ECU Honors College Service Day at the QAR Lab

The Tank TeamOn what seemed like the wettest Saturday morning this year, Queen Anne's Revenge Lab staff, East Carolina University (ECU) faculty and ECU Honors College Students met at the QAR Lab. Despite the cold and the rain all did excellent work! We were really impressed with how everyone got stuck in with enthusiasm and efficiency whatever the task! Two of the students were asked to be “journalists’ for the event. Below is their report on the mornings work with photos they took too. The QAR Lab staff would like to thank you all again!

Rainy Days, Spiders, and Anchors, Oh My! 
By Sarah Burke and Megan Woodlief

Wet weather and chilly temperatures did little to stop a group of East Carolina University (ECU) Honors College students from participating in a service project at the QAR Lab on Saturday, February 23rd. The twenty five students split into groups after a brief tour of the facilities and assigned tasks that ranged from assisting in the preservation of artifacts to helping keep archived information organized. The Archives Team

Jackie Traish, a Music Performance and Science Education major, said she’d volunteered to come out because of her appreciation for history. “I came out to help because I wanted to be close to a piece of history. It’s amazing to see artifacts that have lasted 300 years.” Jackie was one of six students who spent their time in the lab’s warehouse working to maintain the conditions of the artifacts. Dubbing themselves the “Tank Team,” the students working in the warehouse removed and added freshwater to storage tanks, as well as returned crusted sodium bicarbonate back into full tanks. “The sodium bicarbonate helps maintain the chemistry of the water,” said Nursing major Sam Roebuck. “It is important to keep things stable.”

Another group of students were assigned to research and received an impromptu physics lesson from Professor Kenney to aid them in the work. “We basically have to figure the best way to insulate the tank [shipping container] is,” said Applied Atmospheric Sciences major, Thomas Vaughan. “The insulation will ensure that artifacts are not exposed to extreme water temps as the weather changes throughout the year.” Insulation Research on Honors College Day

The services done by other students did not relate directly to artifact preservation, but were equally important. Biology major Adrian Modzik was assigned to the cleaning crew and helped vacuum parts of the lab. “My main job was to get rid of the spiders. There’s a BIG spider problem here.”

Martha Ervin’s group didn’t have to deal with the weather or creepy-crawlies – they were warm and dry in the office filing papers. “We actually went through all the files and switched from metal to plastic paper clips so that artifact documentation was not corroded,” said Martha, a Middle Grades Education major.

Despite the miserable weather, every student enjoyed their time spent at the QAR Lab. “We had a great time, and I hope to possibly come back and volunteer in the future,” said Hospitality Management major Megan Woodlief.

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