Gables Science Experiments Put To The Test

Cameryn Padron, Photographer

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Group 4 is a project is an activity that all students in the International Baccalaureate program must complete to earn their diploma.  Students from different Group 4 subjects i.e. biology, chemistry, and physics, work together on a scientific or technological topic.  The theme for the 2016 Group 4 activity is “make the world a better place”, meaning all investigations must have an outcome that has the potential to  make the real world a better place.

Overall, judges are looking to ensure a project reflects the team’s self-motivation and perseverance, self- reflection, and ability to work as a team.

“This year I am looking for consistency, organization, and applicability to real world problems.  One project I found very interesting was ‘Pollutants and Their Effects On The Number of Open Stomata Found In Leaves’ because it accurately shows the dangers perfume, for example, has on the environment and on us,” biology teacher Ms. Phillips said

The Group 4 project “Pollutants and Their Effects On The Number of Open Stomata Found In Leaves” tests pollutants and their effects on the number of open stomata found in leaves, while comparing it to the skin and their pores. Perfume, dish soap, mosquito repellent, coke and oil were tested and the pollutant was sprayed or painted on. Then, nail polish was poured over the leaves and then removed so the remnants of the pollutants would remain. The remnants were then placed under a microscope for observation.  The members of this group concluded mosquito spray not only opened the number of stomata on the leaves the most, but was the only pollutant that went over the controlled level.

“We think that is because of the high concentration of deet which contains elements like carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, which definitely could have effected the opening of the stomata. All the other pollutants had high concentrations of other chemicals that could have caused it to close. We are testing how this can affect the environment, for example the plants because if we were spraying perfume or mosquito repellant outside it would effect any plants surrounding it. Perfume on skin could be harmful because like our experiment shows, it closes the number of stomata instead of opening it which definitely does more harm than good,” said junior, Sara Saliamonas.

Students with the best Group 4 projects will advance to Districts and then hopefully, States. Gables students demonstrated an exceptional amount of effort and have once again proved the International Baccalaureate program has succeeded in teaching them time management and overall sculpted the upperclassmen into well-rounded students.