Presentations can be a bit scary when you think about it. They are not something many people are very good at straight off the bat. They take time, effort, and practice to master. The more one hears others present the more one learns. The mistakes others make one tends to notice and strive very hard not to repeat them over again. When someone does a fantastic job with their presentation one tends to try to mimic the attributes that the other person had. Altogether, one can learn several things of the dos and the do nots from watching and listening to others present.

Last week in lab we had the pleasure of learning about different ways to use tires, how glass can help in crime scenes, how to help clean out water in India, and much more. The tire presentation was all about how tires can be used in different ways as well as letting us know that tires do not break down very easily. Typically one does not stop and think about what happens to tires after they have served their sole purpose. One goes about life knowing nothing more than tires are made of rubber and the mechanic takes care of getting rid of them. But tires do not just disappear into thin air! They actually go to different plants and facilities that break them down into pellets for football fields, playgrounds, shoes, and even for new tires. Sometimes the tires are not so lucky and end up in a dumps, where people can set fires to them and have them explode. Either way tires are not decomposing back into the soil if anything we are finding a place for them to go.

Have you ever thought of glass being a vital piece in investigations? Whether you did or you did not glass brakeage can be one way of finding what happened the night of the accident. During this presentation one learns about the way glass breaks, how it can inform the detective from what side the glass was hit, as well as the different angle it was hit from. I would have never thought of glass breaking as a way to solve mysteries but it is one way investigators solve crimes that have glass pieces scattered about. Another pretty interesting fact about the glass is that the investigators can tell whether lights on a vehicle were on or off. The filament inside the bulb will react with the O2 in the air creating a yellow/white coating around it if it was on. It was amazing to hear all the different things one can learn from broken glass.

Furthermore, we got to hear about India’s huge problem with arsenic in the water supply. Once you sit down and start listening to the presentation you learn that arsenic is a huge problem in the country! People are getting poisoned and are becoming really ill with the amounts of arsenic in the water supply. The most interesting part of the talk was learning about the way people in Bangladesh are filtering out the water. They are taking these buckets that have a lining that will react with arsenic in the water allowing the arsenic to filter out with clean water. This system can last for a couple of years which is great for the areas that cannot afford to replace these buckets over and over again. In addition, we also learned that they are finding different ways to remove the arsenic straight from the tap versus getting it out of the tap placing it into buckets and then pouring them out into filter buckets.

All in all these three presentations stayed more vividly in my mind not only because they have the most impacting on the world around us; but instead because of the way the material was presented to the class. The presenters all seem to know the material they were presenting, they spoke clearly, and seemed to have gotten very familiar with the material at hand. The best presenters have practiced multiple time and also speak of a topic that most interests them. More times than not if you like the subject you will feel more relaxed during the presentations.


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