Monday, September 26, 2005

Moments of "Duh" in Science

Moment number one.

Moment number two:

Today I had my first lab ever for which I was TA. I was in charge of 14 general chemistry students. Today we were preoccupied with lab check-in and going over general rules, so in the future I think I shall go over some of the finer points of lab procedure.

The "duh" moment comes from the experiment we were doing. We were measuring the density of diet and regular Coke®, and this required measuring the weight of three 10mL samples of soda using three different measuring tools: a graduated cylinder, a buret, and a pipet.

I can understand taring their glassware on the scale and then adding the liquid. Not wrong, although it does monopolize the scales they all have to share. No, the moment came when a student came up to me with a pipet full of soda and asks, "How are we supposed to weigh this? I mean, we have the liquid in there, but it doesn't seem like we can weight it now, because we have to keep our hand on it to keep the liquid in and we'll be pushing down on the scale. Won't that make for an inaccurate reading?"

. . .

*Insert sound of head banging on wall here*

1 comment:

Nicole said...

haha! that's awesome! man, how did that kid get into college? I bet his parents donated a building.