Possible College Attendance and Socioeconomic Status

Since I have been participating in Professor Raposa’s Lab, I have been part of numerous studies and I have been helping out with the different studies that she has currently going. The main one I have been working on currently is the College Mentor study and I have switched my interest more into this study. After working on this for a while, it has sparked my interest for my own independent research and analysis of the information and data that we are collecting. The study is essentially looking at how a College Mentor can impact mainly at risk children and focuses on children who are mainly in elementary school. For the past few weeks I have been involved in data collection and data entry for this task and there is some information that seems to have seemed important to me. The information is taken from surveys given to the children and their mentors. From that, I have seen a kind of trend in specific questions about future college attendance for the children and how they feel about possibly attending college in the future. One specific thing of not is that many students wrote in notes saying things such as “if I had the money” or “I do not have the money” about their feelings towards college. For an independent study, I think I would like to look deeper into this and how socioeconomic status affects children’s perceptions of college and future college attendance. I will be focusing more on the information gathered from the study to provide data, but I am planning on doing a search for more literature that talks about this or explains more about this. Also, I possibly would like to see if the presence of a Mentor affects the child’s decision about wanting to attend college in the future.

June Update

From late May to now, I have been working on getting in the groove of things, becoming more accustomed to lab procedure. The goal of my project is to confirm the underlying kinetic behavior of Rhodamine 560 (R560), in comparison to previously studied Rhodamine B (RB), which was previously done on a 532nm laser. I started by working towards obtaining consistent single molecule scans of RB using this laser, different to the 470 I was using during the school year. Starting at higher concentrations before working towards single molecule concentrations, I had to find optimal power settings for corresponding concentrations. To find optimal power settings, I ran multiple scans at various power settings on the laser to obtain a high amount of photon counts while simultaneously preventing photobleaching of the RB dye. After this, it was a matter of refining my preparation of the dye solution for scans and ensuring I was collecting data in the correct manner.

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