Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

chunk1One of the challenges of conducting research is identifying the “chunks” of information that a very large topic can be broken into.  For your research, identify the “big idea,” and list 4-5 (more or less) subtopics that support the “big idea.”  Provide 1 or 2 sentences to describe/support each subtopic.

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38 Responses to “Chunking”

  1. Gannon Ferrell Says:

    The big idea of my project is charging a battery using piezoelectric materials. Broken down into smaller “chunks”, the project consists of piezoelectric materlials, circuits, electricity, and power converters. Piezoelectric materials are substances that have symmetrical crystal lattices with a charge. Depending upon the position of an aton in the lattice gives the substance piezoelectric properties. The piezos put out alternating current, which cannot be taken by the battery. In the circuit, a series of diodes and capacitors convert the alternating current of the piezos to a direct current that the battery can take in and use. The charge the piezos put out is not necessarily constant, which is where the power converter plays part. The power converter takes in the direct current created by the piezos and steps the voltage level up or down to fit the needs of the battery. It has an adaptive feedback system to help maintain a constant voltage level if the piezo output changes.

  2. Emily S Says:

    Big Idea: Effective method for time release of topical treatment of blisters using Vitamin E
    1) Vitamin E: What aspects of Vitamin E are used for topical treatment, how Vitamin E is found in its natural form, basics of Vitamin E (topical use/treatment)
    2) Alginate Film: Basics of what it is, how it can be used for topical applications of medicine, how it is made, how to vary its thickness
    3) Amount of medicine applications: the necessary amount of time/amount of applications of Vitamin E should be applied to a wound for maximum healing in the least amount of time
    4) Water-soluble compound/material: Material for allotted amount of time inbetween applications of Vitamin E, what kinds of solutions or materials are water soluble for purpose of making it into alginate film
    5)Diffusion: amount of time it takes for alginate film to diffuse through “skin” or similar dialysis tubing for testing purposes

  3. Kathleen M Says:

    The big idea of my project is determining whether or not samples of rice, taken from the Connecticut community, contain the genetic modification of the LL601 rice crop. Under this big idea exists various subtopics: PCR, electrophoresis, genetic comparisons, and application of the genetic identification. PCR, polymerase chain reaction, takes the desired piece of DNA, in this case the P35S bar, and replicates it to the point where the amount of DNA is sufficient to analyze. It uses various primers to commence the replication process. In electrophoresis, the DNA strands separate and form patterns of bans, as a result of the electric pull in the device used. Each sequence of DNA will have a distinct pattern of bans. Electrophoresis directly leads into genetic comparison where the different samples of DNA, LL601 rice and Connecticut rice, can be compared and contrasted through their patterns of bans formed. This also leads into the genetic identification aspect of my project. The DNA can be identified as either containing the LL601 gene or lacking the LL601 gene. If the bans do create the same patterns, their DNA sequences are therefore the same also. This would mean that the Connecticut samples do contain the LL601 gene.

  4. Tyler W Says:

    The big idea of my project is to put a computer inside of a vacuum, in order to the rate of cooling, so as to make it easier for a cooling system to get the computer to reach superconductive temperatures. In all hopes, the vacuum should increase cooling efficiency, with less particles in the system to deal with heat.

    1) Theory of superconductivity
    – explain what superconductors are, and how to make them
    2) Applying superconductivity in computers
    – how it is done, list drawbacks
    3) Vacuum cooling
    – explain theory behind putting computer in vacuum, and how it will make cooling easier, and how to apply that within superconductive terms

  5. Joe Greco Says:

    The major chunk of my research project is to discover an innovative approach to evaluating muscle movement caused by contractions in the muscle. One smaller chunk would be exercises. Exercises such as the squat triggers most of the muscles in the leg including the quad muscles and the calf muscles. The second chunk would be human subjects. I already have two subjects that have volunteered for my project. They are Brian Baker, and Cathain Pratt. The third chunk would be the device used for detecting the muscle movement. I have been looking at ultrasonic imaging for a while now, but Dr. LaBanca and I have contacted Branson technologies, and they said the best device to detect what we needed would be sonograms and sonic transducers. This is what I think I am going to use in my project.

  6. Amanda W. Says:

    The big idea for my research is finding a way to remediate industrial agriculture swine manure lagoons. These lagoons are extremely detrimental the environment due to the high toxicity of large concentrated amounts of swine feces and urine. The lagoons cause the most environmental damage when they leak into water sources or seep into the ground. Research done following the rupture of a lagoon found that most aquatic life in the affected water source almost automatically die. I plan to create a procedure using chemicals that would be most effective for the remediation of the lagoons.

  7. stephanie v. Says:

    Big Idea: Creating a self-sustaining magnetic generator
    1. Magnets: The magnets in the generator have their poles facing each other. They rotate forever, until stopped by an outside force because there is no friction.
    2. Friction: This generator does not have friction because the magnets do not touch each other. This makes it so the magnets can spin forever without slowing down. The energy made from the rotating magnets is greater than the energy required to power the generator; therefore electricity can be made with the excess energy.
    3. Electricity: electricity is created when the generator is turned on. For this generator my goal is to power one or more light bulb(s).
    4. Physics: some of the laws of physics need to be understood in order to create this generator.

  8. Jared S. Says:

    Big Idea: Isolating the mutatating trasponson genes in agricultural maize.
    1. Contact: I need to isolate a certain lab, and lab technician that can assist me with my endevour. I then need to email said lab.
    2. Time Management: The tests which I wish to do to determine and isolate the transposon gene requires time for testing. I need to provide enough time to lab/lab technicians to test the DNA.
    3. DNA Testing: I need to learn more about the ways of DNA testing and how to go about testing with these tests.
    4. Further Research: More research is neccessary to understand the inner workings of DNA testing and the different ways in which it can be applied.

  9. Charles Widmer Says:

    The big idea of the project is to self grow or purchase carbon nanotubes and turn them into conductive carbon nanotube springs. These springs have been theorized to hold energy better than any leading lithium battery on the market to date. Also, carbon nanotube springs do not lose energy over time and can also withstand higher and lower operating temperatures.
    1.Growth of Nanotubes
    •Tell how the nanotubes were grown.
    2.Separation of metallic and semi-conductive nanotubes
    •Show/tell techniques to properly separate the different kinds of nanotubes
    3.Creation of carbon nanotube springs
    •Explanation of how to make carbon nanotube springs
    4.Charging the carbon nanotube springs
    •Procedure of how to charge carbon nanotubes

  10. Caitlin O. Says:

    The big idea in my project is to engineer E. coli so that it is able to convert carbon dioxide to methanol. This topic can be “chunked” into the categories of making an obligate aerobe, PCR, plasmid construction, and transformation. The mutation of E. coli so that it is an obligate aerobe, or that it needs oxygen to survive, is necessary for my project because E. coli that have anaerobic abilities would not use the metabolic pathway necessary to convert carbon dioxide to methanol once the plasmid containing alcohol dehydrogenase, formate dehydrogenase, and formaldehyde dehydrogenase genes is introduced. PCR is the method through which the genes that I am using in my project will be amplified for plasmid construction. Plasmid construction is one of the key factors of my project since a plasmid is the means by which the proper genes for conversion will be introduced to the E. coli. Transformation is the way that the plasmid will be added to the E. coli. If this portion of my project works, then the E. coli will obtain the ability to convert carbon dioxide to methanol.

  11. Amy P. Says:

    The “big idea” of my applied science research project is to culture probiotics and discover a new way to potentially store the probiotics. When I started researching about probiotics, an immense amount of information was available. By being able to divide the “big idea” into subtopics, the project will be easier to understand and work with. For my topic, the subcategories include:
    1) How Probiotics Work – probiotics are “good bacteria” that provide nutrients and assistance in the gastrointestinal tract for the body to digest certain foods. These bacteria are found in many different foods, such as yogurt and frozen yogurt
    2) How Probiotics Are Stored – probiotics are stored in various ways including freeze-drying, refrigeration, or in powder/tablet form. However not all of these forms are effective and can result in the death of the probiotics before the intended expiration date.
    3) How To Identify Probiotics – after culturing the good bacteria, various ways of identifying their presence can be used to establish whether or not they actually grew. Some of these ways are using the gram stain technique and identifying the characteristics the different bacteria contain.

  12. Alicja Z Says:

    The big idea behind my applied science research project is to develop a blanket that better thermally regulates body temperature. The subtopics encompassed under this general idea include:
    1.Thermal/Mylar blankets – how they work and what aspects allow them to retain heat
    2.Neonatal thermoregulation – how important is heat retention in the first half hour of neonatal life and what methods are taken to improve heat retention
    3.Incubators – pros and cons of using incubators
    4.Radiant heaters – pros and cons of radiant heaters
    5.Differences in blankets – thermal baby blankets vs. emergency blankets

  13. Brian B. Says:

    The project that I am going to be conducting is what are the affects of laser light on crystal line regions. I am going to be breaking my project into three different parts. Part one is going growing a crystal. If I can successfully grow a large crystal it will make my project much easier. Part two is going to be finding the crystal line region in the crystal I made and then cutting it out. After it is out I am going to grow a second crystal around the first crystal, hopefully creating a crystal with two laser line regions. Part three is going to be running the laser light threw the two crystal line regions. If one crystal line region can split laser light, what can two laser line regions do?

  14. David T. Says:

    The big idea of my project is to develop some kind of cooling system for the Xbox 360. An internal cooler is what the main plan is at the moment, although that may change over the course of the project. When divided into “chunks”, the main problems being looked at are:
    1)Finding enough space inside the console in order to fit any cooling components while still keeping the whole cooling process effective.
    2)Coming up with a new system for cooling the console. The real challenge would be to make it effective while also having it fit inside the compact spaces of the Xbox 360.
    3)Designing a new outer casing, if necessary, in order to fit all the components inside the console.
    There are currently so many modifications that are already out on the market to help and try to fix the overheating problems with the Xbox 360 that a completely new design is really the only step to take from here on out.

  15. David S. Says:

    The big idea of it is to successfully produce a bio-fuel that is a useable product. Although the quantities will be limited, there are small engines that only use small quantities.
    1. Once the fuel is made separate out the Biodiesel from the solution, by doing this the Biodiesel will now be a more useable product.
    2. Once the fuel is separated out find a product that the biodiesel could be used in. These engines need to be small because quantities of Biodiesel are small. For example, small remote controlled helicopters and airplanes that run on diesel fuel.
    3. If everything goes the way I hopefully plan it to, possible find a way to make the fuel in more quantities.

  16. Dan S. Says:

    The big idea in my project is to create a procedure in a cell culture that inhibits the production and growth of collagen III in order to make collagen I more widespread in a wound. In order to complete this, I must first:
    1. Collagen and its properties
    2. How it is cultured and the process that occurs when it is regenerated.
    3. Inhibition of collagen III production
    4. Quantification and differentiation of collagen I vs III

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