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After a year with many uncertainties, need for adaptation and flexibility, and instability, here at hBARSCI, we decided to end our year in an unsurprising way: doing a year in review. Follow along as we take a look at this past year with the hBARSCI blog and join us in a virtual toast to 2022!
In January, we shared a guide on distilling essential oils, with details on the proper glassware, clamps, stands, and plastic buckets needed to extract your own essential oils from plants. The market demand for essential oils has only increased over the past decade, which makes the idea of distilling your own even more attractive. Check out this kit to get you started!
During Black History Month, we focused on the contributions of several Black scientists who have aided immeasurably in the evolution of humankind’s understanding of our world and universe. We encourage you to click through and explore the eight scientists we highlighted over the course of the month, knowing that many, many more Black and Indigenous scientists and educators have come before, in between, and since, propelling the planet’s collective scientific evolution:
Later in the spring, we encouraged you to take your kids and/or students outdoors to explore the longer, warmer (read: muddier) days by suggesting five outdoor science activities aimed at getting younger minds engaged in scientific thinking—without trying too hard! Click here and dream about the spring to come a few months from now in 2022!
Catch insects and study their morphology
Launch rockets and more!
Go on an outdoor science scavenger hunt
Start a rock and mineral collection
Plant some flowers and vegetables
After the fun of outdoor science exploration, we took our experimentation back into the lab, describing five ways using EZ Prep Chemicals can make solution prep a breeze in your biology or chemistry lab—or even at home! Here, we recap those five reasons:
1. No need for expensive laboratory equipment
2. Get a ready-to-use solution in under 10 minutes
3. Mess-free solution prep and a safer science laboratory
4. Quality solutions lead to consistent and accurate experiment results
5. Easy chemical inventory management
With warmer days taking us outdoors and into public spaces more frequently, we chose to review the effectiveness of hand sanitizer in June. Ever the popular topic since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, this simple activity that you can do at home investigates the effectiveness of hand sanitizers by comparing different brands, alcohol versus non-alcohol versions, sanitizers with different alcohol percentages, or different delivery methods.
In August, we revamped our blog: Along with weekly posts, we introduced a few regularly appearing series to keep you coming back, including Chemistry 101 and Science in the News. One article in August focused on preparing your lab ready for the new school year. With the pandemic having affected how teachers instruct their students on a day-to-day basis, we compiled a back-to-school checklist to complete as you prepare your lab for the new year and offered suggestions for replacement equipment when needed.
In September, we helped you ease into the new school year with some back-to-school science activities, a Chemistry 101 article on how to properly measure liquids for science activities, and looking at the differences between viruses and bacteria—note: combating each effectively first requires accurately identifying them and knowing what to ask your doctor!
In October, we launched Science in the News. This series reviews popular headlines in the science community now, giving you some insight into what scientists are currently spending energy on studying and why. In this first installation, we reviewed research conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai looking at how our brain’s ability to make decisions might be affected while experiencing anxiety, addiction, or other psychiatric disorders.
As we got into November, we took a hard left into Holidayland, with articles on Thanksgiving-themed science experiments and another Science in the News feature looking at a recently published study on the attachment between grandmothers and their grandchildren. Are grandmothers actually hard-wired to be caring and empathetic toward their grandchildren? Read on to find out!
Now at the end of December, we take a collective deep breath and reflect on all we’ve learned over the course of the past year. We at hBARSCI hope for the continued health and well-being of you and your loved ones and look forward to the new year as a time of deep scientific exploration, innovative research, and the growth and development of new scientific minds!