for the Fall poster session. Esme is getting the ceramic printer ready to print during the poster session.



We have created the voltage to temperature equation as well as the voltage to DS (digital signal) or A (arduino) equation and we put these equations into Excel. It was difficult because all our data (which was extremely crucial) was erased by someone else. We’re working on coding the Arduino to read out in temperature instead of the current numbers in the serial monitor. We have a readout that’s in temperature format, but isn’t accurate. We’re tweaking the Arduino code and we’re going to try to fix this. We’ve also tweeted multiple time about our progress.



Joe set up the voltage sensor to input graph points to the Pasco while the temperature sensor measures in a different column. We’ve set up a hot plate to boil the water and get the highest point at 100º Celcius, then set up an ice bucket on a stirring plate to put the boiling water beaker in to lower the temperature and measure points along the way. The Pasco graph measures points every minute. Once all our data is collected, we need to do a curve fit and create an equation from voltage to temperature.



A RoCCS meeting with all members happened over zoom today. I introduced Esmé to MORI and MORI introduced me to their new member who will be helping Luca with PlantCv and coding. Esmé and I should finish the thermistor circuit and deliver it to MORI soon.



Esmé and I are currently working on finding an equation to create a circuit for our temperature probe. We found out our temperature probe is an NTC thermistor, which means the resistance decreases with and increase in temperature. We’re working with the voltage divider equation and the Steinhart-Hart equation.



Esmé W. ’24 has officially joined the RoCCS lab and, together, we are going to code a circuit so we will be able to code a temperature probe for our lab. Today, we used an arduino to code an led to blink on and off. We tweeted about the process.



RoCCS is in a pretty uneventful stage. The only thing for me to do is image analysis, which is just analyzing the data we get from the pi’s pictures of the coral. I’m thinking about maybe taking on another project since there isn’t much to do with mine. I will still continue ROCCS, but I might help out with another lab. Hydroponics and Engenering Labs are appealing to me. 



Summer is over and I’m back at WISRD. This is my second class. Luca Guiga, a member of RoCCS from the CRC, has written an incredible and imformative white paper over the summer explaining our lab. I have reached out to the CRC to schdeule a meeting so all RoCCS members are caught up and on the same page. I’m hoping that the new school year will bring new members to the RoCCS lab. WISRD has gained many new students who have shown interest. I’m excited for RoCCS to continue and grow this year.




Hi, I’m Izze Silverman and it’s my first year at WISRD. I’m starting 9th grade and I’ve been at Wildwood since kindergarten. I’m hoping to work with life sciences this year. I’m really interested in hydroponics because I did some research about it last year and conducted an experiment. I am also interested in working with ENABLE to create a prosthetic hand. My cousin, Emily R, did this while she was at WISRD and got me really interested in what she did.



In my very first journal writing, I mentioned the labs I was interested in. Since then, my mind has changed a bit. Joe and I have spoken about how important system integrations are, especially if you’re female. I am still interested in the other labs, but I would also like to dig deeper into coding. I have been I’ve been working with the Arduino and using TINKERCAD Circuits to code. I’ve been using and going through their tutorials. 

I made my first WISRD Tweet on September 9th. Press on the blue underlined “WISRD Tweet” link to see the video. I screen recorded myself coding the Arduino to turn an LED light on and off repeatedly. As of 20/9/23, the tweet has 465 impressions, 68 media views, and 28 total engagements. It also has three retweets and two likes. 

I really like TINKERCAD Circuits because it’s easy to use and depending on what you’re coding, it’s your choice whether it’s going to be challenging or easy. I haven’t been great at Journaling, but hopefully, I will get better as the semester continues.



In the past week or so, I’ve made a lot of steps in the right direction. I was appointed the point person for WISRD’s Instagram which is very exciting. I really like to work with social media so this position is a perfect fit. Joe has also told me about a new lab being presented to the board. It’s very similar to the hydroponics lab, but it’s working with coral instead of lettuce. This really caught my attention because marine biology really interests me. The hydroponics group has also reached out to me to ask if I’m interested in joining their lab. I was super excited when I got the email because I would love to join their lab. I’m currently discussing the pros and cons of joining each lab with Joe. The director of WISRD, Dani, has asked me to be the Board historian. This position entails writing notes about what is discussed in the Board meetings every other Tuesday, which I also have to attend. This position does not entail voting as a Board member, although if I want to become a voting Board member next year, becoming the Board Historian this year will really help. I’ve been tinkering with my journal recently and created a very easy way to travel through it.



This past week I’ve been doing a lot of research for the coral project. Joe gave me an article about the clay tiles I’ll be creating for the coral to grow in and it’s really interesting. The lab is trying to create a way for the dying coral to repopulate by growing them in clay tiles which speed up their growth. I’ve also posted a lot on Instagram for the other WISRD members and our followers just keep going up! Ximena scheduled a meeting for the women of WISRD where we had interesting conversations. I also had an amazing meeting with the Hydroponics Lab group. I asked them questions about how they got started with their lab and how they’ve navigated WISRD throughout their school lives. They were really helpful and answered a lot of my questions. Although they’ve been so helpful and kind to me, I’ve decided not to join their lab. Instead, I’m going to start my own. I’m going to continue to research ideas for a coral research lab which I will pursue as my own lab.  



I’m the new Board Historian for WISRD’s board! The board unanimously voted me and I’m super excited to be their Historian. I missed the meeting where I was voted to be Board Historian because I was sick, but I’m definitely going to be there for the next meeting, tomorrow. In about a week, Dark Matter Night is on! I’m excited to learn and hear from my other WISRD members about Dark Matter. I’m still researching coral growth and posting regularly on Instagram and Twitter.



I have so much news! I recently teamed up with St. Monica Catholic High School for my coral research project. They have a 70-gallon saltwater tank and 4 members plus a teacher who all want to pursue this project as well. Today, we had a meeting where I met all their members and we practiced our poster presentation which we will be presenting on November 9th. I set up the agenda before we met and sent it to them, considering I’m the PI for WISRD’s Coral Research Group. We had a great meeting and hope to have another practice and edit round before the 9th. I also had conferences today where I told my parents about the work I’ve been doing in WISRD this year. I’ve continued to post on WISRD’s Instagram and Twitter regularly. My piece of our poster is informing my readers about the problem, coral bleaching. I’m also going to introduce our group and conclude the presentation. I worked really hard on the script with Joe and Dr. Griffis, the teacher working with the members of MORI, (Mariner Ocean Research Institute) at St. Monica. All four members are sophomores which is very exciting because it means our group can stay together for at least another three years. Dark matter night went well and was very interesting and informative. I also went to my first meeting as a board member and practiced being a board historian for the first time. I think this position will prove very helpful in getting me onto the board as a voting member next year. Here’s MORI’s Tank:


Poster presentation night had a few snags, but other than some zoom-bombing issues, it went amazing. We presented smoothly and didn’t have breaks in-between. Since we’d been zoom-bombed, we couldn’t unmute ourselves, so I didn’t get to conclude the presentation, but it’s okay because the publications group did a good job of concluding our presentation. I met with MORI once again before our presentation as well. Another member of WISRD has shown interest in joining WISRD and it’s exciting to see my group come together. I’ve also gone to my second board meeting and continued to post on Instagram and Twitter. I’ve created an elevator pitch with the help of Joe and MORI and will present it at the next board meeting. The 3D printer is almost set-up and Joe’s thinking it should be ready to go soon. Here’s our poster:


This week I’ve continued to research, tweet, post, and work. I’ve mostly been working on researching. Joe’s set up the 3D printer:

We’ve also sent out an email to the art directors to see if anyones interested in joining our lab that has skills as a ceramicist.


Joe and I have decided to wait until after Winter Break to purchase clay for the ceramic 3D printer. We have emailed the Art Director at Wildwood Elementary inquiring for the use of a kiln and guidance on the ceramic process.


The CRC team has reached out to their art teacher who is excited and willing to help us with our lab. Along with his ceramic expertise and advice, he will also fire our clay using his kiln.


Joe and I are considering changing our lab name which is “Coral Research Group” as of now. We haven’t spoken with the CRC yet to see how they feel about this move. I have also finished my CV and I am currently waiting for feedback from Joe.


I haven’t written in a while due to Winter Break. Since Winter Break is over, Joe is going to purchase the clay soon. We are going to buy our clay from Laguna Clay Company. Here is their website: Luca has created an STL file and prototype for the ceramic substrate. I will put a picture of the prototype below and a picture of the file’s dimensions. Joe will print Luca’s STL file using plastic to see if it will run smoothly when we use the ceramic printer. The plastic practice prototype printing smoothly does not guarantee a smooth print using the ceramic 3D printer.



Luca has updated the prototype and it has new dimensions. The new dimensions are now 8″ instead of 10″. Joe has the clay. The item number is WC617 and the description is #16 ^6 PORCELAIN MOIST CLAY, BOXED. The quantity purchased was 50 lbs and the total amount spent, including tax, was $47.30.


We are getting ready to print the clay. With some helpful advice, Joe and I have decided to lay a wet towel over the clay before printing so it is soft and extrudes smoothly when printed. I will put a picture below. Joe has done a practice run without clay on the ceramic 3D printer. Here is a link to a short video of the practice run: Our next joint meeting with the CRC is on January 22nd where Joe and I will finally meet the art teacher who is helping us out.

Readying clay


We have finally done our first print. I will put pictures of the process below with captions. When loading the clay into the printer, Joe noticed air bubbles. We will have to build something to make loading easier. The WISRD Podcast Group reached out to the CRG and CRC to try to schedule a time to record. I will ask the CRC about recording a podcast at our meeting tomorrow. We are having issues with printing. When the printer needs to retract or stop printing to move to another area on the print, it extrudes spaghetti-like clay pieces. There is not an issue with the printer, this is just how ceramic 3D printing works. I have posted on Instagram and Twitter about this problem.

Loading clay
Early print
First layer
Extruding issues


Our meeting with the CRC and their art teacher went great. Here is a link to the agenda: I crafted and posted a tweet as well about the joint meeting. I am still choosing my topic for the Inquirer.


Saint Monica Catholic High School has posted an article about our lab in their newspaper. I will include the link to it below, (it is the first article). Our project now has a shared google drive which we will put all of our work in so everyone can view it when needed. Corals should be arriving soon to place in the tank. The CRC is willing to change our project name, so we will begin to brainstorm.


We have printed for the second time. Luca created a new STL file, though we still struggled with many extrusion issues. Luca and Melanie visited Joe’s house to help with the print. I will put pictures below.

Luca and Melanie helping Joe print
Video of 2nd print


Joe tested the amount of clay to load in the printer to print the ceramic substrates. I will put a picture of it below.


I have decided to write my Inquirer article on the effects of psychedelic narcotics. I learned how to create an STL file on TINKERCAD and print it on Ultimaker Cura. I printed a keychain. I will put a video of the print below. We also printed again. The print was very curly and had obvious problems. I will put pictures below.

Video of keychain print


We have decided to try a new design for the ceramic substrate. I will put a picture of it below. I have decided to take on coding a raspberry pi camera to take pictures of our progress throughout the project.


I got the pi and have set it up. It was a bit confusing. I will put the links to the websites that helped me figure it out below. Joe believes he has finally figured out how to print without issues. We had another joint meeting today which went very well. Here is a link to the agenda: We will be printing again on Sunday with the new design. I am creating a budget spreadsheet to look over the purchases this project has made. Lights for the tanks will be set up on Saturday. We have agreed to wait until after April’s poster presentation to do the Podcast. The sea life in both tanks is doing very well and both parties have agreed to a new project name. It is an acronym, R-o-C-C-S, pronounced as rocks, which stands for Restoration of Coral using Ceramic Substrates.


I have basically finished my Inquirer article. I still have a few edits to make, but it’s almost finalized. We had another joint meeting on the 19th. I have learned to take pictures and videos with the pi camera and we’re now printing a base for the camera once it needs to take scheduled pictures of the tanks and sea life. Here is the link we used for the design of the base: We are getting ready for the poster presentations in a month and have assigned jobs to each member of the project so everyone knows what they’re writing about. I am writing about the raspberry pi camera and coding. I also laser-cut some pieces to load the clay easier and tweeted about it. I will put a picture of the laser-cutting below.


I haven’t written in a while due to Spring Break. We have made another print using a fairly new design. I will put a video of the print below. Things are looking much better with this print. The CRC has made a draft of the poster script and presentation.


The poster presentation went great! We did a really great job and everyone spoke clearly and captured the audience’s attention. Joe was able to set up the camera at St. Monica and take a few pictures of the coral.


Today was WISRD Board Retreat. I was nominated to be a voting Board member and I was elected! I have also stepped down as Board Historian. I will now be a voting board member on WISRD for 2021-2022!


Today I had a meeting with MORI. Unfortunately, Joe wasn’t able to make it, so I was the only member from WISRD. It didn’t go great. My computer broke with all the codes I had for coding the pi camera to take scheduled pictures so I’m not able to send the codes to MORI. They were super angry that I have been working on the codes for so long and that I didn’t put them in a shared file. I understood. Dr. Griffis said that we might need to completely restart because we’re not even sure if taking pictures of the coral is the right way to measure. We were talking about plans for summer and I won’t be available which they weren’t very happy about, which is understandable considering I’m the PI for this lab.


My computer might be in the shop until school is over and the employee working on it said that it lost a lot of the stuff on it which makes me worry because the codes were on it. I feel really scared and I feel bad because I’m letting my whole team down. I’m very overwhelmed and I don’t know what to do. This is a really big setback.


Joe has ordered a barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity probe for the pi. Joe would like to order a GoPro for the lab so we could have a camera underwater. Luca has implemented a code for the pi to take scheduled pictures, and everything is right on track. I will not be available to work on the lab this summer because I will be at camp and I have informed my group.