Celebrating the anniversary of East Java Province, East Java National Commission of Education (Komnasdik) held Jatim Education Competition 2020. There were several competitions for elementary, junior and senior high school students. Petra Acitya Christian Junior High School joined the scientific writing (Karya Tulis Ilmiah – KIR) competition. The theme was Building A Strong Creative Reading and Writing Ecosystem in School during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Three of our students, Jason Aldrich, Charlene Elisabeth and Jonathan Wijaya, joined the competition and were tutored by Sebastianus Hardi S., S.Pd. To start the project, they had to choose their research object first. As Petra Acitya is located in Sidoarjo, they tried to use Sidoarjo’s famous commodity, which is salt, as their research object.
Salt solution can be an alternative way to relieve sore throat symptom. However, not everyone likes the salty taste of the saline solution. That fact inspired the team to conduct a research, which aimed to make a salt solution with no saltiness without removing the saline solution’s efficacy as a sore throat reliever.
In order to obtain the research objective, these students had to learn about the process of pyrolysis. The pyrolysis process is a separation method based on differences in boiling points and vapor pressure. As they did the literature study, they found out that pyrolysis process enabled them to create the saline solution with no saltiness. At the end of the pyrolysis process, it was expected to get some salt solution with no saltiness.
To start the pyrolysis process, the team designed and created a simple pyrolysis tool, using some reusable can and jars to conduct the research. Then, they created the salt solution and did the pyrolysis process using the tool that they had made before. After that, they tested the salinity of their experiment product using refractometer. The experiment showed that before the pyrolysis process, the salinity of the solution was 25 ppt whereas after the pyrolysis process, the salinity of the solution was 0 ppt. Therefore, it could be proven that their salt solution was not salty anymore after the pyrolysis process.
The next step in their research was testing the efficacy of the solution by observing the growth of Streptococcus bacterial colonies on plain bread media. The bread was held by dirty hands and after several days they squirted the solution to the bread and observed the difference after another several days. After that, they found out that the bread which had been held by dirty hands and was not given the solution contained a lot of Streptococcus bacteria, while the bread which had been sprayed with the salty saline solution contained fewer Streptococcus bacteria. The same result, in which there were fewer bacteria, could also be found in the bread which was sprayed with the saline solution which had been processed with pyrolysis. Thus, the team found out that the salty taste of the salt solution could be removed without losing its efficacy as a sore throat reliever.
Finishing the research, they worked together to finish the competition. Charlene Elisabeth focused on the paper, Jason Aldrich designed the poster and banner, while Jonathan Wijaya created the power point presentation. Afterwards, the team could submit the project on time and by the grace of God, they passed the selection process.
Finally, it was the time for them to prove what they had prepared and studied before. During the D-Day which was on the Heroes Day, November 10th, Charlene Elisabeth, Jason Aldich and Jonathan Wijaya went to Grand City Mall for the final presentation. The team always believe when they do their best, God will do the rest. In the end of the competition, the judges announced that they got the 2nd place for the scientific writing competition. It was the fruit of their work with the blessing of God that they were able to do all the things in the scientific writing competition.