Research I've done with friends

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Raffles Girls School (secondary) Kathryn Chia Youth Science Conference
Kathryn Chia Science Apothekathryn

My team and I with our poster at the Youth Science conference


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The aim of our research project was to investigate the ultraviolet absorption ability in therm of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) value of 3 herbal oils, as well as to investigate the UV absorption ability of homemade sunscreen using these oils.

We thought this would be a relevant research topic, given the increasing desire in the market for effective natural sunscreens. These sunscreens would not have chemicals such as parabens and oxybenzone that are used in commercial sunscreens which are harmful to the skin.

We were fortunate to have a spectrophotometer in our school which we used to calculate the absorbance values of the sunscreens we made. We then substituted these values into the Mansur equation to calculate their SPF values.

Out of all the sunscreens we formulated, we found that Coconut oil in a sunscreen, with guar gum as a thickener had the highest SPF value without phase separation. 

Although our final homemade sunscreen did not have as high an SPF value as those in the market, we feel that there is definitely potential for further research to be done in this area to produce natural sunscreens with higher SPF values that are not harmful to the skin.

We had lots of fun in our project, spending many days in the science lab after school. There may have been some days when we were frustrated because of our inconsistent lab result, but we persevered! We did not want to give up on our project.

In the end, we were honoured to be able to represent our school at the School based Science Mentorship program, and were able to participate in the Singapore Youth Science Conference, attaining a bronze award.

My teammate and I jokingly pointing at our sunscreens

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How the supplementation of fatty acids could affect motor dysfunction from Alzheimer's disease in fruit flies

Title simplified for ease of reading

Alzheimer's disease is a neurological disorder that is prevalent in the elderly. Many factors such as genetic, environmental and lifestyle come into play during the onset of Alzheimers. We mainly experimented with different groups of flies, giving certain groups of them the fatty acid supplements, after which we conducted some experiments on these flies to record the extent of their mobility.

It was a new experience for me to work with the fruit flies as I had never worked with living organisms in an experiment before. It was fun to look at the fruit flies under a microscope to separate the males and females for our experiment. 

"Kathryn Chia" "Science" "Apothekathryn"

However, we did unfortunately encounter some difficulties while handling the fruit flies in our experiments. There were times when many of our flies did not mature from a pupae or when we were unable to visit the lab due to the Covid-19 outbreak, which hindered our experiments.

The research project as a whole was really fulfilling and enjoyable. My group mates and I had many funny experiences together which I will definitely always remember!

"Kathryn Chia" Singapore Science Apothekathryn
"Kathryn Chia" "Singapore" "Science"