Day 4 - AYSF 2011

Wed, 2011-08-24 13:50 -- Team Canada-AYSF

Today was the first day of the Atomic Energy activity for me. After some brief lectures in basic atomic theory, the other participants and I did some activities and played some games that represented challenges faced by radiation workers. For example, there was one game in which three types of balls were in a bin. Each type of ball represented a different kind of particle: alpha, beta, or gamma. Participants had to sort the balls into different bins depending on which material could be used to shield against that type of radiation.

- Benjamin

I went to bed very late the night before because I had to finish the PowerPoint for APEC night, so I was very tired. After breakfast we went to theSirindhornScience Home lobby, then to the Convention Centre, but to a new floor for the Bioluminescence camp. We had to register at the front desk where we received our safety glasses, mask, gloves and a lab coat for the experiments we would be doing during the camp, and I was assigned to group 3A. We went into the room and I sat with my friends.

We listened to the staff members, who told us that they came from the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA). Professor Palangpon Kongsaeree, from the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, gave a lecture to introduce bioluminescence: "From Chemical Sensors to Chemical Biology’’, which was very interesting. Next we went to another room where Professor Anchana Thanjareon from the Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, gave a lecture on fireflies: "Firefly for the International Research." She explained that fireflies glow because they are in search of a mate and also, that only members of the same species can be together, so they have different "calls" to differentiate the species.

We played some games where we were fireflies searching for a mate with a flashlight. During the second round, we were different species and had different calls. It was quite fun. Finally, we had to invent a good call that was easy to recognize. Our team invented a very special call, and to make it even more original we decided that when a male would call for a female, it would glow by flying in a clockwise circle, which would be more attractive and easier to see. When we presented the call of our species, "Tinkerfly", Dr. Anchana told us that our idea was really good because in nature, some male fireflies do fly in a special way to better attract a female from its species.

During the break we had Thai tea, which was really tasty. Next was a lecture on Forensic Science (which REALLY interested me): "Luminescence in Forensic Science" by Dr. Srung Smanmoo from the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), NSTDA. He explained how luminescence can be used to find evidence at a crime scene and to relate it to a suspect. We played a game that a Thai student proposed. It was a kind of dance to do in a group - very amusing. At lunch we ate at the Convention Centrefor the first timeand the food - also for the first time - looked similar to what I'm used to in Canada. However, my friends were telling me that they were not used to eating that type of food - like French fries.

We went back to the room and were separated into two groups: A and B. Group B went to the stations. Group A, which I was in, did the "Colorimetric Chemosensor Test for Blood", an experiment to study the application of colorimetric chemosensors based on phenolphthalein to detect bloodstains at a crime scene. First, we had to observe the effect of concentration on blood samples (blood diluted 0, 10, 100, 1000 times). Then, we observed the effect of the concentration of a hydrogen peroxide solution, and finally, we identified unknown samples (blood vs. non-blood). We acquired a basic knowledge of how to use phenolphthalein for blood detection. We also had a discussion at the end that we had to write down. Then, we cleaned up everything and when the others from group B came back, we took a break.

Next we made luminescent toys using milk, vinegar and luminescence powder. Tthe team with the most beautiful toys won. It was very interesting, I made flowers and a butterfly. My friends made a snake, a beautiful rose and other objects. We had a great time making the toys and watching them glow in the dark. We went back to the Sirindhorn Science Home with our groups. Everyone was there and we played some games and did clapping cheers together.The staff asked us to create a cheer for our group and we invented a very original one to present at the beginning of the music night. Then, we went back to the Convention Center where I sat with some of my friends.

Later, we performed our cheer and the judges liked it. Then, I went in front of the stage during the Music Night! Everyone did great, especially the Australian team who performed a dance that they had practiced at their science camp in Australia. All the performances were amazing. About an hour before the music night finished, I went back to the Sirindhorn Science Home with the Chinese students. Benjamin and I practised our performance for APEC Night the next day. Then I went to sleep!

- Minuoja