Isaac's Reflections...

Pre-camp reflections 

Read the introduction, objectives and theoretical background to the project and then answer the following questions: 

What interests you about this project? 
This project involves the extraction of caffeine, which means the extraction of something extremely small, so small that it can only be seen through a microscope, and that means that the process must be quite minute, and would not be possible without the proper things required for this process.

What do you want to learn by doing this project? 
I would want to learn how to properly extract caffeine out of the beverages that we are given. I would also want to learn the step-by-step process of what is happening when the caffeine is being extracted from the beverage.

What questions do you have about this project? 
How does a Büchner flask work?

What do you personally want to have achieved by the end of this project?
I personally want to understand how caffeine can get extracted from beverages, and thus maybe learning how potable decaffeinated coffee is made.

Reflections on Plenary Sessions For each plenary session, consolidate your learning by answering the following questions: 

What are your key learning points? 


Plenary Session by Prof. Kerry Sieh:
I have learnt that earthquakes and tsunamis can be predicted by studying past tsunamis, which result from earthquakes, and since earthquakes occur in cycles, it is possible to predict when and where an earthquake would strike. For example, the rough date or time when the tsunami or earthquake had occurred can be guessed from the amount of coral growing on the side of rocks near the coastal area, which need water to survive, and if the rocks they are growing on shoot back up above water level before a tsunami, exposing the coral to the air and depriving it of water, they would die.Thus, the time since the death of the coral can then determine how long ago the tsunami or earthquake had stuck.

IT for Animation by Prof. Seah Hock Soon:
I have learnt more about the challenges of animation, such as hiring skillful artists or the high labour costs. I have also learnt more about how math is applied to the animating process itself, for example, geometry can be applied for the points, lines, surfaces and solids in the animation, also, the laws of physics can also be applied in special effects, to make the movements of water, fire and fabric more realistic, and thus making the animation more realistic, or at least giving it a more realistic feel.

Innovative breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology by Prof. Ma Jan:
I have learnt more about how nanotechnology can be used in future for human benefits, for example, making a bio-adhesive such that artificial bones do not need to be drilled into the human bone in order to secure it there, and instead can be just stuck to the bone with a strong adhesive that could secure it there. I have also learnt that nanotechnology is all around us, even if we do not know it, for example, in our daily glass ceramics, such as Corning, which uses nanotechnology to make the materials in their pots and pans.


What new questions do you have about the topic? 
1. How could this information be implemented such that less casualties would occur?
2. What would happen if only a few people who joined the IT side could do the math?
3. In what other ways can nanotechnology help an benefit us in the future?

Reflections on Applied Project Challenge: 

Discuss how the project has deepened your understanding and broadened your awareness of the selected discipline. 
This project has helped me understand more about the extraction of solvents and a filtration method that was unknown to me, called Büchner filtration. How I had learned was through the Lab Assistant explaining the process, using the project manual as well, and finally the hands-on experimenting. All these had helped me to understand it, not a lot, but I had the general idea and concept behind it.

What do you now understand about this discipline that you were unaware of at the beginning? 
I now know what the chemicals used in the process of the extraction are individually meant to do. For example, the magnesium sulfate is used to remove any excess water from the mixture of caffeine, water, dichloromethane and calcium carbonate.

Describe how what you have learned from doing this project can be connected to what you are learning at school. 
Since I have learned more about solvents and solubility, this can most likely be applied in school experiments since solubility could still be of secondary school standards.

Describe how you can apply what you have learned from doing this project. 
I now can understand the concept behind Büchner filtration, and should there be experiments that require that type of filtration, I would at least understand the concept and not be confused.

At the end of the project, what new questions do you now have?
Since caffeine is more soluble in dichloromethane than water at room temperature, what would make caffeine the most soluble, at any temperature?

My Aspirations

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