It was a bright sunny morning when suddenly the fire alarm went off during the middle of my shower! My first thought: Are you serious?! I haven’t even put shampoo in yet! After all the Bear Creek residents scrambled out of the building, a firetruck showed up and firemen investigated the building to find no fire. Shortly after, I found myself back in the shower wondering if I was going to have enough time to shampoo my hair…

Week three went by quick as each day carried a mix of new tasks. For me, this meant jumping back and forth from the lab to the office. Controlled experiments are still underway and the continual search for information never ends. After having completed the full set up for a controlled test run (diagram pictured below), the set up was quickly broken down and reconfigured in a new, safer location; the hood. The hood is just a ventilated work space that prevents unwanted fumes from spreading around the laboratory. Keep in mind that this set up has tubes running around the jungle of other tubes for other experiments, nonetheless, relocating can be a very tedious task. After realizing that we still were not ready for a test run, the set up was taken apart and re-purposed for a preliminary check.  Before trying to get my sampler to adsorb the target compound, we first wanted to check to see what was already adsorbed on the adsorbent before anything was added. In other words, we were checking for background noise that could be subtracted from a real sample. Because the data retrieval for the identity of these volatile compounds is so complicated, my mentor ran the machine. Looks like next week I will be doing some data analysis.

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