Main content

YSC Blog Post 3 -- [Cheyenne]

It was an easy process to narrow my list of problems down to three.  I simply chose the ones that excited me every time I thought about them.  However, it was harder to choose a single one to work on.  I ended up selecting the most developed one, but I could just as well have chosen a problem that I had no idea how to solve yet.  I would just have to think a bit more.

My mentor, Dr. Maria Appeaning, a chemist who specializes in adhesives, has been a huge help.  She approved my decision, and promptly sent me supplies and materials.  I couldn’t have gone far without her.

The problem that I chose requires testing of the 3M material that I will incorporate.  Although I can find a slew of information on the 3M websites, the particular parameter that I’m looking for has no information, because the material is not usually used the way I will utilize it.  Therefore, I must test them to figure out which one to use in my invention.

I had several ideas for the testing, but all of them were foiled by the limited supply at hardware stores and restricted access at possible testing sites.  I passed the first obstacle by rummaging through my old house and finding supplies that aren’t made anymore. The second obstacle was much harder to overcome.  I must have traveled to five sites all over the city (and proximity); some were more than an hour away!  Unfortunately, none fit my requirements.

To solve this, I designed a testing chamber so I can test my materials at home.  I had to draw many different designs, each better than the last.  I finally came up with one that was plausible, using supplies I already had on hand.

Failing is something that all scientists have to endure.  Experiments go awry, inventions don’t work, research comes to a halt.  But we have to overcome these failures to make our final result as impeccable as possible.  Experiments and inventions must be redesigned, research takes a new route.  All scientists need to persevere through setbacks, and I’m experiencing that right now.

Get challenge updates in your inbox! Sign up now

Tertiary content

Latest Blog Post

Tertiary content