Archive for January, 2006


Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

One of the great challenges of conducting independent research is balancing and managing time. One technique that is often suggested to insure success is backwards mapping. See these websites for more info: [1] [2]. Basically, when you backward map, you identify what and WHEN you need to do certain tasks to achieve your goals.

Identify two milestones you would like to achieve in your EXPERIMENTAL research. What are they and when would you like to achieve them? Refrain from discussing construction of posters, writing reports, or making presentation.

Perhaps those of you who are extremely tardy with this assignment could share an updated milestone?

MidTerm Exam

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Write an abstract discussing your project. The abstract should be succinct, proofed, and between 150-250 words. Post your abstract here so other students may read it to prepare questions for your oral exam on January 24th.

Your exam grade will be based on:
1.) your written abstract
2.) your responses to student questions
3.) questions you ask other students

Use the following links and samples to assist in producing a high-quality abstract.

Writing an abstract. Click here

Practical Tips for Science Writing. Click here


Heavy Metal Bioaccumulation in Long Island Sound’s Great Meadows Marsh
Bioaccumulation of heavy metals is amplified with increased trophic levels. A variety of species from Long Island Sound’s Great Meadows Marsh were sampled for heavy metals through a metallothionine quantification protocol. Metallothionine is a universally heavy metal binding enzyme that catalyzes with heavy metals found in the organism. A mathematical model was developed to predict expected levels of heavy metals in higher trophic levels.

The Effects of MTBE on Well Water in Stamford
This project involved testing Stamford-area artesian wells for Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether, or MTBE. MTBE is a substance added to gasoline in order to reduce tailpipe emissions and to increase gasoline octane ratings. MTBE gets into well water supplies by way of gasoline spills, gas-line leaks in the ground and by means of the natural emission of MTBE into the environment through automobile tailpipes.
Samples were collected directly from faucets in homes mostly located in the 06903 and 06902 zip codes. The water samples were assayed for water hardness, alkalinity, pH and conductivity. In addition, samples were tested for traces of MTBE using GC-MS. Next, the sites were mapped using G.I.S software, and attempts were made to find correlation between the location of the sites and the human impact on the area surrounding the sites.

Effects of Room Acoustics on the Generated Sounds of Percussion
This project is aimed towards the effects of various environments on percussion instruments’ sound and performance. Each environment exhibits reverb capabilities with various generated sounds of percussion. Each type of percussion instrument will display different decibel levels when played at various distances from a central location within the environment. Through the use of a Sound Level Meter and various analysis programs, both the decibel levels and effects of reverb of the marching snare drum, tenor drums, bass drums, and crash cymbals, will be tested and analyzed to determine which instrument creates the greatest levels for both reverb and decibel readings, as well as which environment is most conducive to high volumes and sound resonance.
The results will be compared to existing data concerning the effects of decibel levels and reverb on the human ear. Hearing loss can result from extended exposure to high decibel levels, and through the comparison, determining the safest environment for playing percussion instruments will be possible.

Science as a process

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Please respond in 100-200 proofed, succinct words to the following question. Be sure to include factual information supported with personal insight gained from this course.

Are science and creativity related?

Infectious diseases

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Click here for a set of resources about infectious diseases.