[Catalyst Eureka Issue 2 2018]

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RICE<br />


ISSUE<br />

two<br />




Dear Reader,<br />

Welcome to the second edition of <strong>Catalyst</strong> <strong>Eureka</strong>!<br />

Over the past two years, <strong>Catalyst</strong> <strong>Eureka</strong> has grown from a small<br />

group of Rice students interested in serving the community to<br />

full-fledged outreach effort serving two schools in the Houston<br />

area. Our goal has stayed the same: increasing scientific literacy<br />

and communication in disadvantaged populations and giving<br />

opportunities to achieving students to develop their writing and<br />

communication skills. We began with a mentorship initiative for<br />

seniors at Energy Institute High School, and we have expanded our<br />

reach to guide students at Young Women’s College Preparatory<br />

Academy (YWCPA).<br />

This issue is the result of the hard work of eight groups of students<br />

who worked tirelessly week after week with their mentors to perfect<br />

their articles during the spring semester of 2017. In a testament to<br />

the success of the program, 92% of students were confident in their<br />

scientific writing skills after the program compared to 52% before<br />

the program (as collected by a recent survey). Our students also felt<br />

more confident in their ability to find credible sources, correctly cite<br />

sources, outline a paper, and apply learned skills to future academic<br />

scenarios.<br />

This publication would not have been possible without the<br />

collaboration of Lori Dunklin, the dedicated teacher at YWCPA that<br />

allowed us to use class time to implement our program relating to<br />

scientific communication development. We would like to also thank<br />

the hard work of all the mentors who worked relentlessly with the<br />

students, leaving a tangible impact on their personal and professional<br />

aspirations. In addition, we would like to offer special thanks to the<br />

Hilda and Hershel Rich Family Endowment grant for providing the<br />

funding to make <strong>Eureka</strong> a reality, as well as the Rice Center for Civic<br />

Leadership for their continued support of <strong>Catalyst</strong>.<br />

We are proud of <strong>Catalyst</strong> <strong>Eureka</strong>’s progress this year and we are<br />

excited for our expansion in the years to come! We are grateful to<br />

all those who support <strong>Catalyst</strong> <strong>Eureka</strong> and its mission of making<br />

scientific literacy accessible for all.<br />

Mahesh Krishna and Sanket Mehta<br />

Co-Presidents, <strong>Catalyst</strong><br />

STAFF<br />


Brittany Alvarado<br />

Jasmine Burrell<br />

Casey Calixto<br />

Rebecca Castelan<br />

Alexis Castillo<br />

Sequoia Cooke<br />

Courtney Dubuclet<br />

Andrea Garcia<br />

Jennifer Garcia<br />

Whisper Garrett<br />

Diana Hernandez<br />

Liliana Hernandez<br />

Nadeen Hilou<br />

Fallon Jones<br />

Wendy Leal<br />

Leah Lewis<br />

Chelsea Lizcano<br />

Jordan Lockridge<br />

Sadie Randall<br />

Jasmine Rocha<br />

Cristal Rodriguez<br />

Janet Santacruz<br />

Ti'anna Smith<br />

Tyria Stewart<br />

Michelle Valdez<br />


Samantha Chao<br />

Natalie Danckers<br />

Lin Guo<br />

Jacqueline Locarno<br />

Jacob Mattia<br />

Alejandro Estrada Ramirez<br />

Ajay Subramanian<br />

Evelyn Syau<br />

Matthew Wester<br />


young women' s college preparatory academy<br />


Table<br />

3J. Hernandez<br />

L. Hernandez<br />

T. Smith<br />

Cigarette's<br />

Harmful effects<br />

6<br />

A.<br />

Garcia<br />

W. Leal<br />

C. Rodriguez<br />

M. Valdedz<br />

fighting<br />

forgotten baby<br />

syndrome<br />

11<br />

S.<br />

Cooke<br />

R. Castelan<br />

T. Stewart<br />

Makeup<br />

the cost of beauty<br />

4<br />

of<br />

W. Garrett<br />

N. Hilou<br />

air pollution<br />

in china<br />

7B. Alvarado<br />

C. Dubuclet<br />

J. Rocha<br />

J. Santacruz<br />

stemming<br />

from robotics<br />

Burrell<br />

Lockridge<br />

F. Jones<br />

13J.<br />

Chews<br />

Cont<br />

ents<br />

5<br />

underwater<br />

waste management<br />

9<br />

C. Lizcano<br />

C. Calixto<br />

A. Castillo<br />

J. Garcia<br />

L. Lewis<br />

S. Randall<br />

shattering<br />

blemishes<br />


Cigarettes’ Harmful<br />

Effects<br />

By Diana Hernandez, Liliana Hernandez, and Ti'anna Smith<br />

Icon by Freepik<br />

Introduction/Background<br />

Cigarette butts have negatively impacted<br />

the environment, consisting of hazardous<br />

chemicals that have damaged habitats<br />

both in water and on land. About 4.3<br />

trillion cigarette butts are carelessly<br />

littered every year, composing 30% of total<br />

garbage. 1 Such action has affected the<br />

environment in several countries, polluting<br />

lakes and oceans, harming the animals that<br />

depend on those bodies of water. 1,2,3 Not<br />

putting out a lit cigarette can cause severe<br />

fires in several locations, most commonly<br />

in forests. 1 In effect, frequent misuse use<br />

of cigarettes can take the lives of both<br />

animals and humans. 4 Cigarette butts<br />

can release hazardous chemicals such<br />

as cadmium, lead, and arsenic into the<br />

environment that can cause fatal digestive<br />

blockages when consumed by animals. 5<br />

Substances within real tobacco cigarettes<br />

and e-vaporizers can pose a hazardous<br />

threat to the environment through their<br />

battery charges, the main cause of vapor<br />

explosions. Other electronic cigarettes<br />

have even been known to cause small<br />

explosions. The lithium ion batteries<br />

found in vape pens and mods can explode<br />

and cause severe injuries, 6 similar to the<br />

disastrous effect of tobacco cigarettes<br />

causing forest fires. In order to visualize the<br />

effect cigarettes have on the environment,<br />

we designed an experiment containing fish<br />

and tobacco cigarettes. Goldfish were put<br />

in a fish tank filled with water as a way to<br />

represent their habitat, then a number of<br />

cigarettes were put inside. We hypothesize<br />

that if cigarette butts are littered in the<br />

environment of fish, the environment<br />

and subsequent health of the fish will be<br />

negatively affected.<br />

Methods<br />

The experiment was to be held for a<br />

duration of 2 weeks. In 4 containers<br />

labeled A-D, 12 fish were distributed<br />

evenly. Container A acted as the controlled<br />

environment, containing 3 fish and 0<br />

cigarettes. Containers B-D represented<br />

the manipulated environments. They each<br />

contained 4 fish along with a varying amount<br />

of cigarettes. Container B had 3 cigarettes,<br />

container C had 5, and container D had 10.<br />

The fish in containers B-D were fed about<br />

one teaspoon of fish food three times a day.<br />

Their water was changed once every week.<br />

Throughout the study, measures on their<br />

health standards were taken. Health was<br />

measured by looking into the amount the fish<br />

ate and how fast or how slow they swam. The<br />

constant variables in the experiment were the<br />

number of fish in each container, the type of<br />

container and how often we fed the fish.<br />

Results<br />

Results showed that many of the fish that<br />

were used in the experiment were significantly<br />

impacted by their manipulated environments,<br />

proving the initial hypothesis. After the<br />

2-week period, the fish in container A were<br />

conclusively healthy according to the standards<br />

of health established at the beginning of the<br />

experiment. However, within container B, only<br />

2 out of the 3 fish were completely healthy. In<br />

container C, only 1 fish was swimming, eating,<br />

and living normally. Lastly, in container D, all of<br />

the fish had been affected only 9 days into the<br />

experiment, exhibiting decreased standards of<br />

health. It is likely that the increasing number<br />

of cigarettes within the containers led to a<br />

decreased health of the fish. Overall the fish<br />

were greatly affected throughout the entire<br />

experiment. They were affected notably in<br />

how they ate, slept, and swam. Days after, the<br />

results of the experiment were that all the<br />

fish ended up severely sick, confirming the<br />

hypothesis that if cigarette butts are thrown<br />

away carelessly then the environment will be<br />

negatively affected.<br />

Conclusion/ Discussions<br />

In comparing the results with the information<br />

previously gathered, it can be concluded<br />

that cigarettes have a major effect on the<br />

environment, thus affecting animal life.<br />

Although there were a few limitations in our<br />

research projects concerning our topic, we<br />

came to a conclusive result regarding the<br />

cigarettes’ effect on the environment.<br />

We proposed solutions that can at least<br />

minimize environmental hazards, such as<br />

finding an alternative form of cigarettes that<br />

could be biodegradable and have little to no<br />

effect on the environment. A proposal that<br />

can reduce these fire hazards could be a new<br />

product such as the safe-fire cigarette. 2 A<br />

new vaporizer can replace the caffeine and<br />

substances that present hazards to both the<br />

smoker and the environmental. 7<br />

Works Cited<br />

[1] Quit Tobacco. How Does Smoking Hurt the<br />

Environment? https://ucanquit2.org/Environment<br />

(accessed Jan. 27, 2017).<br />

[2] The Tobacco Atlas. Environmental Harm. http://<br />

www.tobaccoatlas.org/topic/environmental-harm/<br />

(accessed Jan. 27, 2017).<br />

[3] Green, Nathan; The Environment vs. Cigarettes.<br />

Quit Smoking Community. Nov. 27, 2013. https://<br />

quitsmokingcommunity.org/the-environment-vscigarettes/<br />

(accessed Jan. 27, 2017).<br />

[4] PETA. Smoking Engangers Animals Too. March<br />

7, 2009. https://www.peta.org/living/companionanimals/smoking-endangers-animals/<br />

(accessed Jan.<br />

27, 2017)<br />

[5] Companion Animal Nutrition & Wellness Institute.<br />

How Cigarettes and Smoking Impact Your Pets<br />

Health. Sept. 17, 2009. http://healthypets.mercola.<br />

com/sites/healthypets/archive/2009/09/17/howcigarettes-and-smoking-impact-your-pets-health.<br />

aspx (accessed Jan. 27, 2017).<br />

[6] Weisbaum, Herb; What’s Causing Some<br />

E-Cigarette Batteries to Explode. NBCUniversal<br />

News Group. March 8, 2016. http://www.nbcnews.<br />

com/business/consumer/what-s-causing-some-ecigarette-batteries-explode-n533516<br />

(accessed Jan.<br />

27, 2017).<br />

[7] Quit Smoking Community. Types of Vaporizers<br />

https://quitsmokingcommunity.org/types-ofvaporizers/<br />

(accessed Jan. 27, 2017).<br />

Design by Evelyn Syau<br />



IN CHINA<br />

and how we<br />

can fix it<br />

by Whisper Garrett and Nadeen Hilou<br />


Each day, 4400 people in China die<br />

due to poor air quality. As the largest<br />

consumer and producer of coal, China<br />

has struggled for years to control its air<br />

pollution problems. In Beijing, specifically,<br />

air particles range from 50 to 450<br />

micrograms per cubic meter. In contrast,<br />

0 to 12 micrograms per cubic meter is<br />

rated as good air quality. 1 As the amount<br />

of coal burned in factories increases, more<br />

micrograms of pollutants are released into<br />

the air and this increased quantity can<br />

penetrate the gas exchange region of the<br />

lungs, 2 leading to asthma, elevated ozone<br />

levels, chronic obstructive pulmonary<br />

disease (COPD), and lung cancer. 3 Inhaling<br />

small amounts of ozone can also lead to<br />

lung irritations, coughing, pain in the chest,<br />

and shortness of breath. Air purifiers offer<br />

a potential solution to toxic air pollutants<br />

and their detrimental effects.<br />


The first idea of an air purifier type product<br />

spans as far back as the 16th century.<br />

Air respirators were often worn over a<br />

person’s mouth and nose, filtering the<br />

air that passed through and preventing<br />

the wearer from breathing in any gases,<br />

vapors, or harmful dust particles. In 1854,<br />

John Stenhouse, a chemist and inventor<br />

educated at Glasgow University, developed<br />

a mask from a charcoal based filter. This<br />

mask, which revolutionized the field of air<br />

purification by removing more poisonous<br />

gases than previous filtration masks could,<br />

was primarily worn by coal miners 4 as<br />

protection against black lung disease.<br />

With coal constituting 75% of all energy<br />

sources, 5 citizens of China are subject to<br />

conditions similar to those of coal miners.<br />

An estimated six million people in China are<br />

dying from black lung disease and about<br />

200,000 new cases are appearing every<br />

year. 6 Building upon Stenhouse’s design,<br />

an effective, low budget air purifier can be<br />

designed to filter pollutants in China’s air<br />

and help the citizens live healthier lives.<br />


Currently, the two common types of air<br />

filters are the high-efficiency particulate air<br />

(HEPA) filter and electrostatic precipitators.<br />

HEPA filters are made from extremely fine<br />

glass threads and the diameter of these<br />

threads, which is less than a diameter of 1<br />

micron, is 75 times less than the thickness<br />

of human hair. The fine glass threads get<br />

tangled together and when pressed, create<br />

one layer of a filter mat; 1 out of 2,500<br />

layers of glass threads can create a 1.10<br />

in wide filter. The filter can then collect<br />

particles down to a diameter of 0.3 microns,<br />

which cannot even be seen by the human<br />

eye. Electrostatic precipitators, which is the<br />

second type of filter, create an electronic<br />

charge that attracts dust particles that<br />

pass through the plasma. Electrostatic<br />

precipitators can collect particles with<br />

diameters as small as 0.01 microns. 7<br />


Plants, with their ability to produce oxygen<br />

from carbon dioxide, also help purify air.<br />

Oxygen is a crucial component to healthy<br />

living because cells in the body require<br />

oxygen to stay alive, so plants can also<br />

be incorporated into the filter design.<br />

To maximize plant growth, the shape<br />

of the filter should be egg-like, with dirt<br />

placed at the bottom. The plant that will<br />

be inside the filter will be the peace lily<br />

because it filters out many chemicals that<br />

are found in Chinese homes. The design<br />

will have a normal filter on the sides that<br />

the air particles will first pass through.<br />

The particles will then make their way to a<br />

carbon filter, which will collect the particles.<br />

The egg-shaped filter will have two wheels<br />

on the side to increase mobility, as well a<br />

fan powered by a battery compartment. It<br />

will also have a side spinner that will allow<br />

the filter to spin in circles.<br />


With the growing population in China, more<br />

children and adults are at risk of developing<br />

or triggering existing asthma, and they are<br />

also prone to developing COPD. Designing<br />

an effective air filter can help minimize the<br />

occurrence of asthma attacks and prevent<br />

the development of COPD.<br />

In the future, scientists will know more<br />

about environment pollutants and further<br />

understand how they impact the human<br />

society. Technology that allows filters to<br />

hover in the air, sense nearby furniture,<br />

and operate without manual control<br />

could help streamline the daily routines of<br />

citizens. This research would increase the<br />

effectiveness of the filter and ultimately,<br />

improve the lives of citizens in China.<br />


[1] Gao, George; As Smog Hangs over Beijing,<br />

Chinese Cite Air Pollution as Major Concern. Pew<br />

Research Center. Dec 10, 2015. (accessed April<br />

18, 2017).<br />

[2] Huang, Yanzhong’ Choking to Death: Health<br />

Consequences of Air Pollution in China. The<br />

Diplomat. March 6, 2013. (accessed April 18,<br />

2017).<br />

[3] How Air Pollution Contributes to Lung Disease.<br />

2009. (accessed April 19, 2017).<br />

[4] History of Respirators. Cambridge Mask.<br />

March 26, 2016. (accessed April 18, 2017).<br />

[5] Kan, Haidong, Bingheng Chen, and Chuanjie<br />

Hong; Health Impact of Outdoor Air Pollution in<br />

China: Current Knowledge and Future Research<br />

Needs. National Institutes of Health. U.S.<br />

Department of Health and Human Services. May<br />

2009. (accessed April 18, 2017).<br />

[6] Li, Victoria; Fighting China’s “Black Lung”<br />

Tragedy. The World of Chinese. July 2, 2016.<br />

(accessed April 19, 2017).<br />

[7] Air Purifier. How Products Are Made. (accessed<br />

April 18, 2017).<br />

DESIGN BY Jessica Lee<br />


Underwater<br />

W A S T E M A N A G E M E N T<br />

While the world consists of many ongoing<br />

problems, we cannot ignore the waste<br />

constantly building up in our oceans.<br />

Ocean ecosystems around the globe<br />

are seeing detrimental effects from ocean waste.<br />

Although there are many efforts to reduce our waste<br />

input, such as recycling, we need additional solutions<br />

to address the current buildup of waste. We strive<br />

to reduce the waste accumulated in the world’s<br />

gyres with an underwater waste retrieval drone. The<br />

purpose of our research is to create an autonomous<br />

machine that will be able to effectively collect underwater<br />

waste. We created a portable machine that is<br />

able to transport up to 3 lbs. of trash. This machine is<br />

light enough to allow for effective macro and micro<br />

waste removal in remote locations.<br />


A gyre is a rotation of wind and currents which creates<br />

a whirlpool effect. At the center, marine plastic debris<br />

is collected. 1 There are five major ocean gyres, and<br />

are all believed to contain plastic and persistent<br />

organic pollutants. 2 These chemical compounds and<br />

plastics are non-degradable, posing a threat to local<br />

wildlife. Over five trillion pieces of plastic currently<br />

litter the oceans, and more than 600 species are<br />

negatively impacted by plastic. 3 They can ingest it or<br />

become entangled in it, which can lead to illness and<br />

death. Not only are marine animals and birds being<br />

impacted, but humans are as well. When animals<br />

consume these pollutants, they work their way up the<br />

food chain through biomagnification. 4 This is linked to<br />

human health problems ranging from food poisoning<br />

to cancer. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is estimated<br />

to be twice the size of Texas. 1 This is only one of the<br />

five gyres found in the oceans. They get bigger on<br />

a daily basis due to the constant waste that enters<br />

the oceans. Ecosystems found within the gyres are at<br />

risk. Since the early 1970s, researchers have collected<br />

plastic from beaches and oceans around the globe. 5 At<br />

the International Pacific Research Center in Honolulu,<br />

Maximenko and his colleagues have taken major<br />

steps in understanding how marine debris travels the<br />

oceans’ currents .6 He and his team have developed a<br />

computer simulation that can project the behavior<br />

of floating items at sea. By using drifter buoys<br />

and satellite data, the model indicates how trash<br />

accumulates in the oceans. Designers and engineers<br />

have proposed marine drones and waterborne kites,<br />

even huge artificial drains for the gyres. 7 While these<br />

solutions help address some of the obvious dangers<br />

of gyres, there are still massive challenge in the cost of<br />

surveying and cleaning up micro plastic waste.<br />


The initial planning phase began with a design<br />

which was three times the size of our final product.<br />

The machine was large and strong enough to hold<br />

approximately 3 pounds of trash, but it required<br />

many building materials, which is why a smaller<br />

design was implemented. This resulted in a machine<br />

that was unable to suitably hold the necessary<br />

components for piloting the device. In the third trial,<br />

a machine was developed with symmetrical parts and<br />

a section dedicated for the electronics. This design<br />

ended up being ideal, as it allowed our machine to<br />

be able to collect underwater trash and still return it<br />

to the surface effectively. The robot mainly focuses<br />

on targeting the waste that is in the ocean and<br />

disposing of it properly, so the ocean will not accrue<br />

more toxins. First, the vehicle frame of the robot with<br />

was developed with cut pipes and elbows. Holes<br />

were drilled into specific locations of the pipes to<br />

allow water to be drained. A payload net was added<br />

to the bottom to aid in picking up trash. Motors<br />

were mounted to help the robot move underwater.<br />

Ultrasonic motors help to detect the trash in the the<br />

robot’s trajectory 10.<br />

We strive to<br />

reduce the waste<br />

accumulated in the<br />

world’s gyres<br />

with an underwater<br />

waste retrieval drone.<br />


While the device worked effectively for the situations<br />

provided, some improvements are needed to make<br />

it applicable in an ocean setting. Small vehicles are<br />

more dependent of the environment and currents<br />

can easily deviate them away from their desired path.<br />

For future references, measurement of the readings<br />

of the global flow speed should be incorporated into<br />

the vehicle’s navigational system to compensate for<br />

the currents. This technology should avoid turbulent<br />

and obstruction by objects. In twenty years, we hope<br />

to reduce the environmental footprint as a whole.<br />

We hope to implement these underwater remote<br />

operated vehicles to aid in ocean waste management.<br />

It should be sustainable at a low cost and also<br />

capture micro plastics. It would consists of a platform<br />

with a story hull and processing equipment, liked a<br />

shredder, on a solar-powered deck. The plastic would<br />

be shipped to land, where it can be converted into<br />

energy or recycled. Our goal for the underwater robot<br />

is to remove waste entering oceans, limiting the Great<br />

Pacific Garbage Patch.<br />


The massive challenge in cleaning up the ocean’s<br />

trash is the cost and microplastics. 5 Our design is<br />

significantly smaller and more cost effective than<br />

current surveying machines, and with minimal<br />

alteration, it would be suitable for collecting micro<br />

plastics as well. The National Atmospheric and<br />

Oceanic Administration has estimated it would take<br />

68 ships an entire year to survey just 1 percent of the<br />

North Pacific 7 . Additionally, ocean activist Charles<br />

Moore estimates that to clean all five garbage patches,<br />

1,000 boats would need to filter the water 24 hours<br />

a day for 79 years, and that’s only if the technology<br />

catches up 12 . Using our more cost-effective design, the<br />

effort to clean up ocean gyres would be substantially<br />

improved.<br />


In conclusion, underwater waste is still increasing<br />

and the proposed solution from the underwater<br />

robot can minimize this problem. With the problems<br />

between chemical compounds and non degradable<br />

microplastics. We currently have three major goals to<br />

accomplish: the ability to hold large amounts of trash<br />

and still operate successfully, be big enough to hold<br />

the trash, and still move while underwater.<br />


[1] Sue, Caryl; Great Pacific Garbage Patch.<br />

National Geographic, Sept. 29, 2014. http://www.<br />

nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacificgarbage-patch/<br />

(accessed April 18, 2017).<br />

[2] National Ocean Service. Surface Ocean Currents;<br />

March 28, 2008, 3-4. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/<br />

education/kits/currents/05currents3.html (accessed April<br />

18, 2017).<br />

[3] The Ocean Cleanup. The Largest Cleanup in History;<br />

2017. https://www.theoceancleanup.com/ (accessed<br />

April 18, 2017).<br />

[4] Takada, Hideshige; Microplastics and the Threat to our<br />

Sea Food. Ocean Health Index, May 10, 2014. http://www.<br />

oceanhealthindex.org/news/Microplastics (accessed April<br />

18, 2017)<br />

[5] Krieger, Anja; Why Innovative Tech Solutions to Clean<br />

Up Oceanic Plastic Trash Are Simply Not Enough. Alternet,<br />

Feb. 25, 2016. http://www.alternet.org/environment/whyinnovative-tech-solutions-clean-oceanic-plastic-trashare-simply-not-enough<br />

(accessed April 18, 2017)<br />

[6] International Pacific Research Center Russian Ship<br />

Encounters Tsunami Debris [online], December 2011;<br />

pp. 14-15 http://iprc.soest.hawaii.edu/newsletters/iprc_<br />

climate_vol11_no2.pdf (accessed April 18, 2017)<br />

[7] Krieger, Anja. What Will it Take to Get Plastics Out<br />

of the Ocean. Green Voice. March 2016 pp. 10 http://<br />

cmsenvis.nic.in/qnewsletter/2016_Jan_Mar.pdf (accessed<br />

April 18, 2017)<br />

[8] National Ocean Service. What are Microplastics?; June<br />

27, 2016<br />

[9] Nurlansa, Osiany, Dewi Anisa Istiqomah, and<br />

Mahendra Astu Sanggha Pawitra. AGATOR (Automatic<br />

Garbage Collector) as Automatic Garbage Collector<br />

Robot Model. International Journal of Future Computer<br />

and Communication [online] October 5, 2014 http://<br />

www.ijfcc.org/papers/329-CS3004.pdf (accessed April<br />

18, 2017)<br />

[10] Kavanaugh, Catherine. Study: Cleaning Ocean Plastic<br />

Now Will Catch Big Pieces before They Degrade. Plastics<br />

News [online] August 25, 2015 http://www.plasticsnews.<br />

com/article/20150825/NEWS/150829953/study-cleaningocean-plastic-now-will-catch-big-pieces-before-theydegrade<br />

(accessed April 18, 2017)<br />

DESIGN BY Sahana Prabhu<br />

Icons and Images from Icons8 and Pixabay<br />

Fonts from GoogleFonts and Makerbook<br />



BABY<br />

STILL<br />

ON<br />

BOARD<br />




by Andrea Garcia, Wendy Leal,<br />

Cristal Rodriguez, & Michelle Valdez<br />

Introduction<br />

Forgotten Baby Syndrome describes the<br />

psychological phenomenon describing a<br />

parent walking away from their car without<br />

realizing that their child was left behind.<br />

Unfortunately, each year, many families<br />

experience the death of a child by heat<br />

stroke due to Forgotten Baby Syndrome<br />

(FBS). This issue is very relevant today with<br />

were twenty-five deaths in 2015 and thirtynine<br />

in 2016. [1] Background<br />

Physiologically, children are far more<br />

likely to experience heat exhaustion than<br />

adults because their bodies have fewer<br />

sweat glands and thus are unable to<br />

adapt quickly to temperature changes .<br />

[2]<br />

When heat exhaustion is not quickly<br />

treated, it can escalate to a heat stroke<br />

and eventually death. This can occur when<br />

internal body temperature reaches at least<br />

104°F. Heat stroke is extremely serious<br />

on its own, with potential to cause shock,<br />

brain damage, and even organ failure.<br />

Methodology<br />

The HSPS will have two components: the<br />

seat and the key fob. The seat will have<br />

a pressure sensor situated under the<br />

padding so that it will not interfere with<br />

the child’s usual activities and also will not<br />

make the seat uncomfortable. The key fob<br />

will be slightly bigger than an average key,<br />

a little over two inches long, a little under<br />

an inch wide, and half an inch thick. It will<br />

have different types of features built in to<br />

warn parents, including vibration, flashing<br />

lights, and a loud alarm. The reason for<br />

having multiple types of responses on the<br />

key fob is so that the seat can be offered<br />

to a wide audience, including parents<br />

with disabilities such as deafness. All<br />

three responses will be triggered if the<br />

child is left behind. This is based on two<br />

conditions, the first being pressure applied<br />

to the seat and the second that the key<br />

fob is out of range of the car (around five<br />

meters away). Each component of the<br />

HSPS will be powered by a small battery,<br />

because batteries are easily replaceable,<br />

affordable, and able to work without<br />

regular charging.<br />

Discussion<br />

The proposed Heat Stroke Prevention<br />

Seat is not the only device that is designed<br />

to help and protect children from dying<br />

of heat strokes. Jim Friedman and Fadi<br />

Shamma, two dads from Tampa, Florida<br />

created another solution named Sense-<br />

A-Life in order to make sure parents do<br />

not forget to check their child’s car seat.<br />

[3]<br />

Their device uses a sensor pad system.<br />

One of the pads is placed under the child’s<br />

car or booster seat and the other is placed<br />

under the driver’s seat. The second sensor<br />

detects when the driver’s door is opened.<br />

When the door is open it alerts the person<br />

by playing out the message, “Please<br />

remove the child from the seat”. It also<br />

sends an alert via an app to the driver’s<br />

phone. After two minutes if the child is not<br />

removed from the car seat it sends a text<br />

message to emergency contacts. While this<br />

device and other concepts are similar in<br />

several ways, they lack the same simplicity<br />

and accessibility. [4] The HSPS improves on<br />

this idea by removing the phone from the<br />

system and replacing it with a component<br />

that is attached to the car keys. This<br />

removes the possibility of leaving the<br />

phone behind along with the child<br />

(removing the possibility for an alert) and<br />

also extends its use to anyone who is not<br />

comfortable working with a smartphone.<br />

Conclusion<br />

This device would reduce the burden on<br />

parents who are at risk for forgetting their<br />

children in several important ways. First, it<br />

would provide the key fob as a dependable<br />

physical reminder that can be attached<br />

along with other keys. Second, it can work<br />

in the absence of any other technology<br />

or network connectivity. This would be<br />

an improvement over current devices<br />

that rely on other technology and would<br />

expand the number of potential users.<br />

Finally, its simple and reliable low-cost<br />

design would reduce the requirements<br />

for caretakers to successfully operate this<br />

technology, making it simpler and more<br />

accessible. These characteristics would<br />

allow this device to greatly reduce the<br />

number of child heatstroke deaths.<br />

Works Cited<br />

[1] McLaren, Catherine, Jan Null, and James<br />

Quinn; “Heat Stress From Enclosed Vehicles:<br />

Moderate Ambient Temperatures Cause<br />

Significant Temperature Rise in Enclosed<br />

Vehicles.” Pediatrics 116.1 (2005): e109.<br />

Web.<br />

[2] Schmitt, Barton D.; Heat Exposure and<br />

Reactions. Seattle Children’s Hospital.<br />

Sept. 1, 2012. (accessed May 2017).<br />

[3] Sense a Life | Child Saving Smart<br />

Technology. Sense a Life | Child<br />

Saving<br />

Smart Technology. (accessed May<br />

2017).<br />

[4] Network, Lori Grisham; Widely<br />

Endorsed Device to Prevent Hot<br />

Car Deaths Remains Elusive. USA<br />

Today. Gannett Satellite<br />

Information Network. Aug. 1,<br />

2014.<br />

(accessed May 2017).<br />


Priscilla Li<br />


STEMming<br />


STEMming<br />

by Brittany Alvarado,<br />

Courtney Dubuclet,<br />

Jasmine Rocha, Janet<br />

Santacruz<br />


There are many careers that do and will require<br />

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and<br />

Mathematics) related skills. However, there are<br />

not enough people qualified to fill the demand<br />

for these positions. Exposing students to STEM in<br />

school at an early age will increase the interest in<br />

pursuing STEM related careers in the future. One<br />

way of introducing younger students to STEM is<br />

through robotics classes in school. In our study<br />

we surveyed 125 students in sixth through eighth<br />

grade to determine if they had taken a robotics<br />

class already and if their interest in having a<br />

STEM career had changed as a result of taking<br />

the robotics class. With our survey, we found<br />

a statistically significant correlation between<br />

previous enrollment in a robotics class and an<br />

interest in pursuing a future career in STEM.<br />


Science, technology, math, and engineering are<br />

fields of study that have exploded in the last<br />

few decades. With the surfacing of plentiful<br />

job opportunities across numerous fields and<br />

careers, the need for qualified employees<br />

must be addressed. The President’s Council of<br />

Advisors on Science and Technology states, “the<br />

United States would need to increase its yearly<br />

production of undergraduate STEM degrees by 34<br />

percent over current rates to match the demand<br />

forecast for STEM professionals.” 1 However, not<br />

enough students are receiving the education<br />

in STEM fields that would ultimately prepare<br />

students for technical careers. Many K-12 schools<br />

in the United States have yet to include STEMspecific<br />

subjects in their curriculum.<br />

The public education system is rigorous and<br />

integrating robotics into a curriculum is difficult,<br />

but many teachers try to integrate robotics into<br />

their class while following regulations. In a review<br />

of scholarly articles focused on how robotics<br />

could be used in schools as a learning tool, results<br />

show the effectiveness of robotics as a teaching<br />

tool and discuss the future of educational<br />

robotics. 2 The review looked at different studies<br />

and compared their purposes, content, how<br />

robotics have helped enhance learning in most<br />

cases, and the results. The article investigates a<br />

way to integrate STEM in the curriculum through<br />

interesting but practical applications. These<br />

methods can also be used for future teachers to<br />

perhaps change the teaching standards.<br />

Bringing engineering into K-12 classrooms will<br />

require modifications of programs for teachers of<br />

science and mathematics. 3 This can be addressed<br />

by teaching teachers engineering concepts and<br />

demonstrating how they can integrate these<br />

concepts into the classroom. There are two<br />

suggested ways to bring engineering to schools:<br />

have a class specifically for engineering or integrate<br />

engineering into the overall curriculum. 3 Both of<br />

these approaches could work, but there are issues<br />

that come with each approach. The pressure<br />

to implement academic content standards and<br />

associated high-stakes statewide assessments were<br />

barriers to the degree to which science instruction<br />

and the curriculum can be modified. Furthermore,<br />

teachers have to have certain qualifications in order<br />

to observe the quality of teaching.<br />

Bringing engineering into<br />

K-12 classrooms will require<br />

modications of programs for<br />

science and math teachers.<br />

Increasing interest in STEM is becoming more<br />

common is STEM and Magnet schools. The<br />

impact of robotics and the technologies of<br />

the area in middle school learning and their<br />

attitudes toward learning STEM. In one study of<br />

STEM learning, one group of students attended<br />

a 40 hour STEM camp, while the other group of<br />

students attended a similar 3-hour STEM camp. 4<br />

The researchers found that the longer the camp<br />

was, the more the students learned; however<br />

the group who attended the shorter camp had a<br />

greater improvement in attitude and motivation<br />

towards STEM-related fields. The results also<br />

demonstrated that the camps increased STEM<br />

learning and problem solving skills in students.<br />

These results help show the importance of<br />

robotics classes in impacting students learning<br />

STEM.<br />

Robotics may have an impact on performance<br />

in school the impact of science and technology<br />

curriculum with robotics on students ages of 9-11<br />

in an after-school program. 5 The study compared,<br />

using STEM evaluations, the scores of students<br />

before the program and the scores of students<br />

after the program. The results showed an<br />

increase in scores after the program. The study<br />

demonstrates how programs with technology<br />

and robotics help improve students’ test scores,<br />

ultimately benefiting the school overall. “LEGO”<br />


has your interest in a stem<br />

career changed since the start<br />

of your robotics class?<br />

40<br />

30<br />

20<br />

10<br />

if you haven’t taken a robotics<br />

class, how do you feel about<br />

stem?<br />

60<br />

45<br />

30<br />

15<br />

0<br />

no a little yes<br />

0<br />

like it indifferent don’t like it<br />

currently not past<br />

training, a form of robotics training, also<br />

affects performance in school. 6 It is thought<br />

that knowledge is better constructed by<br />

active learning, so the researchers applied<br />

a logistics model to their data to observe<br />

whether the “LEGO” training improved<br />

performance skills. Preliminary studies<br />

showed that those more inclined to math<br />

were more likely to learn from the “LEGO”<br />

training, eventually performing better in<br />

school. 6 This demonstrates that robotics<br />

can significantly affect the performance<br />

of students with predetermined interests<br />

in STEM, like math, after establishing an<br />

interest in STEM subjects, it is important to<br />

continue to engage students with robotics<br />

to increase performance.<br />


The survey was conducted via Google<br />

Forms, consisting of 8 questions asking<br />

about the student’s grade level, their<br />

favorite subject, whether they were<br />

interested in STEM, and if they have<br />

taken a robotics class and if that changed<br />

their views on having a STEM career in<br />

the future. The survey was sent to 11<br />

middle schools in central Houston. It<br />

was distributed by the instructor of the<br />

Scientific Research and Design class at<br />

Young Women’s College Preparatory<br />

Academy. In total, there were 125<br />

responses and the students had 3 months<br />

to respond. To organize the collected data,<br />

a t-test was conducted to compare the<br />

interest in STEM of students who had taken<br />

a robotics course and those who hadn’t.<br />


The survey showed that 66 of the 125<br />

middle school students had either taken<br />

or were currently taking a robotics class<br />

like STEM. Out of the students who had<br />

not taken a robots class, 22 students<br />

liked STEM. Twenty-five of the students<br />

who took a robotics class either felt<br />

indifferent or didn’t like STEM. Twelve of<br />

the students who had not taken the class<br />

either felt indifferent or didn’t like STEM.<br />

Students who took the robotics class were<br />

significantly more likely to like STEM than<br />

those who hadn’t (t = 3.535, p < .05).<br />

Twenty-nine of the students who had<br />

taken a robotics class either in the past<br />

or currently reported that their interest in<br />

STEM changed while 22 students said it<br />

had stayed the same. Out of the students<br />

who had not taken a robotics class, 3<br />

reported that their interest in STEM had<br />

changed while 19 said their interest had not<br />

changed. Students who took the robotics<br />

class were significantly more likely to have<br />

increased interest in STEM compared to<br />

Offering a robotics course<br />

would help students figure<br />

out what career they want to<br />

pursue at a young age.<br />

those who hadn’t (t = 3.865, p < .05).<br />


By doing this project we can give an insight<br />

to teachers and parents on how to get<br />

their student or child interested in a STEM<br />

career. Offering a robotics course would<br />

help students figure out what career they<br />

want to pursue at a young age, and what<br />

classes they need to take to achieve that<br />

goal. Our study supported the findings<br />

of previous studies which showed that<br />

when younger students take STEM-related<br />

courses they’re more likely to be interested<br />

in STEM and pursue a STEM related career.<br />

The study conducted at present did<br />

include various flaws. The survey had<br />

wording that may have been difficult for<br />

middle school students to understand and<br />

interpret; many subjects surveyed didn’t<br />

seem to understand the questions. The<br />

sample of students was also not entirely<br />

representative: one of the school’s surveys<br />

was an all girls school, which may have<br />

impacted the results. We also could have<br />

used a different survey format, since some<br />

of the questions we asked the students<br />

would answer them even though they<br />

didn’t need to. For example, we had a<br />

question that was specifically for students<br />

that haven’t taken robotic classes and<br />

students that did take them or is currently<br />

taking them still answered the question.<br />

Having a different survey format would<br />

provide us with more accurate data.<br />

Future studies could include an exploration<br />

of how STEM classes affect middle school<br />

students and their future career choices.<br />

These studies could analyze whether there<br />

is a gender difference in STEM interest for<br />

robotics students. By knowing the gender<br />

of the students taking the survey it would<br />

help teachers in co-ed schools learn how<br />

to get their students male or female into<br />

STEM. This would increase the number of<br />

students that want to have a STEM career<br />

in the future as well as make sure equal<br />

numbers of boys and girls are involved in<br />

early STEM learning.<br />


[1] Xue Y & Larson R.C, STEM crisis or<br />

STEM surplus? Yes and yes, Monthly Labor<br />

Review. Bureau of Labor Statistics. United<br />

States Department of Labor, 2015<br />

[2] Benitti , Computer & Education 2011,<br />

58(3), 978-988.<br />

[3] Rockland et. al, The Journal of<br />

Technology Studies 2010, 36, 1.<br />

[4] Nugent et al., Journal of Research on<br />

Technology in Education 2014, 42(4), 391-<br />

408.<br />

[5] Barker & Ansorge, Journal of Research<br />

on Technology in Education 2014, 39(3),<br />

229-243.<br />

[6] Hussain et.al , Journal of Educational<br />

Technology & Society 2006, 9(3), 182-194.<br />

DESIGN BY Katrina Cherk<br />




By Alexis Castillo, Jennifer Garcia, Leah Lewis, Sadie Randall<br />

Abstract<br />

One problem associated with the treatment<br />

of acne is the overuse of treatment products.<br />

Despite brands that create products to<br />

treat certain skin problems, overuse of acne<br />

products occurs, which leads to increased<br />

irritation of the skin. Acne is a problem, not<br />

only because of skin health, but because it<br />

can result in low-self esteem or depression<br />

caused by a negative perception of one’s body<br />

image. In addition, teens who suffer from<br />

acne know which product ingredients are best<br />

suited to treat their skin conditions, and how<br />

much to use. This problem resulted in the<br />

theoretical design of the Skin Analyzing Mirror<br />

(SAM), to better treat acne among teenagers<br />

and to not only improve skin health, but also<br />

mental health.<br />

Introduction<br />

Acne is a common skin problem faced by both<br />

children and adults. About 70%-80% of all<br />

people experience acne during their lifetime. 1<br />

Several factors which cause mild, moderate,<br />

or severe acne are clogged hair follicles,<br />

irregular hormone levels, and bacteria.<br />

For the treatment of this acne, common<br />

ingredients such as retinol and benzoyl<br />

peroxide are often used in topical treatments,<br />

or oral antibiotics in severe cases. 2 Teenagers<br />

ages 11-18 years old are the primary audience<br />

for this research due to the higher hormone<br />

imbalance and higher amount of physical<br />

activity at those ages. 3<br />

Background<br />

Causes of Acne<br />

Though there are many factors that cause<br />

acne, the two main causes are hormonal<br />

imbalances and clogged hair follicles that<br />

become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. 3<br />

Hair follicles are connected to oil glands,<br />

which secrete sebum, an oily substance<br />

that lubricates hair and skin, and are highly<br />

concentrated on the face, neck, chest, back<br />

and shoulders. 3 When the body produces<br />

an excess amount of sebum and dead<br />

skin cells, the two can build up in the hair<br />

follicles. They form a soft plug, creating an<br />

environment where bacteria can thrive. If<br />

the clogged pore becomes infected with<br />

bacteria, inflammation results. Blockages<br />

and inflammation that develop deep inside<br />

hair follicles produce cyst-like lumps beneath<br />

the surface of your skin. 3 Caused by bacteria<br />

that lives on the skin, acne comes to life due<br />

to the oil produced by hormones, “Our skin’s<br />

oils are a wonderful environment for acne<br />

bacteria to thrive in, unfortunately,” says Dr.<br />

Robert Anolik, clinical assistant professor<br />

of dermatology at the New York University<br />

School of Medicine. Add dead skin cells,<br />

dirt, and stress that can cause further oil<br />

production, irritation from everything from<br />

diet to skin products, and a breakout is going<br />

to result. 4<br />

Acne is a problem, not only<br />

because of skin health, but<br />

because it can result in lowself<br />

esteem or depression<br />

caused by a negative<br />

perception of one’s<br />

body image.<br />

Types of Acne<br />

There are three main categories that<br />

dermatologists use to define the severity<br />

of one’s acne: mild, moderate, and severe. 1<br />

After identifying the severity of the patients<br />

acne, using how much skin is infected and<br />

the type of acne the patient has, it is easier<br />

for dermatologist to determine which facial<br />

products would work best for their patient. 1<br />

To treat mild acne, benzoyl peroxide,<br />

retinoids, or other typical treatments are<br />

used. 5 Benzoyl peroxide cleans pores and<br />

is an antibacterial; however, overuse of this<br />

ingredient can cause dry skin. Retinoids,<br />

derivatives of Vitamin A, reduce inflammation<br />

and acne scars. Overuse can lead to skin<br />

irritation such as redness, burning, and<br />

peeling of the skin. 6 For the treatment of<br />

moderate acne, a combination of benzoyl<br />

peroxide and retinoids are often used. 2<br />

Lastly, for severe acne, a combination of oral<br />

antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and<br />

sometimes topical antibiotics are used. 5 Over<br />

$1 billion is spent on acne products annually,<br />

yet 40% of acne sufferers have found that<br />

their condition has not improved.This shows<br />

that a more effective solution to treating acne<br />

must be found.<br />

Methodology<br />

To help the treatment of acne among<br />

teenagers and young adults, the Skin<br />

Analyzing Mirror (SAM), a smart mirror that<br />

will be able to scan skin tissue to detect<br />

blemishes on and beneath the skin, and<br />

prescribe the appropriate products for<br />

treatment was designed. Resulting in the<br />

elimination of the effects of acne. 7 Facial<br />

Recognition technology will be used in the<br />

SAM to recognize the different types of<br />

acne that are present in the face. When the<br />

mirror is scanning the face, there are certain<br />

focal points that the mirror will recognize. 8<br />

The use of Deep Face Program is needed<br />

in SAM. Deep Face Program is used to<br />

recognize the face as a whole; the mirror will<br />

have to know where each physical feature<br />

is located. 9 By recognizing multiple photos<br />

of the individual’s features, the mirror will<br />

recognize their specific facial structure. The<br />

use of a smart mirrors is a new technology<br />

that hasn’t been fully introduced. Panasonic<br />

created a smart mirror that can point out<br />

wrinkles, redness, pores, and sun damage. 10<br />

After the mirror points out the blemishes, it<br />

will suggest cosmetic for goalducts that can<br />

help diminish acne within the skin. Our mirror<br />

will point out pores mostly because, SAM.<br />

will provide the correct prescriptions based<br />

on the acne conditions that are present. is to<br />

help those that suffer primarily from pimples,<br />

whiteheads, blackheads, scars, and dark<br />

spots.<br />


Results/Findings<br />

With the Skin Analyzing Mirror, teenagers<br />

nationwide will be able to regain control of<br />

their acne. SAM will be able to grant teens<br />

quick and easy access to solve their personal<br />

acne situation. This more easily accessible<br />

prescription method will relieve the stress<br />

that accompanies acne for teenagers.<br />

Discussion<br />

Over the course of this project, research<br />

was gathered by dividing different topics<br />

amongst a team. The different topics<br />

assigned to each member were: causes of<br />

acne, diagnosis of acne, acne treatments,<br />

and the technology behind our design.<br />

As information was gathered, academic<br />

journals and papers regarding the different<br />

forms of acne, statistics concerning those<br />

who are affected by acne, and available<br />

treatment were evaluated. With future<br />

technological advancements by companies<br />

and manufacturers, SAM can go beyond<br />

application solely in the cosmetics area,<br />

and reach the medical field, such as to aid<br />

in identifying skin cancer by screening for<br />

tumors. The Skin Analyzing Mirror could also<br />

be able to scan a person’s face, and allow<br />

users to select the area they wish to change<br />

for plastic surgery. Then, by accessing a<br />

database of images, they would be able to<br />

select a desired look and have SAM. display<br />

an image of the predicted results of the<br />

surgery. In addition, our smart mirror could<br />

be useful in the treatment of burn victims.<br />

Conclusion<br />

Overall, there are multiple characterizations<br />

of acne, that many teenagers face. Whether<br />

they suffer from mild, moderate, or severe<br />

acne, oral antibiotics or topical treatments<br />

which include retinol, salicylic acid, or benzoyl<br />

peroxide are usually prescribed. Because over<br />

using these products, or use of the incorrect<br />

product for the different acne conditions<br />

can worsen them, the theoretical design of<br />

the Skin Analyzing Mirror can prevent this<br />

problem and better treat acne. Acne is within<br />

a large market base of companies in the<br />

United States which the mirror is targeted<br />

towards, this technology can become a<br />

possibility.<br />

Work Cited<br />

[1] Eichenfield, L. F. et al. J. Amer. Acad.<br />

Pediatrics. 2013. Vol. 131, S163-S186 http://<br />

pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/<br />

pediatrics/131/Supplement_3/S163.full.pdf<br />

(Accessed March 01, 2017)<br />

[2] Dawson, A. L.; Dellavalle, R. P. Brit. Med. J.<br />

2013. Vol. 346, No. 7907, 30-33. http://www.<br />

jstor.org.libaccess.hccs.edu:2048/stable/<br />

pdf/23494950.pdf (Accessed Feb. 28, 2017)<br />

[3] Bethesda, MD, What is Acne, U.S.<br />

Department of Health and Human Services<br />

Public Health Service, 2014, 1-3<br />

[4] “Differin Gel: An Over-the-Counter<br />

Retinoid for Acne.” What Is Acne? Know the<br />

Enemy. N.p., 10 Mar. 2017. Web. 04<br />

Apr. 2017.<br />

[5] Purdy, S.; Berker, D. Brit.<br />

Med. J. 2006. Vol. 333, No.<br />

7575, 949 - 953, http://<br />

www.jstor.org.libaccess.<br />

hccs.edu:2048/stable/<br />

pdf/40700752.pdf<br />

(Accessed March<br />

01, 2017)<br />

[6] Schlosser, B.<br />

J. Amer. Acad.<br />

Dermatology.<br />

Hormonal<br />

factors<br />

key to<br />

understanding acne in women 2016.<br />

https://www.aad.org/media/newsreleases/hormonal-factors-key-tounderstanding-acne-in-women<br />

(Accessed<br />

March 16, 2017)<br />

[7] Maddin, S. (Ed.). (2004, Aug. & Sept.).<br />

Skin Therapy Letter.skintherapyletter.com<br />

Retrieved March 27, 2017, from http://www.<br />

skintherapyletter.com/download/stl_9_7.pdf<br />

[8] Author. M. Seema and C. Saurabh [Online]<br />

2016, Vol 4 <strong>Issue</strong> 8, pg. 5778. (accessed March<br />

23, 2017).<br />

[9] Taigman, Y. Yang, M. Ranzato, M.A.<br />

DeepFace: Closing the Gap to Human-Level<br />

Performance in Face Verification https://<br />

www.cs.toronto.edu/~ranzato/publications/<br />

taigman_cvpr14.pdf<br />

[10] Hua, K. Panasonic’s New Smart<br />

Mirror Shows You Your Flaws and Helps<br />

You Fix Them. Forbes. October 7, 2016<br />

DESIGN BY Kaitlyn Xiong<br />


MAKEUP<br />

THE COST<br />


by Sequoia Cooke,<br />

Rebecca Castelan,<br />

and Tyria Stewart<br />


This article examines the correlation<br />

between makeup and skin cancer and<br />

makeup’s potentially harmful on skin.<br />

We hypothesize that if selected brands<br />

of makeup are placed on a variety of<br />

preserved skin cells, deleterious effects<br />

can be observed. Based off the short term<br />

consequences, the long term effects can<br />

be estimated. Ultimately, the question<br />

“What are the short and long term effects<br />

of makeup on skin and how does that<br />

eventually lead to cancer?” remains to be<br />

answered.<br />


In 4000 BCE, Egyptian women began to<br />

apply galena mesdemet, (a mix of copper<br />

and lead ore) and malachite (green paste<br />

of copper minerals) to their face for color.<br />

A combination of burnt almonds, oxidized<br />

copper, different-colored ores, lead, ash,<br />

and ochre became what is called kohl, a type<br />

of eyeliner used to adorn the eyes. From<br />

the beginning of cosmetics, makeup was<br />

comprised of toxic chemicals.<br />

The Chinese stained their fingernails with<br />

gum, gelatin, beeswax, and egg in 3000 BCE<br />

to represent social status. Around these<br />

time women from Greece began to paint<br />

their faces with white lead and used crushed<br />

mulberries as rogue. Oxen hair was used to<br />

apply fake eyebrows, an unsanitary exercise.<br />

Grecian women soon began to apply chalk<br />

or lead as a face powder and a lipstick<br />

developed out of ochre clays laced with red<br />

iron in 1000 BCE. It was after 100 AD that<br />

the more proper, early version of cosmetics<br />

arrived.<br />

Makeup of Elizabethan England prevented<br />

proper circulation and posed as a serious<br />

threat to the health of society women.<br />

Throughout the Renaissance in Europe, only<br />

those of the aristocratic class in 1400 - 1500<br />

AD were allowed the use of cosmetics. Italy<br />

and France began to emerge as the main<br />

centers of cosmetic manufacturing, where<br />

in some instances arsenic was placed in face<br />

powder instead of lead.<br />

In 1500 - 1600 AD, European women wore<br />

white lead paint in order to lighten their<br />


complexion, following the example set by<br />

Queen Elizabeth I of England. Blonde hair<br />

rose in popularity, and mixtures of black<br />

sulphur, alum, and honey were created and<br />

placed in the hair.<br />

During the 19th and early 20th century, zinc<br />

oxide became a widely used facial powder,<br />

replacing the previous toxic combinations of<br />

lead and copper. A certain mixture of white<br />

lead was later discovered to be deadly and<br />

blamed for facial tremors, muscle paralysis,<br />

and death.<br />

In 1900 AD society pressured women,<br />

especially middle-aged women, to appear<br />

as young as possible. Cosmetic use was<br />

a popular, albeit shameful, method of<br />

achieving such beauty. As a result salons<br />

increased in popularity, although most<br />

women entered through the back door to<br />

receive patronage.<br />

Furthermore, many articles highlight<br />

the correlation between makeup and its<br />

detrimental effects on skin, such as creating<br />

acne and harm after continuous wear.<br />

The American Cancer Society associates<br />

cosmetics with carcinogen. 1 Exposure to<br />

cancerous substances can occur through<br />

absorption, ingestion or inhalation.<br />

Carcinogens interact with your DNA and<br />

can alter the rate of cell division. 2 This could<br />

increase the abnormal DNA synthesis and<br />

result in cancer. These same carcinogens<br />

are not only found in the makeup but also<br />

in pesticides and tobacco. Everyday items<br />

such as toothpaste, shampoos, conditioner,<br />

deodorant, and house cleaning products<br />

may also include the chemicals ‘PEG’ and<br />

‘-eth’ 3 , which can lead to cancer in the long<br />

run.<br />


Due to its similarity to human skin and<br />

its use in other studies, pig skin was used<br />

as a replacement for human skin. Age of<br />

makeup ranged from new to nine years old,<br />

with various brands. Two pounds of pigskin<br />

was obtained from a local meat market.<br />

Sanitation materials were collected and<br />

used to sanitize the work station and rid<br />

any preexistent bacteria. The pigskin was<br />

then cut into 2x2 in squares, large enough<br />

to apply adequate amounts of makeup but<br />

small enough to place in containers and<br />

create more trials. Strips were placed into<br />

large containers and brought into a cool and<br />

shaded room, where they were observed<br />

twice a day. Data would be collected two<br />

days from initial experiment to allow<br />

bacteria to fester and grow.<br />

“...articles<br />

highlight the<br />

correlation<br />

between makeup<br />

and its<br />

detrimental<br />

effects on<br />

skin...<br />

Everyday<br />

items...may<br />

also include<br />

the chemicals<br />

‘PEG’ and<br />

‘-eth’, which<br />

can lead to<br />

cancer in the<br />

long run.”<br />


Pig skin spoiled on the morning of the<br />

second day, and was thrown away.<br />

Observations and analysis were unable<br />

to take place, and resulted in fruitless<br />

replacements for skin-like materials. Data<br />

and previous research showed the oldest<br />

eyeliner/mascara, lipstick, and foundation (in<br />

said order) theoretically would have caused<br />

the most harm on one’s skin. Mascara and<br />

eyeliner are directly placed one one’s eye,<br />

a sensitive organ where aged makeup can<br />

cause bacterial infections and later on,<br />

cancer.<br />


Findings were inconclusive, due to the<br />

spoiling of the pig skin and improper<br />

refrigeration. For future trials, a reevaluation<br />

of our methods has led to the<br />

approximation of 8 - 12 hours for future<br />

trials, to stimulate the average person<br />

wearing makeup in a day. Errors included<br />

the amount of time we set the stimulated<br />

skin in contact with the makeup, proper<br />

labeling, and an unfit observation timeline.<br />


While the experiment itself yielded no<br />

practical results, based on our initial<br />

research, we have come to the conclusion<br />

that prolonged exposure to old makeup will<br />

be harmful for skin. Prior research indicates<br />

that older makeup is more prone to bacteria<br />

than newer makeup, and will therefore be<br />

more likely to damage the skin.<br />


[1] American Cancer Society. Cosmetics. May<br />

28, 2014. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/<br />

cancer-causes/cosmetics.html (accessed<br />

January 26, 2017).<br />

[2] WebMD. Skin Cancer: Melanoma,<br />

Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinoma.<br />

September 30, 2016. http://www.webmd.<br />

com/melanoma-skin-cancer/melanomaguide/skin-cancer<br />

(accessed January 26,<br />

2017).<br />

[3] Noble, Brittany; Dermatologist says<br />

certain<br />

makeup ingrediaents may cause cancer.<br />

NBC 25 News. October 27, 2011 http://<br />

nbc25news.com/news/local/dermatologistsays-certain-makeup-ingredients-may-causecancer<br />

(accessed January 26, 2017).<br />

DESIGN BY Juliana Wang<br />

Images from openclipart & clipartbarn<br />


CHEWS<br />


MADE<br />



Until now, the support for individuals<br />

who struggle with swallowing pain<br />

relievers was non-existent. Chews<br />

helps individuals who cannot swallow pills,<br />

offering an alternative of a gummy pain<br />

reliever rather than large pill. Despite there<br />

being other gummy alternatives, such as<br />

vitamins, there has never been an alternative<br />

way to take pain relievers. 1 This problem has<br />

negatively impacted adults and children who<br />

are unwilling, or physically unable to swallow<br />

traditional pills. The team’s hypothesis is<br />

that a gummy form of a pain reliever is more<br />

efficient compared to the tablet form. The<br />

overall goal of Chews is to bring support and<br />

help make pain easier to control.<br />

Finding the top pain relievers, which pain<br />

relievers were able to be crushed, and<br />

figuring out how to actually create a gummy<br />

was the beginning of our research. Finding<br />

alternative forms of medicine delivery was<br />

the first avenue that was examined to figure<br />

out if making a gummy pain reliever was<br />

the best option for our project. The team<br />

also found out what was the best process<br />

for making a candy like gummy 2 and how to<br />

make sure that the medicine is distributed<br />

evenly throughout the gummy and eventually<br />

throughout the bloodstream. 3 The conclusion<br />

was made that the best way to distribute the<br />

medication would be to mix the powdered<br />

form with gummies before they were set.<br />

After several failed experiments regarding<br />

the texture of the pain reliever, the shelf<br />

life of the pain reliever, and the density of<br />

the reliever there was finally a successful<br />

experiment. The best way to create the pain<br />

reliever is to dissolve the crushed medication<br />

in the gelatin mixture. After finding out that<br />

only certain medicines can be crushed, the<br />

team figured out what medicines to use<br />

to test the gummies. The medicines that<br />

were decided to be used for the project<br />

were Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium, and<br />

Acetaminophen. The initial experiment that<br />

was created required only flavored gelatin,<br />

crushed pills, and lego molds.<br />

Unfortunately, this was not an effective<br />

process since the resulting gummy pain<br />

relievers were sticky, grainy, and falling apart.<br />

To make the initial batch it was thought that<br />

we could create a regular gelatin recipe and<br />

then add the crushed medications at the<br />

end however, that was not the case. It was<br />

observed that just using flavored gelatin<br />

alone would not allow the gummies to set<br />

up as had hoped and our methods had<br />

to change. For the second batch of pain<br />

relievers, unflavored gelatin was added to the<br />

recipe. Using this gelatin in the second batch<br />

of pain relievers resulted in significantly<br />

better gummies than the first batch because<br />

they were not grainy nor sticky to the touch.<br />

The second batch of pain relievers were firm,<br />

colorful and similar to legos.<br />

Chews is an innovative<br />

type of technology<br />

that will change the<br />

lives of the millions of<br />

Americans that cannot<br />

currently swallow pills.<br />

The next trial found that dissolving the<br />

medicine in the heated gelatin solution<br />

worked for removing the grittiness of the<br />

pain reliever but once they had cooled the<br />

team found that they fell apart rather quickly.<br />

The pain reliever did not stand up to much<br />

movement because the little details in the<br />

legos caused the pain reliever to deteriorate.<br />

As a result, the next step was to find a way<br />

to heat the pain reliever to a certain point<br />

before cooling them to peak firmness. It was<br />

found that by heating the gelatin solution<br />

until just before it starting boiling and<br />

allowing it cool before adding it to the mold<br />

and placing it in the freezer gave us the best<br />

results as far as firmness. However, the taste<br />

still lacked in the gummies.<br />

In the third trial of gummies, it was observed<br />

that the gummy pain relievers held together<br />

and were relatively smooth and opaque for<br />

their entire shelf life which was very short,<br />

about one week. It was observed that the<br />

pain reliever began to mold rather quickly<br />

in the process. The pain relievers developed<br />

two different types of mold: Stachybotrys<br />

mold and another form of food mold<br />

that could not be identified. Once it was<br />

discovered that mold was developing on the<br />

gummies, the decision was made to invest<br />

in a food preservative. The preservative<br />

selected was potassium sorbate, which is<br />

commonly used in food and candy making. 4<br />

The potassium sorbate did not make any<br />

drastic changes to the composition of the<br />

pain reliever and permitted the pain reliever’s<br />

shelf life to be elongated by several weeks.<br />

The most successful batch, in terms of<br />

texture and shelf life, was the fourth and final<br />

batch that was created using the unflavored<br />

gelatin and potassium sorbate, as well as<br />

perfecting the timing and heating of the<br />

recipe. This batch was successful because<br />

it lasted for five weeks after its creation<br />

whereas previous batches had only lasted<br />

one to two weeks. These pain relievers also<br />

had the most consistent texture throughout<br />

the gummy. It was relatively smooth and<br />

when cut there were not large pieces of<br />

medication trapped in the gummy which<br />

would ruin the texture of the overall gummy.<br />

There are still many individuals today who<br />

still cannot swallow pills, and until there is a<br />

solution to this problem, these individuals<br />

will continue to struggle. With Chews the<br />

world is one step closer to fixing this issue<br />

and making it easier for people to take<br />

medicine orally. Chews is an innovative type<br />

of technology that will change the lives of the<br />

millions of Americans that cannot currently<br />

swallow pills. With the increase of shelf life as<br />

well as the smooth texture and great taste,<br />

Chews will be a better way for people to take<br />

medications.<br />


[1] Nordqvist, Christian. A History Of Medicine.<br />

Medical News Today [Online], Aug 9, 2012. http://<br />

www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/medicine<br />

(accessed Jan 27, 2017).<br />

[2] Drugs. (charcoal) medical facts; Jan 10, 2017.<br />

(accessed Jan 27, 2017).<br />

[3] WebMD. Cotazym-S oral : Uses, Side Effects,<br />

Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing (accessed<br />

Jan. 27, 2017)<br />

[4] The Medical Futurist. 20 Medical Technology<br />

Advances: Medicine in the Future – Part I; Aug 23,<br />

2014. https://medicalfuturist.com/20-potentialtechnological-advances-in-the-future-of-medicinepart-i/<br />

(accessed Jan 27, 2017).<br />

DESIGN BY Priscilla Li<br />



Interested in working with our outreach program?<br />

Contact Rice <strong>Catalyst</strong> at ricecatalyst@gmail.com<br />

Want more?<br />

Check out ricecatalyst.org to read all<br />

past issues of <strong>Catalyst</strong>.<br />


The newest volume will be<br />

released this spring!<br />


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