Tuesday, September 30, 2014

STEM Journey: Spacelab to Zero G

1.       Introduction
a.       The first “STEM Journey” was held at Cape Cod Community College in Barnstable, MA on Saturday March 29, 2014, as a stand-alone event, to demonstrate to students from K-12 that the fields of science, technology, engineering and math can be both fun and interesting. This was a follow-up event to the award-winning National Chemistry Week event that was hosted by the Boy Scouts in collaboration with the American Chemical Society Northeastern Local Section and the Environmental Chemistry Division.
b.       The organizing committee for this event included professional affiliations: Eben Franks, Event Chair, Dr. Jack Driscoll (Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society NESACS/Cape Cod Science Cafe and PID Analyzers), Nancy Gifford (Board Member, Cape & Islands Boy Scouts of America) , Kristina Ieardi (Cape Cod Community College), Jennifer Maclachlan (ENVR/NESACS/Cape Cod  Science Café and PID Analyzers), Michael Riley (Cape & Islands Boy Scouts of America) , Dennis Walczewski (Board Member: Cape & Islands Boy Scouts and Suffolk University, & Amy Zahn, (Executive Director, Cape & Islands Boy Scouts)
We were fortunate to have two very capable Astronauts, Dr. Byron Lichtenberg and Captain Dan Burbank (Coast Guard) as keynote speakers. Dr. Lichtenberg was introduced by the President of the College, John Cox, to start the event.

Astronaut Presentation
c.       The program for the event was: http://www.scribd.com/doc/218359422/STEM-Journey-Program-Spacelab-to-Zero-G. That afternoon, the campus was bubbling with enthusiastic young students rushing to hear the Astronauts, experience the Planetarium, interactive Science Café or even shoot rockets.
Here's some coverage from the Wicked Local photo gallery:

2.       Organizing Organizations & Committee
a.       Boy Scout Council of Cape Cod
b.      Cape Cod Community College
c.       NESACS-Cape Cod Science Café
d.      PID Analyzers, LLC
e.      Committee: Eben Franks, Chair, Dr. Jack Driscoll, Nancy Gifford, Kristina Ierardi, Jennifer Maclachlan, Michael Riley, Dennis Walczewski, & Amy Zahn
3.       Speakers: Astronauts: Dr. Byron Lichtenberg and Coast Guard Captain Dan Burbank each gave two talks. Wristbands were handed out at registration for each of the four talks with the understanding that the 1pm and 3pm and 2pm and 4pm would be duplicate talks. The room was cleared between talks during which the astronauts signed autographs and interacted with the attendees.
4.       Participating Organizations and ACS member engagement
a.       Boy Scout Council of Cape Cod gave out merit Badges in Chemistry Paul Reibach, a NESACS member, ran the chemistry badge program) and Space Exploration badges. More than 125 scouts participated.  Astronaut Byron congratulated the new Space Exploration badge holders.

Boy Scout Space Exploration Badges with Astronauts

b.      Cape Cod Community College- There were four separate areas with interactive activities plus the rocket launch area. These are shown in Fig. 1 below.
c.       LEGO Laboratory- The younger students loved the LEGO education lab and it was difficult to get them to move to another exhibit.

d.      Cambridge Science Festival-(Under the banner Science on the Street, we are beginning to deliver our hallmark product—inspiring researchers and innovators engaging audiences with their love of science, technology, engineering and math—to kids, families and adults attending cultural and community events throughout Massachusetts. Stay curious and prepare to have fun at a festival, after school program, or event near you!( http://www.cambridgesciencefestival.org/ScienceOnTheStreet/About.aspx )Under the banner Science on the Street, the Cambridge Science Festival is beginning to deliver their hallmark product—inspiring researchers and innovators engaging audiences with their love of science, technology, engineering and math—to kids, families and adults attending cultural and community events throughout Massachusetts. Stay curious and prepare to have fun at a festival, after school program, or event near you! hands on experiments, rockets
e.      Indoor Planetarium –EDU Tarium- a Blow up planetarium, climb-in, all encompassing experience, that can handle 15-20 students at a time
f.        Cape Cod Science Café Exhibitors/NESACS- hands on chemistry and other experiments conducted by Dennis-Yarmouth High School Students-

ACS Table
PID Table with Astronaut  Lichtenberg

                                                               i.      Cape  Light Compact- energy conservation - reduction of energy bills- http://www.capelightcompact.org/
                                                             ii.      Suffolk University- Electrical Engineering Dept.-Prof. Craig Christiansen
                                                            iii.      Demonstrated devices that can create electricity such as: Mendicino generator, hand cranked spark generator …
Suffolk Univ. Table with electricity generation devices

                                                           iv.      MA Maritime-
                                                             v.      One Giant Leap- development of off shore wind projects
5.       Comments from Participants
A 3rd grade teacher from Barnstable,   West Villages Elementary School, Ms. Cannistraro
 said that “ this was the best science event that I have ever been to”.

Nancy Gifford, a 7th grade science teacher from Harwich, said “My students said they loved the event and learned a lot. As a teacher, I am excited that we were able to host such a high caliber event for our kids. Meeting an astronaut and other scientists from their hometowns helps them see that the sky is the limit ( or maybe not! :) ) many Cape Cod kids don't know what jobs are available in STEM because they don't see big companies or know people who work in those fields. Giving them a chance to talk to scientists is huge because they can see them as real people, not just men in lab coats.”
A Boy Scout parent remarked that “this kind of event makes you wish you were in 7th grade again, with a blank slate, where you feel like anything is possible and you can BE anything that you want”.
 Many parents said that they were happy to see the extensive facilities at the College.
Several parents asked if Cape Cod Community College was becoming the STEM Center for Cape Cod and the Islands.
Astronaut, Byron Lichtenberg said that it was a very impressive STEM program for the students and that he enjoyed himself.
6.       Summary
We would like to make this an annual event for Cape Cod. The College has sufficient room to house an event that is 2-3 times the size of the present event and we have to do a better job publicizing this event. The College is a Great Place for this size or even a much larger event. The resources were superior. We need additional events/exhibits to attract people to the events in the Gym.  We should have a laptop(s) at registration to collect names of all attendees. We need more exhibitors and sponsors for next year.
Special thanks to all exhibitors and volunteers who participated 

7.       Next STEM Journey- March 28, 2015 at Cape Cod Community College

NESACS Public Relations Committee
Dr. Jack Driscoll & Jennifer Maclachlan

Photos by Jennifer Maclachlan

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Real time air monitoring system for personnel protection at a TCA cleanup site

Real time air monitoring system for personnel protection at a trichloroethane cleanup site

Remediation site aerial

1,1,1 Trichloroethane has been used as a solvent in industry, in home cleaning products and as a fumigant. We are involved in the development of a real time monitoring system for the cleanup of a closed chemical plant that had manufactured 1,1,1 trichloroethane (TCA). More precisely, we were concerned with minimizing the exposure of personnel and neighbors during this cleanup.

 Continuous Analyzer Requirements

Sensor: PID detector
Model 112
The analyzer is capable of measuring TCA down to low ppm levels, should require a minimum of maintenance, be able to run for a minimum of 50 hours/week on batteries, produce a 4-20 mA output, and be in a weather proof enclosure. The PID Analyzers Model 112 meets all those requirements. The ionization potential of TCA is 10.70 eV. As a result, we would need an 11.7 eV lamp for this application. The lifetime of the 11.7 lamp is 600-800 hours of continuous operation. If the lamp is on for 8 hours per day, the lamp would have to be changed every 3 months. In order to extend the lifetime, we modified the software so that the lamp is only switched on for 30 seconds every 5 minutes with a duty cycle of 9%. This would provide a lifetime of  6 months to a year. The 4-20 mA signal is fed into a wireless transmitter to a central PC which is connected to the internet. The PC also collects data from a weather station that provides wind speed, direction temperature, etc. This would allow an engineer to monitor the site from their desk and shut down the cleanup if the levels were above a specific level or if the wind was blowing in the direction of the nearby homes.

Sensor Technology
The technology employed is photoionization  
The ionization potential (IP) of TCA is 10.70 eV, As a result, we would need an 11.7 eV lamp for this application.
The IP’s of major components of air are:
O2=  12.08 eV
N2=15.60 eV
Data Acquisition
These sensors use an integrated, 2.4GHz - 802.11b/g, FCC/CE certified radio transmitter  that work with new and existing Wi-Fi networks. One of these transmitters is located in each of the 8 analyzers as well as the weather station.
Monnit’s MoWi sensors communicate through existing Wi-Fi networks to iMonnit, the online data monitoring system, which agrigates sensor information and sends notifications via text or email if user defined conditions are met or exceeded.
Central Computer
A PC at the site will collect the data, process it and store it locally.  The data will then be sent via the internet to a protected website. Any change in weather conditions or TCA concentrations and/or alarm levels will be immediately sent to a mobile phone.
Data Collection Schematic
•A battery operated Model 112 uses photoionization to detect low MW  chlorinated HC during remediation.
•The HW site has homes and a small town nearby so a fast responding analyzer with weather stations and wireless data logging connected to the internet is used to monitor the site at the remote location during the remediation.
•The remediation site can be shut down remotely by mobile phone if there is a combination of unacceptable levels of chlorinated HC or wind conditions that could affect the workers or residents in the local area
•This automated system will maximize safety at the plant/ fence line and the remote industrial hygienist can control the activities/problems at the plant. 

Our Model 112 analyzers are available with choice of PID or FID (flame ionization detector) sensors. Learn more by viewing the brochure here. Have an application you would like to discuss? Then email us or use the online quote request system.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SCHB offers networking opportunities and benefits for small chemical businesses

Presented at the Fall ACS National Meeting in San Francisco 2014
Title: SCHB offers networking opportunities and benefits for small chemical businesses

SCHB at SCI-MIX Monday August 11, 2014 8pm
With SCHB PR Chair, Jennifer Maclachlan

Abstract Body: In our thirty-fourth year, our mission remains the same: to aid in the formation, development and growth of small chemical businesses. We do this by continuously providing relevant programming and social events at ACS national and regional meetings for attendees who currently own and operate their own small chemical businesses as well as for those who are considering it. In 2012, SCHB began entrepreneurial programming with the Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPACS), Northeastern (NESACS), and Georgia Local Sections. In 2013, with the assistance of an ACS IPG, SCHB arranged programming at other scientific society meetings, including AAAS, APS, and CLEO. In 2014, in collaboration with PROF, we hosted networking lunches for our speakers, member, and other interested persons. In 2015, SCHB will sponsor several symposia at Pacifichem. At this 2014 San Francisco meeting, SCHB invites you to attend our technical sessions, meet old friends and new connections at our reception, visit our expo booth and "discuss businesses," and join us for lunch. After the meeting, stay in touch with SCHB member via Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter and on the ACS Network.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#AIHce 2014: The @pidgirl Experience

I arrived to San Antonio late night on Sunday evening June 1, 2014, after midnight. First thing in the morning, I headed to the FEDEX office in the hotel, to pick up my banner stand and portable analyzers to show at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Expo AIHce expo and proceeded straight to booth setup. Within no time I had it looking like this:

During booth setup, I found an American Chemical Society Division of Chemical Health and Safety friend, Russ Pfifer of WC Environmental. It's great to see other folks who are involved with both the American Chemical Society and the American Industrial Hygiene Association like we are.

My first day at the expo was awesome. I forgot how much I enjoy booth duty and connecting face-to-face with clients and prospective customers. The last time we exhibited at an industry trade show was in 2011 at both Pittcon and AIHce.You'll see us, HNU PID Analyzers, exhibiting at these two trade shows in 2015 after the positive experience we had at AIHce San Antonio. 

On Monday night I met up with Jeff Kraiterman and Russ Kraiterman of A.J. Abrams Company Inc. at the informal New England American Industrial Hygiene Association NEAIHA gathering at the National Meeting. I always enjoying hanging out with Russ and especially introducing him to people and boasting about how his company used to sell our analyzers back in the 1970's!
The 161 Fun Run participants met at a central location before
heading to the course. The policeman on bicycles stopped traffic
for us throughout the course on the cross streets
which made it a really nice run!
This was the first time I have participated in a Fun Run during a conference so what I didn't realize, is that by Fun Run, it usually means approximately a 5K. For this particular run, it was a 4K which I wish I knew prior to taking the start line because I definitely would have run faster even in the overwhelming Texas humidity! 

With my AIHce Twitter friend, Paula Loht at the AIHF Fun Run

Paula Loht


With my Local Rep: Tom Stringer at the booth, without whom I couldn't have managed this conference on my own between participating as an exhibitor and presenting in the technical program at the podium sessions.

We were tucked way in the back left corner of the exhibit hall and hadn't made it onto the Exhibitors List in the Final Program because I signed up at the last minute. However, we somehow managed to be constantly busy during the expo hours and had an amazing conference. 

Our portable FID and the customized  multi-gas analyzers were among the most popular products we were showcasing. Booth visitors didn't know that we had an FID and liked the idea of having the flexibility to customize their 4-gas meter with a list of over 30 sensors to choose from!  

Here I am presenting in Real Time Detection Systems I on Tuesday afternoon on the subject of A Rapid and Accurate Field Method for Reduced Sulfur Compounds by GC/FPD.

Wednesday morning at Real Time Detection Systems II  Pictured  L TO R: E. LIGUS (Monitor), P. SMITH (Moderator), J. MACLACHLAN (presenter) AND E. FLOYD (Presenter)

I gave two talks on Wednesday in two different sessions. First one was in the Real Time Detection Systems II on the subject of Field Measurement of Common Fumigants via Portable GC with PID & FUV Detectors. Second talk was in 

Innovations in IH Sampling and Analysis, part of the Sampling and Laboratory Analysis Committee, and I described our Modified Analytical Method for the Determination of Arsine at Low-ppb Levels by HG/GC/PID.

I heart my I heart IH commemorative tee shirt! I did a quick change after
 my Sampling & Lab Analysis session and wore it on the plane home.

We're looking forward to participating again next year in Salt Lake City 2015!

Friday, September 12, 2014

I'm attending Social Media Success Summit~The largest online social media conference

I'm looking forward to enhancing my social media skill set by attending this online conference! Share with friends and colleagues interested in discovering how to use social media to attract and engage quality customers, and quickly grow your business. #SMSS14

Wielding social media for effective science communication