S’more Stoichiometry Lab

Have you ever make s’more? If yes, that is great; however, do you know how to use s’more to teach others about limiting and excess reactants?

As part of our unit two topics vary from lewis structure to VSEPR model to polarity to types of bonding, we did a lab to further our understanding of limiting reactant and percent yield, which means the substance that gets used up in a chemical reaction and the percent ratio of actual yield to the theoretical yield respectively.

In this lab, I was working with three other boys, and we were given eight pieces of crackers, five marshmallows, and 12 pieces of chocolate candies. Following the procedure, we had to make four s’mores in which each contains two pieces of crackers, one marshmallow, and three pieces of candies. Hence, we can see that the candies and the crackers are the limiting and the marshmallows are the excess reactant because there is one marshmallow left over after preparing each s’more .

After determining which reactant is excess and which is limiting, we calculated the total weight of one s’more before and after roasting the marshmallow and the chocolate. The before-roasting calculation is going to be our theoretical yield whereas the after-roasting weight is the actual yield. Since we have both the actual and theoretical yield, we can easily find the percent yield by taking actual yield divided by the theoretical yield and multiplied by 100.

For me, I enjoyed not only assembling s’more but also working in a team that is full of boys and weighing and calculating the percent yield. It was my first time to make and eat s’more, and I love it! Can you find the percent yield of your favorite food?



Fighting with Nature

As part of our Engineering Strand class, we were assigned to research an engineer so that we can learn more of what they did to get to where they are today.

For this project, I researched about Debbie Sterling because mainly she is a FEMALE engineer. Many people believe that girls should not be an engineer because it is against nature. Additionally, even in college, girls who are majoring in engineering usually are the minorities. Sterling has inspired me in so many ways especially my mindset. Everyone is not born a genius, so to be successful, we need hard work. 


“Even girls who love being a princess should get the chance to build the castle too,” says Debbie Sterling.

For girls out there, have you imagine of having building blocks or construction kit to play with instead of “pink” dolls, makeup and cooking kit? Many young girls do not have the privilege of having “blue” and “black” legos or simple construction components. Toys that they received from their parents or relatives are selected from the “pink aisle.” That is why Debbie Sterling, a Stanford graduate with engineering degree, has one important mission: to disrupt the pink aisle.

Sterling is an entrepreneur, engineer, forefront of movement to encourage girls to involve more with engineering and technology, and founder and CEO of GoldieBlox ‒ a toy company that is breaking the gender stereotypes by providing girls with building blocks to spark their interests in engineering and inspiring them to love STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) more. Basically, the children can read the story of Goldie, female main character, and they can build a long with Goldie as she faces with challenges. By doing this, it will fight against the nature that girls like “pink, dolls, and princesses.”

Before she started this company, she was working as an intern at a branding and design agency at Hornall Anderson. Even though that she loved her job at that time, she was feeling what she is doing is not enough. She wants to create change and give back to the world in a meaningful way. As a result, she quitted her job and tried to find her true passion. At first, she decided to volunteer in rural India. Next, she worked as a marketing director of a “small, woman-owned jewelry company,” where she gets the opportunity to learn how to run a business. Finally, she found her passion because one of her friends mentioned that there is a lack of women in engineering field. That is where it all started. She gave herself one year to finish the development of GoldieBlox. Because of her determination, there are now more than one million of toys being purchased in more than 6,000 stores across the globe.

Despite all of her amazing accomplishments, her perseverance and hard work should not be neglected. Bearing in mind that only 14% of engineers and architects are female, so for her to enrol in this class in Stanford is very challenging. Being the minority, she felt that she did not fit in: the boys excelled at the assignments and her male teacher were making fun of her because she can not draw in 3 dimensions. At one point, she was on the verge of quitting until her friend encouraged her to not give up. They usually go to library to study and when she saw that the boys were there too, she “realized that it’s not about being a born genius, it’s about how hard you work.” On the other hand, when she were proposing her idea of GoldieBlox to the toy companies, they keep rejecting and say that it will never sell, it will never be successful, and especially that she can not “fight nature.” Regardless of people’s opinion, she still keep fighting for what she truly believes.

Growing up, Debbie has one important role model that she always look up to ‒ her grandmother. Her grandmother also eradicated the stereotypes that woman can not be in the Senior role, that women can not be involved in male-dominated field. She was “one of the first female art director in 1950’s,” and she is also “one of the first female cartoonists at Disney.” Because of what Sterling’s grandmother did, it was one of the reasons that motivated Sterling to reach her dream.

There are three main principles that helped Sterling be successful in this contemporary patriarchy world: risk taking, grit, and passionate. First of all,  her idea is a new concept, and it takes a great amount to risk to develop it because no one has done it before. However, she did not allow that to bar her from helping other girls. As our world continues to develop, it is essential that we experiment new things in order to create positive impact for the world. Secondly, she was being looked down because of her inability to draw in 3 dimensions, but she managed to survive it by working harder. Additionally, there were so many people that keep telling her that her idea is not going to work. Parents will not change their habit of shopping from the “pink aisle.” Nevertheless, she still determined to pursue her dream and at the end, everything works out finely. Finally, passionate, she spend her early twenties searching for her passion: from volunteering in India to working in a jewelry company. Based on her interview with Forbes, she said that find a business idea that you “truly passionate about.” It needs to be something that you are persistent in pursuing it. If you start to question your idea, “you won’t have the inner fire and conviction you will need to overcome the inevitable rough patches and rejections you will face.”


Works Cited

“Debbie Sterling.” EngineerGirl, www.engineergirl.org/13512/Debbie-Sterling.

“Get to Know Debbie Sterling’s Grandmother.” GoldieBlox, 16 Apr. 2018, blog.goldieblox.com/2017/09/debbie-sterlings-grandmother/.

Mason, Heather. “Meet Smart Girl Debbie Sterling, Founder and CEO of GoldieBlox.” Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, 29 June 2017, amysmartgirls.com/meet-smart-girl-debbie-sterling-founder-and-ceo-of-goldieblox-103fc961ae37.

TEDxTalks. “Inspiring the next Generation of Female Engineers | Debbie Sterling | TEDxPSU.” YouTube, YouTube, 19 Apr. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEeTLopLkEo.

“Women in Architecture and Engineering Occupations in 2016.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10 Mar. 2017, www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/women-in-architecture-and-engineering-occupations-in-2016.htm.

Flame Test Lab

Everything on Earth is made of atoms, and all atoms have electrons, which is a negatively charged particles that move around a nucleus, consists of protons and neutrons.

To further our understand of electrons, we did a cool Flame Test Lab to study how electrons respond to flame, which we can measure their reactions through the use of color. Basically, we put a tiny amount of chemical, Barium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Copper (II) Chloride, Lithium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, and Strontium Chloride, on a Popsicle stick and bring it to the flame. When heating, the electrons are able to move from the ground state to excited or high-state energy. As they return to their ground state, they will release the energy as photons of light; therefore, the wavelength of the light will produce colors of light.  

There were two challenges that my team noticed when doing this experiment: distinguishing a certain color from another and removing the dropping compound. For instance, it was arduous to identify if the color of the flame is actually green or yellow or green or blue because they are very similar. Additionally, when the students burnt the compound, some of it fell down and stayed at the base of the flame, which can influence the actual color of the next compound.

Personally, I believe that this lab is very beneficial to our understanding of electrons’ behavior when they are being heated. If we just learn this concept from our teacher and did not do the experiment, I think that I would not understand that much of it.

The Fingers that Fix Nitrogens

We often think that plant roots absorb water, but these giant-mucousy fingers actually pull in airborne nitrogen.

Professor and plant scientist Alan Bennett ‒ a member of the Plant Sciences Department at University of California, Davis ‒ led a team of researchers to find out the reasons why the aerial roots of Sierra Mixe corn behaves that way. The result lies in the thick and glistening mucous surround the roots.

After completing three phases of testing and 10 years of working on the project, the team was able to conclude that there are actually tiny residents inside the mucus. For phase 1, the team utilized a “modern DNA-sequencing” method to reveal that those microscopic creatures are indeed microbes from nitrogen-fixing family. Whereas for phase 2, the mucus were chemically analyzed, and it turned out that the mucus provides safety shelter to the microbes and protects them from having contact with the oxygen. Finally, using five separated tests, the team could say that the nitrogen converted by the microbes and provided with “30% to 80% of plant’s need” has transformed itself in order for the corns to absorb and use for the entire plant.

There are multi-faceted applications that we can use from this finding. One way is to transplant the mucus. Imagine if other plants contain the same mucus, then farming becomes more sustainable without constantly buying fertilizers. Additionally, crossbreeding the Sierra Mixe corn with conventional corn is possible. Therefore, these two possibilities may lead to further genetic engineering. Although the mucousy corn takes at least eight months to mature, if we can intermix both plant genese, there will be less adverse effects on the environment.   

There are many disadvantages and hazardous effects that can be caused by synthetic fertilizer. As fertilizer is a double-edge sword, it can affect people’s health while also can wash off into the rivers, which lead to immense algae bloom causing organisms to die because of lacks of oxygen. Furthermore, manufacturing fertilizers is an energy-intensive industry. Therefore, nitrogen-fixation ‒a process of converting nitrogen into organic compound‒ is an alternative way to solve these problems due to its efficiency and sustainability. For instance, this technique of nitrogen-fixation will fit best in areas where soils are depleted of nitrogen or where fertilizer is not accessible or affordable.

Although, there are clear advantages of nitrogen fixation in the corn, there are still uncertainty regarding microbes and gene of the corn: name and number of species of the microbes, possible drawbacks of nitrogen-fixation gene, and type of gene that enable aerial roots to contain mucous and microbes. Despite these ambiguity, nitrogen-fixation modus operandi still hold great value.

Global consumption of fertilizers, especially nitrogen fertilizers, has rapidly grown according to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). In the new FAO report entitled “World fertilizer trends and outlook to 2018” states that the usage of fertilizer will increase by “1.8 percent through 2018”‒ a 25-percent growth from 2008. As clearly shown, just over one decade, the augmentation of the fertilizer has grown nearly a quarter. Then, what would happen in the next 10 years, 7 years, or even 4 years?

Although nitrogen made up 78% of atmosphere, however, only small percent of crops can fix those excess nitrogen. Therefore, as the world progress, we need to be able to have more plants that have the ability to fix nitrogen like those Sierra Mixe corns. If those plants can grow at a commercial rate, it may further lead to eradicating food insecurity. This opens door to many opportunities for people to be creative, to find a way to carry out the plan, and to change the world!


Works Cited

“Can We Grow One of the World’s Largest Food Crops Without Fertilizer?” UC Davis, 1 Oct. 2018, www.ucdavis.edu/food/news/grow-food-crops-without-fertilizer/.

Daley, Jason. “The Corn of the Future Is Hundreds of Years Old and Makes Its Own Mucus.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 10 Aug. 2018, www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/corn-future-hundreds-years-old-and-makes-its-own-mucus-180969972/#rbuO1cTVFzzLit1I.99.

“Fertilizer Use to Surpass 200 Million Tonnes in 2018.” International Rice Commission Newsletter Vol. 48, FAO of the UN, www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/277488/icode/.

“Fertilizer Use to Surpass 200 Million Tonnes in 2018.” International Rice Commission Newsletter Vol. 48, FAO of the UN, www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/277488/icode/.

Yong, Ed. “The Wonder Plant That Could Slash Fertilizer Use.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 10 Aug. 2018, www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/08/amaizeballs/567140/.

Women in STEM- Florence Bascom

We often know more about male scientists than female scientists. For example, for physic scientists, the first one that comes to our mind is probably Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton. When people are being asked to name a female scientist, almost everybody will say Marie Curie.  However, there are many more female scientists that have done amazing work for our world, but not many people know about them. Below is the first American geologist, and you will find out how she struggled to achieve her goal because of her gender. 

“I have always claimed there was no merit in being the only one of a kind… I have considered pride in the fact that some of the best work done in geology today be women, ranking with that done by men, has been done by my students…”

Name: Florence Bascom

Occupation: Geologist and Educator

Born: July 14, 1862

Died: June 18, 1945


Florence Bascom was born on July 14, 1862 in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. Her father, John Bascom, was initially a professor at Williams College and in 1874, he became the president of University of Wisconsin. Her mother, Emma Curtiss Bascom was a women’s rights activist involving in the suffrage movement. One interesting fact is that one year after her father was employed, the university began accepting women. Since both of her parents were teachers and supporters of women’s rights, she was encouraged to pursue education at a very young age.


In 1877, she enrolled in the University of Wisconsin and in 1882, she completed a Bachelor’s degrees in Arts and Letters and Science. Later on in 1887, she was determined to continue getting a Master’s degree in Science. With courage, she kept studying until 1893, when she was the first woman ever to receive PhD at Johns Hopkins University and second woman worldwide that earned PhD in geology.


This scientist was considered to be the first American woman geologist. She was also the first woman ever to be hired by United States Geological Survey agency. After receiving a PhD in 1893, she began her career as a teacher at Ohio State University and taught there until 1895. Then, she moved to Bryn Mawr College, where she founded the university geology department. She educated other women in field of geology; that was why after establishing the department, it resulted in “more women geologist in early 20th century than any other U.S. institution, ” stated American Association of University Women (AAUW.)


During her years as geologist and research scientist, she became known for her work of crystallography and petrography, which is a study of composition, origins, properties, and classification of rock and crystal. She has helped us to understand mountain-building processes and the geology of the Appalachian Piedmont Mountains. Additionally, she was well-known for her work on Mid-Atlantic Piedmont as well as US. Geological Survey Folios on Philadelphia (1909), Trenton (1909), Elkton-Wilmington (1920), Quakertown-Doylestown (1931), Honeybrook-Phoenixville (1938), and some 40 scientific articles on genetic petrographic, geomorphology, and gravels.


As an educator and geological survey scientist, she left our generation with a legacy of powerful knowledge about our world. Despite her achievements, she also suffered from gender inequality, especially when she was studying for her PhD in a patriarchal world. During her classes, she had to sit behind a screen because she might “disturb” the male students from learning. Additionally,  she was hardly permitted to use the library, gymnasium, and was forbidden from classrooms that were full of men. Although, she had to fight back against these stereotypes, she was in the top 100 leading geologist in United States until her death in 1945.

Works Cited

Aldoleopoldnaturecenter. “Florence Bascom.” Featured Scientists, 23 Aug. 2016, alncfeaturedscientist.wordpress.com/2016/08/20/florence-bascom/.

Clary, R. M., and J. H. Wandersee. “Great Expectations: Florence Bascom (1842–1945) and the Education of Early US Women Geologists.” Geological Society, London, Special Publications, Geological Society of London, 1 Jan. 2007, sp.lyellcollection.org/content/281/1/123.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Florence Bascom.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 24 Apr. 2009, www.britannica.com/biography/Florence-Bascom.

Photo Source:




A few weeks ago, I just learned about kinematics, which is a way to describe motion. There are four kinematic equations:


  • d = distance
  • t = time
  • a = acceleration
  • g = gravitational
  • Vi  = initial velocity
  • Vf  = final velocity


  • Something starts from rest → Vi  = 0
  • Something gets dropped → a = g & Vi  = 0
  • Something comes to a stop →  Vf  = 0
  • Something falls down → negative acceleration (g = -9.8 m/s^2)
  • Slowing down/Deceleration → negative acceleration
  • When throwing object up and it comes back down at the same place without air resistance → Vi =  Vf



Testing Food for Nutrients

All living organisms need nutrients to survive. Some organisms can produce their own nutrients and some are not like human. They don’t have that ability, so they must consume nutrients from outside resources. Nutrients are basically classified into six groups: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Testing for Nutrients
There are several ways to test the food to see if they have these nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. One method that my class did is to use the chemical indicators. Chemical indicators are substance that gives a visible sign, usually by a color change. So, we put four kinds of chemical into our food.These are the chemical indicators:

Biuret reagent – a chemical that can be used to highlight proteins. It is a light blue solution that when come to contact to proteins, it will turn to dark blue.

Benedict’s solution – a light blue solution, and when combined with a monosaccharide (and most disaccharides) and heated, it will change the color. The color may be a bit yellowish or light orange after heating. A green to yellow show that it contain a small amount of sugar and an orange or red color indicates that it has more sugar.

Iodine/Potassium iodide (IKI) – can be used to test for polysaccharide starch. A yellow/brown solution, IKI will turn deep blue to black when come in contact with starch.

Sudan III – a fat-soluble dye, and if it combines with a substance containing lipids, the dye will build up in the lipids, staining the lipids red.

Source from Innovating Science by Aldon Corporation


Data Analysis – testing to see what happen after adding the chemical indicator to the solution


Data Analysis – testing to see if the food has protein, starch, sugar, and lipid or not




Why can’t we fly up? Why we attract to the ground?

It is because of GRAVITY!!

Gravity is a force that attracts a body towards  the center of the earth. It pulls things to the ground. For example, if we take a ball and drop it, that is the gravity that pulls it to the ground. Moreover, it keeps the sun, and planets in the orbit.

Why do you float in space?

We float in space because there is no gravity at there. The further you get away from the Earth, the less gravitational force there is (the less pulling downward to the earth). At there, no one can hear you scream because there is no air. No Air = No Sound, No Air = No Gravity

Science Story Book

One of the biggest project in Liger is Science Story Book. This mean that each student will pair with another student, who are interest at the same topic. In fact, they will create a fiction book based on their topic. This book is not just in one language, it will be in both Khmer and English because we are going to share this book with the students in the government school too. I paired up with another boy who is interested in Earth Science. Our topic was about rock cycle. In the first month, we spent our time on doing research. Then we started to write our book in the document. I am the one who wrote the book. My partner is the one that do the art in Gimp, Inkscape, and Photoshop. After I write my book, we need to check it with English learning facilitators about the content and what the picture should look like. Also, we need to check the grammar because as you know we are still learning English. After finished with English, my partner continue to do his responsible and I translated it into Khmer. Then checked the translation with Khmer learning facilitators. Finally we put it into Bookwright program. But, we haven’t finished yet. Do you know why? Because when we put the text in, the space between each word got messy. I mean for English was okay, but Khmer was very disorganized. So, I need to fixed it. Next, we presented to everyone in Liger by giving them demonstration about our book. Then we read to each other. The language that we presented to them was in English. How about Khmer? We invited about 20 community students to come to listen to our book and ask them if they understand our book or not. In this project, we need to focus on it a lot. Also, we had to work efficiently not doing something that is not related to the book. 

Our book called “The Adventure of Rasy and the Rock Cycle”.Capture     9