3D printin’

We have been working with a student in Mrs. Patane’s class, Jeremy Dodson, to design and build a model filter for our project. The filter would be used to encase the fungi that we choose to use in our project for the remediation of heavy metals from water. The fungi sets in the middle of the filter while water is added through the top and if all goes well the water coming out will be heavy metal free. The filter is made right here in our high school and is 3D printed with the help of Mrs. Patane.Sam 2
This filter and its fungi should be ready to use in just a few weeks and the fungi is showing great promise as a remediation agent. The trial of the fungi in the filter will be the real tell and show if we need to go back to the drawing board or if it will work the way it is, this is all a part of the scientific process and how to refine our product. This is very exciting and we hope to implement this someday in people’s home who have a problem with heavy metals in their water, and allow them peace of mind. This is a very exciting project and hopefully it will work out!


A tardigrade is not what you might think.  No, it is not a late grade.  A tardigrade is actually a microscopic organism that lives in moss and lichen and is all around you.  You may have heaEmmard them referred to as “moss piglets” or “water bears”.  Tardigrades are actually pretty cool.  They are the first animal ever to survive in space and can survive absolute zero, which is -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit!  Tardigrades are also able to go into a dormant state commonly known as cryptobiosis, or more specifically, anhydrobiosis.  In anhydrobiosis, all the water in the tardigrade is pushed out; it’s kind of like hibernation.  In this state, the tardigrade is able to survive many months–even years without water!  But don’t worry–these little guys wouldn’t hurt a fly.  You just might want to think twice next time before stepping on that patch of moss!

When You Don’t Succeed…

The constant thought throughout this semester is “What are we doing?” Sometimes the answer is clear, while other times it takes a lot of thought. Already, Team Brella (Bryce, Eliza, and Lauren) has made a radical change to our plan. Upon further inspection of our original project proposal, we realized that it was not realistic because of our time constraints. LaurenWe were so ready to begin our project, but instead we went back to the drawing board. With the help of Eliza’s perfectly organized diagrams, we came up with a new and improved plan that still works towards our goal. This is a classic situation that happens in science research. The possibilities excite and overwhelm us and we get a little dazed by them. But taking a step back and considering how realistic the project is really helps ground our ideas and makes for a great project. I can’t wait to see what happens this semester!

Whats Happening: Tardigrades

This year our group is working with tardigrades. Specifically the effects of glyphosate and imidacloprid on the tardigrades. So far we have done our controlDSCN8245 tests and are about to begin are glyphosate testing. In our control all the tardigrades in test two and test three survived. However in test one, three tardigrades died. This made our survival rate for the control 90%. It is possible that in test one the three tardigrades were dead when placed in the Petri dish. As we continue our experiment we assume that the survival rates for glyphosate and imidacloprid will be lower than 90%.

Kudzu Seed Oil? Harvest TIME!

NicoleMy group (including Bain Brown and John Nguyen)’s project is determining the feasibility of using seed oil from kudzu as a potential for biodiesel. Kudzu seeds are normally mature and ready to harvest at around mid-October, meaning we’ll need to start harvesting soon. There is a possibility that the kudzu vines at the school near the football field won’t have enough seeds to extract enough oil, and that we may need another source, but we’ll soon find out!

Music is important?!?!?

Music is a part of everyday life. You hear it at home, at school, in the car, on the bus, at a store, the list is endless. Well, maybe it is endless… Anyways! Music is177_0282 always there and affects mood and behaviors of the person listening to it. Whether it’s good or bad, it happens. Music can make you feel great and happy, or it can make you feel bad, sad, or angry. These moods affect your behavior more than you think. Sometimes music even affects just your behavior. Ever been upset and about to cry then dancing around your room? Yeah, like that.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid VIDEO!

 You are watching a hemlock woolly adelgid that has been carefully removed from an Eastern Carolina hemlock branch in Brevard, NC during October of 2014. The video was taken through the eyepiece of a stereoscope on 40x magnification. I have never seen anything like this–have you? This video was taken by Lauren, a student in the TIME 4 Real Science program at Brevard High School. Lauren and her partner Allie are studying the effects of antibiotics on the mortality of the hemlock woolly adelgid.

TIME Students Help Build NC Western Region Student Academy of Science


ncsasThe Student Academy of Science fosters interaction between student researchers and scientists.  The NCSAS competition is distinctive in requiring both a paper and an oral presentation, much like a professional science conference. The competition also provides an opportunity for students to receive constructive feedback from research scientists who judged their projects. Students who place first in their category at NCSAS are invited to attend the national American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, where they present their work to their peers, scientists and science enthusiasts from across the country.  These students represent North Carolina and are inducted into the American Junior Academy of Science. wnc counties

In 2011, there was no representation at the North Carolina Student Academy of Science from the western region.  The western region, also known as District 8, includes Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey counties.

2012 AJAS inductees - SmallIn 2012, three TIME 4 Real Science students from Transylvania County competed in the NC Western Region Student Academy of Science, advancing to the state and national meetings.  Kaitlin McCreery presented her work on the “Investigation of the germination of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis zoospores at low cell densities,” where she explored cellular mechanisms of Bd fungus, the pathogen killing amphibians world-wide.  Kris Petterson and Erika Williams presented their research on the “Isolation, identification and characterization of endophytes from Cherokee medicinal plants.”  Endophytes are bacteria or fungi that live symbiotically within or between the cell walls of plants, conferring a competitive advantage on their hosts.  These young women scientists were inducted into AJAS at the historic Boston Library.

AJAS 2014In 2013, thirteen students from the TIME program presented their work at the western region meeting of the Student Academy of Science.  All thirteen advanced to the state competition, with one team advancing to the national meeting.  Abby Williams and Carly Onnink presented their work on “Olfactometer Assays to Determine an Effective Pheromone Trap Bait for the Bean Plataspid,” a new invasive stink bug in Transylvania County.  They were inducted into AJAS at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History.

DSC00601In 2014, twenty-one students from Transylvania County’s TIME program and three students from Robbinsville High School competed at the western region meeting of the Student Academy of Science.  All twenty-four students advanced to the state competition, with one team advancing to the national meeting.  Lianne Duscio and Garland Joseph competed with their project, “Antioxidant and anti-tumor effects of the berries from Elaeagnus umbellata and Lindera benzoin,” in which they explored medicinal properties of both native and invasive species.  Duscio and Joseph were inducted into AJAS in  San Jose, California.

On February 27, 2105, twenty-two Transylvania County TIME students and seven students from Asheville High School’s SILSA program participated in the western region Student Academy of Science competition.  All students will advance to the state competition in March.

SAS 2015 - All Students Cropped - Small



Walnut Twig Beetle Identifying Kit – Does such thing exist?

Yes it does and we have Kelly Oten, North Carolina Forest Health Monitoring Coordinator, to thank! We had emailed Brian Heath, North Carolina Forest Health Specialist, and asked him if he had any suggestions for identifying the beetles that we were finding in our traps. He forwarded our email to Kelly Oten and her response made us very hopeful! In her email she told us that she might be able to send us a Walnut Twig Beetle in a vial of alcohol. We were thrilled. We emailed her back very quickly and received a package in the mail a few days later. We were expecting just to see the walnut twig beetle, but instead were given many surprises.crista Not only did she gives us a male and female walnut twig beetle she also provided us with a small identification tool and pamphlets about thousand cankers disease. We could not have been more grateful!! Thank you SOOOO much Kelly!! This means the world to us!


Team Carly and Abby have made several upgrades to the electroantennogram set up in an effort to minimize noise (the electrical static in the background which can cover up our bug’s electrical response). With guidance from our electrical expert, we went from copper to silver wire, Styrofoam surface to cardboard (apparently Styrofoam worsens noise!) and what made the biggest difference: having the air pump system separate and on a different table. That way, when we puff our chemical and our air pump vibrates, the movement is not directly wiggling our antenna setup! Now we can distinguish electrical response from background noise.