Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
My first science experiment (that I remember well) was testing how different crop species might be used in bioremediation (using plants to clean up the environment) and it was a DISASTER. It was a part of a summer science program I participated in during high school, but none of the science mentors worked with plants (or even had a decent knowledge about them). This lack of mentors probably played a large part in how horribly the project went! To start with, I sterilized soil not knowing that this changes the available nutrients in the soil, so the plants were nutrient starved. I also couldn't get seeds to germinate from some of the crops because I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't have any growing space, so I grew them in my dorm room window, which wasn't enough light for the plants. I also didn't have a good way of measuring nutrients before and after the experiment since we didn't have any plant related equipment. Not surprisingly, the experiment didn't work. Also not surprising in hindsight, I was not alone! Many of the students' projects did not work out as we were expecting and some didn't even get started due to technical issues. As a scientist I have come to learn that this is a common issue and why we do preliminary experiments to test out techniques before investing lots of time and money into an experiment.