Milestones

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?

20 Responses to “Milestones”

  1. Sam Says:

    I believe there are two major milestones I hope to achieve by the end of the year. First, I hope to test the most frequently used products containing soy. I believe this will give me an accurate result on whether genetic modification is as present as I assumed at the beginning of the year. I plan to test at least three more products besides tofu. Also I will test a control (a product that is certain to contain genetically modified soy). With this goal in mind I will need to test one of the four products each week till March. The next milestone goal I’d like to achieve is using my results for awareness in the community. At this point I’m not sure if this will be simply sending my results to the necessary groups or presenting in Newtown on my findings. This will need to be done between the months of March and June. Therefore, it is vital that I finish my data collection by March.

  2. maricate Says:

    In my experimental research there are two milestones I would like to achieve by the end of February. This week I am going to completely finish Phase I of my project, which was to test three different concentrations of distilled water contaminated with aluminum chloride. Using a spectrophotometer, I tested the self contaminated water before chitin remediation as a control. Then, I poured the contaminated water samples into the separatory funnel filled with 25 grams of blended lobster shell. I allowed the water to remain in the separatory funnel immersed in the chitin substance for an initial 10 minute remedial filtration period and after I left the contaminated water in the funnel for an overnight remedial period. Tomorrow I will test the final overnight sample and by then end of this week create my standard curve graph based on the levels of absorption. The second milestone I plan to complete by the end of February is to test aluminum chloride contaminated soil using similar methods as to the water testing. This weekend I will finish the construction of my apparatus to remediate soil, an aquarium filled with contaminated soil and a plastic tube in the center drilled with holes and filled with blended lobster shells. In the two weeks before vacation I hope to test and create another graph of my data for the chitin based remediation of soil.

  3. Luke Says:

    I would like to achieve two major milestones by the end of this school year. First of, I would like to extract curcumin from turmeric efficiently through the microwave. This would create an easier process to set up a reflux in the microwave for not only curcumin, but any other chemicals. There have been some setbacks, but I have to get passed them and make my goal. My second milestone is to quantify the amount of curcumin that I extract. Right now when I extract the curcumin, I extracting other chemicals with it, but curcumin takes up most of the extraction. Extracting curcumin would help in treating Cystic Fibrosis in the future.

  4. sarah gutbrod Says:

    By the end of February I need to have completed conducting at least eight interviews, preferably four allergists and four pediatricians. However scheduling has become a big obstacle as many of the doctors have very busy afternoon schedules. Also many pediatricians have referred me to their partner allergists instead of talking to me directly. If I found a way to conduct and record the interviews over the phone, it would be much easier to schedule the remaining four interviews. The second milestone I need to reach by the end of February is finding the theory that emerges from the data once it is axial coded to see whether there is a trend or consensus in the opinions of today’s professionals. In order to determine the theory from the data I must first open and axial code the transcripts of each interview. This is a time consuming procedure and I will be pressed for time to complete it in the month of February.

  5. Sarah Peck Says:

    I have been working hard to complete my first major milestone of the year, which is to go to New Milford Hospital and study sleep in patients using sophisticated professional equipment operated by certified technicians. This will happen on Friday, February 3. My next milestone needs to be completed in time for the presentations in March. That milestone is to create a project proposal (because I do not have the time or resources to do an experiment by the end of the year) using the knowledge of techniques and the unique insight I hope to gain this Friday at New Milford Hospital.

  6. Laura Koscomb Says:

    There are two major milestones that I hope to achieve by the end of the year. The first one is to create a project proposal for my project. So far I have been juggling ideas about what I am going to speicifically within the realm of West Nile Virus(WNV). My second milestone that I want to achieve is to begin working on my project in the experimental aspect. Whether that means doing the more field work side of WNV and collecting mosquitoes and having Dr. Andreadis as my mentor; or doing the more molecular side and doing ELISA testing with a doctor from UCONN.

  7. Alex FLEMing Says:

    One milestone that I’m going to complete is to figure out how noticeable the difference that stretching and warming-up makes before playing on a snaredrum at high speeds while under control. Another milestone that is likely to be completed this year is discovering how to prevent disease and be safe while playing drums. More specifically, carpal tunnel syndrome will be further researched in order to prevent the build up of lactic acid. For the final milestone, the experimentation involved in muscle manipulation will be hopefully compared to lactic acid and its effects. In stead of focusing specifically on muscles, lactic acid and how to reduce its presence in the human body will be further investigated to improve the quality of practice time while drumming. Not only reducing, but preventing lactic acid build up will be researched to discover newer ways to improve drumming skills.

  8. Dayton Horvath Says:

    The first thing I want to accomplish with my project is to run different trials of sugar solution and record as much data as I can. Once this is done, I can use the data to create more specific experiments to test my data and expand it if possible.
    The second milestone that I want to see is the completion of a mathematical model of my data, showing the values and data in comparison to the other data points, this will tell the precision and possible accuracy of my experiments. Both of these should be completed in a month but I don’t know how many tests I will be able to run in that time. It should be enough time to obtain the data to make my project somewhat successful.

  9. alex albritton Says:

    There are two major millstones that I hope to reach by the end of the school year. My first millstone is to expose bacteriophage and bacteria to ultraviolet radiation and to infect the bacteria with the bacteriophage. This will hopefully tell me the effects of U.V light on bateriophage reproduction, which is the main objective of my project. My other millstone is to figure out how I can modify the project I am doing know adding new dimensions to it to create a project for next year. This is a millstone for me because I intend to continue with this class next year and want to create a more seasoned in depth project.

  10. Kelly L. Says:

    There are two major milestones I hope to achieve by the end of February. The first is to make the robot “muscles” contract and the “leg” bend using solenoids. The second goal to be achieved by the end of the month is to use the information and technology created in the first goal to make the robot walk.

  11. Harriet Morgan Says:

    I hope to complete two milestones by the end of the year. The first milestone I am going to complete is to remove 50% of an arm from one of the brittle stars. I will be doing this shortly due to the fact that I now have the brittle stars in a constant and stable environment. Once I remove 50% of the arm I will be able to start to measure the regeneration in the arm as well as the reappearence of bioluminescence. The second milestone of my project will be to take close-range pictures of the brittle stars. After I complete this I will then be able to analyze them using the image j software. Once I pass these two milestones I will be very close to the completion of my year long project.

  12. Laura Konkos Says:

    There are many milestones that I hope to achieve in my experimental research. February is a very important month for these milestones. Soil from Deep Brook area has been tested for residual hydrocarbons. Now, I need to analyze the experimental research I have done for that within the next week. I must also sort the macroinvertebrates that I have collected with the Search DEP Protocol and then identify them before February break. Nitrates and phosphates, as well as other water chemistry experimental research must be done before March 1st, 2006. All of the experimental research above will help me achieve the milestone of finding the effect of the oil spills on deep brooks ecosystem. I also hope to find a connection between the temperature and the amount of macroinvertebrates that I was able to collect before March, as well.

  13. gabby nastri Says:

    Because this blog is so late and I have completed my project, poster and attendance at science fairs my two milestones involve the rest of the year. My first milestone is to complete my lab report write up for the long term project and the second is to come up with a small experiment to keep busy for the rest of the year.

  14. Lauren Says:

    Throughout the entire year I have struggled with finding a project, and actually being able to do it. I am now at the point where I have accompished this, and experimentally, I would like to organized all of the data that I have been able to record, and I would like to be able to normalize and averagize it. Throughout the summer, I would like to continue working with Dr. Calhoun, to collect more data, to verify the results that we have thus far achieved, and see if there is anything else that I can work on, because so far I have found my project very interesting.

  15. Jonathan Bryant Says:

    Two milestones within the process of my project will be as follows: 1) Synthesizing enough samples using different variables and 2) identifying all the impurities in the compounds through the purification process. The first phase consists of synthesizing more dipyrromethanes using different ketones and acids while altering the procedure to yield the greatest amount of dipyrromethane. The second phase is more time consuming as it requires waiting for the solution to filter through the silicone gel onto thin layer chromatography paper where I will compare and differentiate the impurities from the dipyrromethane under an ultraviolet light. I plan on working on this project throughout the rest of the year, the summer, and into early next year if I am to finish it before too long.

  16. Drew Taylor Says:

    I somehow completed my first two milestones for this year, getting all of my condition index and liver somatic index by the JSHS in time to put my poster together. Now my next to milestones have to do with my testing for ISEF. In order for me to compete on a nationally ranked level, I want to add a vitellogenin assay into my project. My second milestone is testing if the vitellogenin works with the livers having sat in sodium citrate for quite a while. I have to do all of this by late April.

  17. Ivan Says:

    My two milestones were, primarily, to build my device and to get it to work, which I accomplished with relative ease in the first few months of the course, and my second milestone was to develop an experiment and carry it out in such a way that would be accurate, and would provide conclusive results if it really worked. Now all I have left to work on is to develop some ideas for my project next year, and play around with possibilities.

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