Final blog post here. It’s been over three months since the summer mentorship has started, and less than two weeks before the final event. I am finalizing the slides and packaging up the poster right now, and after I write this blog, I will be practicing my presentation. These past three months have truly been a great experience. From coming up with an idea to complete a prototype, every step of the way has been one of a kind. But in my opinion, I think the greatest part of the summer mentorship portion of the challenge is getting to work with people in the same field that you would never be able to meet in your everyday life. These people, who are all specialists in their fields, you get to talk to them about your idea, and they can give you amazing ideas to help drive your development. In addition, one of the most rewarding things about a scientific process, greater than the completion itself of the project, is knowing all the obstacles that you've gone through to get there.
I think one of the biggest obstacles that I had to overcome was getting the low current electricity to be able to work the circuitry required to regulate the current. Because of the such extreme low current of the piezoelectric plates, many components couldn’t even be run by the current. Because of this, it made my research crucial in order to create a suitable circuitry. I do think that my research could have gone a lot better, though. Because of my limited knowledge of electricity, I kept on assuming certain parameters for my components. After testing these components, I would always find out something was not the way I expected it. And because there were so many components in my design, it was also hard to identify which ones work and which ones didn’t. I think, if given another chance, I would definitely target the research more towards piezoelectricity, and learn directly off of the knowledge from people in that field. That way, I could be targeting the problem directly, and not have to go on too many detours. But overall, these entire three months have been awesome, and I hope to be doing something similar again soon.