I posted a tweet on WISRD’s Twitter announcing our progress in the lab which can be seen here.
We have run through two full cycles of the lab since my last entry. We cleaned and restarted the first cycle and then began a second cycle with the proper salt measurements. It turned out that the salt content was not high enough, and all the plants survived, however, we did learn that if the nutrients are not spread evenly, then it will affect the experiment. The plants farthest from where the nutrients were placed all died. We will up the salt content and fix the nutrient problem in the next cycle. With this recent cycle, we took all the necessary measurements and have them written down in a spreadsheet in the WISRD google drive. We are about to start the next cycle with new plants and new salt content.
I am working on a white paper that will cover every component of the lab’s construction and maintenance. We also just finished the spring poster presentation where we showed our progress in a poster that we made. As PI, I made almost the entirety of the poster as well as helped with Kezie’s poster. We also just conducted the WISRD board retreat. This was my first board retreat so it was very interesting and gave me a good perspective on how WISRD is run on a year-to-year basis. I am running for treasurer of WISRD for the 2022-2023 year.
We added the water to the lab and put the plants in. We then made sure the water level was stable and then covered the lab in tin foil to prevent algae growth. This means the lab is now running again! The water level sensor has been installed and every member of the Hydroponics group is in a Discord chat where we would be notified if the lab overflowed. This sensor was developed by Nikita and the Discord and notification system was built by Colin Fields. I posted a tweet on WISRD’s Twitter going over the updates of the lab that can be seen here.
We removed the lettuce from the lab because it was overgrown. We took measurements and collected data from it. We then planted new lettuce for the next round of the experiment. I calculated how much salt needed to be added to each jug of water to have the correct salinity amount. We are adding 100mmol NaCl to Tube 3, 50mmol NaCl to Tube 2, and 0mmol NaCl to Tube 1 as a control tube. These amounts were decided by looking at the last group’s amounts and slightly altering them. The last group used 40 and 80 instead of 50 and 100, and their plants did not show significant changes in growth, because of this, we are slightly raising each amount to see if we can find some more dramatic changes in growth. If we do find dramatic changes, then we will proceed by altering the amount and refining it until we find a maximum amount the plants can survive with. If we don’t find dramatic changes, we will continue raising the amount.
I have continued attending and contributing to every WISRD Board Meeting. I founded the WISRD LGBTQ club with Tobey Steiner and Allyson Sterling. We met today and discussed what the goals of the club are and how we plan on continuing. We came up with a plan that we will present to the Board for approval during the next board meeting.
After returning from a 2 week break, the hydroponics lab was pleased to find tremendous growth from our lettuce. I posted a tweet on WISRD’s Twitter celebrating this growth that can be seen here. We also saw that the nutrients we added to the water had turned it green, which is of no concern because the previous WISRD hydroponics group had seen similar effects.
The Hydroponics lab has moved the plants into the actual lab. We are finally ready to experiment on them! I posted a tweet on WISRD’s Twitter that can be seen here.
The hydroponics lab is ready to begin experimenting! We have recleaned the lab and distilled all the needed water, so we are prepared to fill the lab with the distilled water. We will run the experiment once without any salinity testing just to confirm that we can successfully grow plants in a hydroponics format.
The poster presentation was today. We drew in a lot of interest for hydroponics with many follow up questions from presenation attendees. It was a very succesful night and a good demonstration of the work we have put in throughout the year so far. We will now be moving on to planting our seeds and then beginning the experiment.
The hydroponics group has just submitted their poster for the spring poster session. I took on the making of the poster so much of it is my work. The poster presentation is on the 8th, so hopefully it will be a good opprotunity to show off the hard work we have been putting in. The distiller is fully ready, we can now begin to put water into the lab and then get the experiment started.
We encountered many issues with refilling the lab with water. We have been taking the conductivity of the water that we distilled to measure how effective the distiller is. The seeds that we planted in the small planters have unfortunately grown too much in the time since we planted them, so we will need to replant eventually. We expected to be able to move the plants into the lab soon after planting, so we should wait to replant until the lab is fully ready.
We have fully rebuilt the lab. The water distiller has presented some problems, but we are getting very close to being fully functioning. We have planted the lettuce and have sprouts so we are ready to move it over to the lab once it is ready. I am getting my pitch ready for The Inquirer.
The lab has been running for a week and has been operating as hoped. We deconstucted it today in order to deep clean it, and are going to reconstuct it and add the distilled water next week. Once that is done, we will begin planting!
I made my first tweet of the year to announce our progress in the lab, and to show the functioning lab. The tweet can be found here.
We have fully repaired the lab and filled it with water. The power switch is connected to my phone so I can turn it on and off using bluetooth. We are letting it run for a couple days in order to make sure it is functional and to filter through the water a bit.
Today was the first day of WISRD in the new school year. I am planning on sending out an email shortly to all new WISRD members asking for people to join the Hydroponics Lab. Hopefully I can get through the recruiting process quickly so I can begin picking back up on the research.
The Inquirer was published with my article as the lead article. The link is attached here
Today was the WISRD board meeting to nominate people for the board, and I was voted on. I will now be acting as a voting member of the WISRD board for next year. This is very exciting for me as I will now be able to contribute to decision-making within WISRD.
I presented at the spring poster presentation with the rest of the radio telescope group. This poster presentation was a lot easier since I knew what to expect. We based much of our work off of our fall poster and only changed the elements that had developed more, so there was much less work.
All members of the Hydroponics lab are graduating, so I have begun transitioning away from the radio telescope and towards taking over this lab. I will continue working in hydroponics for the remainder of my tenure in WISRD. The rest of the year I will spend acclimating to hydroponics instead of working with the radio telescope.
My article made The Inquirer! I am going to be the lead article, making me the first freshman to be granted the lead article. I am very excited!
I have completed my article and submitted it. My article was entitled Basketball and the Quest for Efficiency.
We are collaborating with many other groups through a Discord, and allowing them to use our telescope to collect data of their own. This collaboration will open up countless opportunities for future endeavors.
We have concluded most of the prep work on the telescope and are now collecting data.
I presented at the fall poster presentation with the rest of the radio telescope group. This was my first poster session so I did not entirely know what to expect, but I think we did a good job of communicating our work effectively.
I presented at dark matter day along with my fellow members of the radio telescope group. We discussed our work thus far and what our goals are for the future.
I am going to be working with Izze S. on helping run the Instagram. I think that having this as a side project along with my main work on the radio telescope will fit my interests well. In general, social media work comes pretty naturally to me and I enjoy doing it.
I presented at back-to-school night on my experience as a first-year student and shared what it is like to first get acclimated into WISRD.
Joe has directed me towards the radio telescope project as a project for me to look into. I have read through the DSPIRA web page, and am going to begin building a LNA that will be used in one WISRD’s three radio telescopes.
Hi, I’m Max. I am just getting started with WISRD. I am not sure exactly what I am going to work on during my time in WISRD, but I have always had a strong interest in space, so I am going to begin by looking into working on the radio telescope project.