Honey bees are an integral part of nature, deeply impacting our lives as consumers. Many plants, including food bearing ones, rely on honey bees and other insects for pollination, allowing them to survive and produce additional plants. Because of this, bees a main factor in how much food farmers are able to produce each season. Sadly, many bees are dying off, known as colony collapse disorder. The reasons for this are largely debatable, though it likely seems to stem from pesticides, harmful treatment of hives, and mites.
For my project, I decided to focus on bee smokers and the creation of an alternative to this bee keeping tool. From extensive research, I learned that the main use of a bee smoker was to disrupt bee pheromones to prevent them from attacking. In order to replicate this, I created a mint leaf and agave nectar mixture that would confuse the bees senses, making them unable to interpret bee pheromones sent around the hive. I was very proud of this final result, because I was able to duplicate the use of a bee smoker, while also eliminating the harsh aftereffects of the smoke, causing the bees unable to communicate for a while, severely hurting the hive. If I had to do this differently, I wish I had researched less on what a bee smoker does and more on what I could do to make my mixture better. I'm sure I could have added more ingredients to make my creation even more effective at warding off bee attacks.
For this project, I chose to dissect a shark, because I was interested in seeing the contrast between a shark's and a human's anatomy. Sharks have very different body structures than humans do, with a few notable similarities. Both sharks and humans have livers for cleaning out their bodies, but a shark's is much larger, due to them ingesting much more toxins and harmful substances in the ocean. Additionally, a shark's liver utilizes it's large amount of oil to even increase buoyancy. The interesting things in a shark allowed me to learn a lot about human anatomy in how different we are from sharks and other animals. One interesting subject is the brain. Instinctual animals like sharks don't think very much, meaning they rely much more on their senses and animal instincts than humans do. Because of this, our brains form much differently than these animals. Dissecting and analyzing an animal's brain can illustrate a lot about the way they live and how they conduct work.
For this project, the sophomores studied forensic science techniques in crime scenes and used those methods to investigate crime scenes, determining every detail about the crime. This unit began with research and discussion of exoneration. We met with Ken Marsh, a man wrongfully convicted of the murder of his wife's son. With further investigation he was exonerated. We learned that exoneration is the act of freeing someone who was wrongly convicted of a crime and put in jail. Through all the new improvements in the justice system, mainly the discovery of DNA extraction, the justice system has been drastically improved, and many innocent people have been exonerated. We started researching these forensic science techniques through our individual crime scene investigation. I was assigned to crime scene 1 with my investigation partner Mitchell Anderson. The crime scene initially consisted of the victim's corpse laying over a desk, a bullet hole through the head, arm, and wall. A gun was left laying in-between the hands of the victim. Various Liquor bottles were scattered around the desk, and letters of eviction, IRS notes, and a medical prescription bottle were found in the trash. We investigated the crime for about 2 weeks identifying the body and the cause of the death. With the information that we were given we discovered that the victim Aaron Lee was shot at approximately 1:35am. The main suspects were Michelle Lee (wife) and Scott Henderson (stepson). The main part of this project was using the forensic science that we learned about to perform tests at the scene to decipher exactly what had happened and the events in order of the crime.
The work was split up between both Mitchel and myself. Each of us studied a different forensic science and wrote a full report on it. I studied Blood Spatter, Blood Typing, Superglue Fuming, and with all of these performed I also wrote a Coroner's Report. At the crime scene there was a significant amount of blood spatter on the wall next to Aaron Lee. We used the science of blood spatter to learn the angle of the blood spatter and the velocity of the spatter that was created by the bullet. Blood Typing was used at the scene to confirm the owner of the blood that was spilt at the scene. With this science we discovered that Aaron Lee's blood was not the only blood present at the scene. The final science I studied was Superglue Fuming. Using this technique we superglue fumed the medication bottles and the bottles of liquor. With this technique many prints were exposed that were invisible to the naked eye. Gathering all of the information with these forensic science techniques that we learned I wrote a Coroner's Report. This report was all of the evidence that we gathered and the final conclusion of what happened at the crime scene.
The forensic science that is most interesting to me is the Superglue Fuming. I found this technique of developing fingerprints that can not be seen with the naked eye into a well defined fingerprint showing every mark intrigues me. I found this interesting because the method of heating the superglue to develop the prints is rather easy. It is a technique that is greatly needed in the criminal investigation world and is a very important part of investigation. Without fingerprints it would be very hard to decipher the events of the crime and the suspects of the act. I enjoyed superglue fuming more than the other sciences because it was very hands on and I enjoyed watching invisible fingerprints appear with the chemicals of a little amount of glue. During this project I think that my strong point was writing. I was well informed on the techniques we were writing our papers on and I took all the information that I could to write the strongest paper that I could. I think this was my strong point because my writing skills were used correctly and very strongly making my writing performance stand out in the sophomore grade. With this project I think that I could have stayed a little more organized with my work and hand written assignments. My binder was a little messy and I think that I could have improved it with staying more organized.