Project M - 1000 samples, 100 schools, one great big experiment
100 schools are taking part in Project M - a novel and exciting research project. In order to help us understand calcium carbonate, each school is making 10 samples, using specially selected additives. Once complete, the samples will be sent back to us to analyse using our laboratory . We are aiming to analyse all 1000 samples in a 24 hour period. This will be used to produce a giant set of results which we hope (fingers crossed) will produce a scientific publication – this research has never been done before.
- 100 schools will be selected to receive a kit
- Each school will make a specific set of 10 samples (week 1)
- The samples will be loaded into a capillary by the students (week 2) and sent back to Diamond.
- Each sample will be tested in a 24 hour experiment in April!
- The students will be able to analyse their data online!
Calcium carbonate has three main forms or ‘polymorphs’: vaterite, calcite and aragonite. We are trying to find out which of the polymorphs form for each of the additives. Some of these additives are amino acids, the building blocks which create proteins in the body. We know how to identify the different polymorphs using Diamond – they each have a specific chemical fingerprint which we can detect using X-rays.