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Chem 4B Special Projects
by Swetha Akella

On this sunny day from 10:30am - 3:30pm, 184 students from the freshmen-level course Chemistry 4B (General Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis), working mostly in pairs, presented their special research projects in the Chemistry Plaza. During the poster session hosted by Professor Michelle Douskey, students enthusiastically and eloquently discussed their research with their peers, GSIs and professors.

This annual tradition gave students the chance to realize their interests in their very own projects. Students asked questions, formulated hypotheses, designed experiments, and carried out many weeks worth of experiments to test their predictions. These creative projects ranged from using citrus peels and sunflowers to extract heavy metals, to testing gasoline for added compounds, to checking paint chips from around the campus for lead content. A high level of technique, as well as state-of-the-art laboratory technology, was utilized. For example, many used inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy to qualify and quantify heavy metals, potentiometric titrations, UV spectrometry for detection of organics, high performace liquid chromatography, and more.

“The poster session was definitely one of the highlights of the course. After all of the frustration and obstacles, in the end, it was great to finally see the outcome of weeks of hard work in the lab. I also enjoyed seeing all of my peers together in the Chem Plaza one last time before finals.”
– Leanne Chan, Class of 2013