I have been working to refine the workshop that will support the new Public Lab Oil Testing Kit. ...
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stevie was awarded the Basic Barnstar by warren for their work in this research note.
I have been working to refine the workshop that will support the new Public Lab Oil Testing Kit. To test out the existing format, I spent two afternoons with Groundwork New Orleans' Green Team - a great group of enthusiastic high school students. We've been running the Beta program for the past couple months, and so alongside the workshop format, I ran a version of the beta program for the students to contribute to. In this post I will include some of our experiences building the kit, taking some samples and reflect on the workshop format.
I had two, two hour blocks of time to run the workshop, so we spent the first day on kit construction. The students worked in pairs on building the spectrometer 3.0 and accompanying oil testing add on pieces. The construction of the spectrometer went really smoothly. The students enjoyed working on it and were able to do it fairly quickly, faster than I saw groups do it when I ran a workshop at the maker space a few months back. Part of this could have been because the instructions are a little more refined online. One hiccup we ran into was people assembling the box wrong, so that the hole for the camera cord was not in the right place, but this was easily fixable.
The students had more trouble assembling the oil testing kit than the spec. Everyone ended up using @mathew's research note for assembly, but did experience some difficulty:
We devoted the second day of the workshop to scanning samples. We all found the Chrome browser worked the best for us in scanning. Here are some things we struggled with:
Here are some of the things that went well:
- Working in pairs was a good idea both in construction and in taking the samples. In scanning the samples, one student ran the computer and one managed the sample and the laser.
- All of the groups were able to scan the 80w90 and the North Dakota Crude. However, the varying laser light and ability to hold the sample still made it so only about 1/4th of the scans were useable.
I'll be editing the workshop page in the next day or two with more technical changes, but below are some general reflections.
Interested in catching up with students from the Green Team about this project? Look for them at the Barnraising!
I loved learning about this at the Barnraising and it's great to read the in-depth report-back too, thanks Stevie!
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