“Hey! quirks, and no matter how horrible things

“Hey! Wouldn’t it be a crazy idea to make a subatomic
particle detector in less than a week? What could possibly go wrong?” Those
were the thoughts which ran through my head when I decided to assemble the team
for the school science exhibition a few months ago. As fancy as the term
‘subatomic particle detector’ sounds, the goal of the project was to just make
a working cloud chamber.  To begin with,
our project was already plagued with issues with a notable one being the hectic
examination schedule we had.  The
deadline was drawing close, and all hope seemed to be lost. However, even in
the worst of times, we chose to stick together, and tackled the problem a
determination that could melt even the plastic container of the cloud chamber!
As the team leader, I took the responsibility of allocating tasks to my
teammates, not limited to purchasing the chemicals and handling testing.  At the same time, I spent a lot of sleepless
nights finding suitable solutions to the various problems such as the question
of finding a proper substitute for the expensive dry ice and substituting Ethyl
Alcohol for Isopropyl Alcohol.

In spite of what I might have outlined as my role in this
essay, this experience taught me the need for teamwork. The numerous late night
sessions I spent on the phone with my friend Thomas K on how to present the
project before the judges, and the lengths my class partner Adil J went to find
the essential chemicals were instrumental in ensuring that our project went
successfully. While our project ultimately didn’t win the competition (though
my class teacher claimed that it was a close contender), the whole process
taught me a lot about facing challenges. I felt as if I could draw parallels
between a simple science exhibition project and a large-scale research project
as from the surface, they both have situations when things won’t go as planned
yet are truly enriching experiences. In the end, I learned that every
individual in a team had their own quirks, and no matter how horrible things
might seem, you have to be as stubborn as a toddler to move through. Looking
back on that trial while typing this essay, as ‘cloudy’ as things seemed for
the Cloud Chamber, the experience certainly won’t flash past unlike the muons
we attempted to detect.

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