Science Odyssey


    Foams and Oil

                                     By Shivani Padhi  

        Ever wondered what's in your bubble you blow sometimes in your backyard? Bubbles and foams are giving clues to scientists about discovering oil. It all started....when Sabina Lisa Biswal was in her backyard watching bubbles. While watching, she discovered many different unknown ways bubbles form in foam. This work really interested her because many products use foam, which is made up of oil such as shaving cream, and detergent. As she walked back to her house, she figured out if each drop of oil is replaced by a thick layer of foam they both should be equivalent.  After finding that out she teamed up with the Rice University scientists who were the new researchers. Together she and her team used microfluidic devices and a super-speed image process to capture the bubbles and their foam formations. Only an engineer could understand this with their specific skills.

    "In the classic descriptions of bubble formation, there's what we call snap-off, lamella division and leave-behind," Biswal said. While Sabina was researching ,she found two types of bubbles: a snap off and a lamella. A snap off is liquid gathers by capillary action in a narrow section of a pore and forms a liquid slug separating two bubbles (Clues to Foam Formation Could Help Find Oil article).  A lamella division bubble happens when the lamella (a thin film of liquid) moves through a branch in the flow path and becomes two lamella (Clues to Foam Formation Could Help Find Oil article). Sabina and her team were very excited when they discovered something new in the nature of science. The team  still continued on their journey; after doing days and days of research, they found out many things.The smaller the bubbles, the better the oil. Next, she studied the gas behavior and the fluid pattern of the bubbles, which was basically the end of her research of bubbles. “Ideally, foam would pack the channels inside high-permeable regions and force pressure to flow through rocks with low permeability, flushing out the hard-to-get oil often trapped there.”Sabina and her team ended their journey by studying the fluid patterns. Now the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is taking on the research and starting a new way of getting oil! (Clues to foam could help find oil article).

    Published on 10/18/13


    “CAPT-ivating Kids” Program

    By: Roger Chen 

                For the second time, Dodd Middle School is participating in the “CAPT-ivating Kids” Program. “CAPT-ivating Kids” is a science club that promotes teamwork and communication skills. The program is funded by the Connecticut State Department of Education, which allows students to participate in the program at no cost. Participants are able to meet students from Ansonia, Derby, Hamden, Meriden, Seymour, and Milford. The advisors for this program at Dodd are Mr. Lopez and Mr. Sullivan.

    Members of “CAPT-ivating Kids” meet once a month on a Friday afternoon to participate in scientific experiments and meet students of a different race or origin at Hamden or Seymour Middle School. The meetings run from about three o’clock to seven at night, and dinner is provided for participants. During these meetings, students participate in team building activities and scientific experiments. Occasionally “CAPT-ivating Kids” will meet on weekends and holidays to attend additional field trips. These trips include going to the Connecticut Science Center, Savin Rock Conference Center, Pine Lake, and Burr’s Pond. At the end of the program, students will go to Lake Compounce for an end of the year celebration. This trip is provided at no additional cost.

                    Dodd started attending this program back in 2011. Mr. Lopez said that “Cheshire joined ‘CAPT-ivating Kids’ because the school system was in search of a program that involves students to meet other diverse students through science, ” and “CAPT-ivating Kids” was the perfect fit for that description. Mr. Lopez said that the program “allows students to meet students from other schools using scientific experiments.” Mr. Sullivan says that the program “allows students to meet with kids of a different grade.” Three different grade levels are involved in the program: 6th, 7th, and 8th.

                    Besides building teamwork and communication skills, the “CAPT-ivating Kids” Program serves another purpose. The program also helps prepare students for the science portion of the Connecticut Academic Performance Test hence the term “CAPT-ivating Kids”.

                    For more information about “CAPT-ivating Kids”, contact Mr. Lopez or Mr. Sullivan.

    Twisted Lives: The Tragedy in Oklahoma

    By Elizabeth Boyer

    Imagine being in elementary school again. It’s just a normal day and you can’t wait to go home to food and your family. The students at Moore Elementary School started out their day the same way, but it ended differently. Instead of going to recess or walking home or to the mall with friends, these terrified children were ushered into the main halls and janitor closets by their teachers.

    A horrific tornado interrupted the town of Moore’s day, ripping away homes and two elementary schools, Moore and Plaza Elementary . This tornado destroyed Moore, Oklahoma. It killed around twenty-four people and had injured hundreds, including seventy children, The damage covered seventeen miles of land in a mere fifty minutes. It was unstoppable. This is insane. Nothing should be this powerful. And nothing should have the power to hurt people in this way.

    This disaster was horrifying and unimaginable - thinking of what these people went through. To be only seven years old and to watch your state, town, and loved ones destroyed in a freak of nature. A person can only imagine the horror.  It is unfair what these children had to go through and what they will have to face in the future.

    This tornado has not only ended lives but has critically injured many as well, emotionally and physically. This leads us to this question, “If tornados are becoming larger and larger throughout the years, what will they turn into?”  Will this level 5 (the highest level a tornado can be) soon be considered a baby as new and worsening tornados appear? This question is probably not a priority in many minds, but it certainly is in mine. Is this what our world will face in the future? Is it at the fault of global warming? Only time will tell. Our world may have a lot in store for us. It is changing and we can’t stop it. But we don’t want to stop our world, we want to help it.

    Don’t Judge a Bottle by Its Label

        The label on your water bottle usually shows snow capped mountains, lush green land, and glaciers flowing along a crystal clear river. Is it the label that fools you? Is it the price? In your head, are you thinking “if it costs more, and if the label looks good, it must be delicious”? Is it actually the taste of the water that you enjoy when drinking from a bottle of water? Drinking tap water is smarter than drinking bottled water. By drinking tap water, you can save money, get the same taste, and be more convenient.

        There is not much of a difference in taste between bottled and tap water. In fact, one man drank Evian, the most expensive brand of water from France, not knowing what brand it was, and quoted, “It tasted like toilet water.” (Stossel 2) This shows that if you do not know what the brand is, your brain will actually judge the water by the taste. A recent test sampled people using five different brands of water and tap water from New York City. In this test, the people did not know what brands the water was, so they judged it by only the taste. The test results were very surprising. The cheapest brand tested, American Fare from K-Mart placed in first. Tap water did pretty well. It placed in third. Strangely, the most expensive brand, Evian, came in last (Stossel 2). This shows that when people see the labels on the water bottle, they might have been fooled so they do not judge it by taste.             

        The labels on most water bottles can fool you. They could show the icy water stream gushing through thick, lush fields of grass. This suggests that this water will be the purest, cleanest water around. But, if you think “if the label is fancy, it is pure”, you are wrong. Labels are deceitful and misleading. In one case, a company claimed that their water came from spring water. Little did the consumers know their water came from a water system near a hazardous waste dump? Another water bottle’s label shows glaciers from Alaska floating in the icy waters. The water did come from Alaska, but it was a public water system from Alaska. On the Dasani website, it says the water comes from public water systems. Dasani labels do not mention this. (Jemmott 2) These labels can fool you into thinking you are drinking clear, clean water that comes from glaciers and streams. For example, Aquafina has been tricking millions of people. Aquafina has a blue label showing snow capped mountains that say pure water, perfect taste. Many consumers will fall for the trap and believe that Aquafina water comes from mountain springs. Aquafina actually comes from tap water in Detroit. It is the same water that you get from your sink. This water does not come from mountain springs. (Adams 1) Tap water, however, tells the truth. Everybody knows the truth about tap water. It comes from safe, treated water in the water plants. Labels can trick you into thinking that the water you drink comes from the most exotic places on earth, when in reality you are just drinking tap water.

        Bottled water is very expensive if you are comparing it to tap. Say you spend a dollar buying a water bottle in a vending machine. If you kept that water bottle and refilled it every day for eight years, it would cost about as much as the original bottle (a dollar). (Fishman 3) This means you are practically paying for something that is almost free. Lisa Ledwidge, 38, says, “I wondered, why am I spending this money while complaining about how much gas costs? But you don’t ever hear anyone complain about the price of bottled water.” Ledwidge, a former bottled water drinker is now drinking tap water. (Jemmott 2) Tap and bottled water do not have much difference in quality. Bottled water is just tap water with minerals. So, by getting tap water, you could be drinking the same quality water for a much cheaper price.

        Some people think that by drinking bottled water is good for the environment. They say that by recycling it, it is very helpful. Do they know that for every six bottles we use, only one makes it to the recycling bin? According to National Geographic, Americans buy 29 billion bottles of water every year. Making these bottles will consume enough oil to keep a million cars going for a year. Imagine a water bottle filled with a quarter of oil. That is how much oil it takes to make one bottled of water. By drinking and recycling bottled water, you may think that you are helping the planet, but in the end, you will be wasting an abundance of oil. (Fox 1) This means that for every bottle of water you drink you are actually harming the planet. If you need to have bottled water because it is portable, you can substitute a plastic bottle for a reusable metal or glass one filled with tap water. It will last much longer, and save the planet.

        People do not drink tap water because they think that it is unsafe and has too many germs or bacteria. In the United States, local governments need to make sure that faucet water is safe. In fact, bottled water can be more harmful than tap. Bottled water usually is just glorified tap water. It is just purified tap water with minerals. (Jemmott 1) The tap water comes from public water systems, just like the ones that are used in most households. In fact, one of the of the bottled water resources that Aquafina uses is a public water system in Detroit. Not only do water bottled companies mislead you about their water sources, but they also do not tell you there is also a growing concern that the chemicals used in making the bottles can leach into the water. (Fox 1) Tap water is not harmful, if that is your concern. If anything, tap water is usually safer than bottled water.

        There is no reason not to switch to tap water. It is practically free, it is not full of germs, and it is better for the environment. Switching to tap water can help protect the planet and lower your bills. Think about what change you can make to the earth by switching from bottled to tap water. 
    By Jessica Tan

    Marie Curie 


    Eight point two percent - also known as 19.0 million - battle with a disease called cancer. Out of that percent about four percent of the victims get cured (9 million). The cure was discovered by a student, daughter, and great learner named Marie Curie. Marie Curie’s life saving discoveries have changed the world now and continue to do so today!

    To begin, Marie Curie was born on November 7th, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland. Her parents, Wladyslaw and Bronislawa Sklodowski, were both secondary-school teachers. She received general education in local schools and some scientific training from her father, who was a math, and physics teacher. She was an excellent student and received a gold medal for her intelligence. At the age of 11, her mother died from tuberculosis. At that time Poland was occupied by Russians, and Germans. As a result, many jobs were taken, including Marie Curie’s father. To help meet living expenses, Marie Curie’s family took in student boarders. Later she completed high school at the age of 15 and wanted to take her education further. Since Warsaw University refused to let women attend, Marie Curie and her sister became members of the clandestine studies, a secret study from the Russians and the Germans. Later, Marie Curie worked as a teacher and a governess to earn money for her sister’s studies. Then she moved from Poland to France and joined Sorbonne in Paris to study physics, and science. While studying she met Professor Pierre Curie, and later they married in 1895. The couple did research and met a man named Henri Becquerel. Pierre Curie and Marie Curie started doing research about Henri Becquerel and discovered he was a scientist who discovered, and with that discovery, Marie Curie’s passion for science began to blossom.

                Marie Curie was a scientist, chemist, and physicist who started by researching radium. She and her husband found many things related to radium. For example they analyzed isolation of polonium and radium. Marie Curie also developed methods for separation of radium and radioactive elements. As a result this separation process helped cure cancer patients. She also discovered that radium reduces pain and suffering from cancer patients. Radium can reduce pain because radium goes into a patient’s blood and helps the blood circulate better. While Marie Curie was doing research her husband Pierre died in a car accident. After that she became the professor of general physics in Sorbonne. She also became the director of the Curie laboratory. Marie Curie also studied X-Rays given through uranium rays. She learned many things based on X-Rays. For example, X-Rays are created by radium rays. Marie Curie’s accomplishments were more than just discovering the value of radium, uranium, but it was also helping others. She set-up an x-ray station during World War I to help the injured in battle. She also found a way to destroy the diseased tissues by sending in radioactive elements into the body known as radioactive therapy. Her contribution in the fields of science and medicine helped human beings to great utilize her resources. This led to her many awards and, of course, the fame that followed.                             

    By Shivani Padhi