For the budding scientist or beginning writer, an archival pen makes a unique and lasting gift.
Whether it’s because the recipient has the love of the written word, or because her scientific chicken scratch may someday revolutionize the world, sometimes it’s worth investing in the right means of recording data. Archival pens are designed to make sure the information recorded today is just as understandable in a decade or three.
The value of these writing devices begins with the fact that the roller does not damage the surface of the paper on which it is written. That means there is one less way for the paper to deteriorate over time. Additionally, we’ve all seen the movies and read the books where a great secret is revealed by doing a rubbing of the paper below the one that was written on. A pen that does not damage the paper it’s writing on won’t leave an impression on the next page.
The ink in these pens also does not fade over time, or feather to the incomprehensible blotches that we observe in some historic writings. Once the ink is dry it is waterproof and smear-proof, ready to withstand the conditions of the laboratory or of the writer’s tears as he finishes that heartfelt poetry.
Giving the gift of an archival pen is a way of acknowledging that the recipient’s work – whether it’s scientific discoveries or romantic sonnets – is worth preserving. When you give a gift that preserves their work for a lifetime, the recipient understands how much you value what they do.
Teaching your students the basic foundations of calculus and physics can be a great starting point for future engineers. For real world applications, one of the best things teachers can do is introduce them to the proper use of an engineering notebook.
Many people unfamiliar with the scientific world assume that to prove an idea is your own or that you created an invention, you only need to show some basic information outlining the idea. Most assume that any evidence of the idea’s origins will be sufficient and protect them when they are ready to patent the product or begin selling their improved systems.
Sadly, the reality is that the scientific theft – from the appropriation of basic ideas to the straight-out theft of designs – is a scientific tradition. Thomas Edison is known to have capitalized on the efforts of Nikola Tesla, for example, promising Tesla huge rewards for fixing the problems with Edison’s designs, only to renege on those promises. Tesla learned the lesson quickly and began patenting his designs himself, but despite his major contribution to modern society, he died penniless.
When you as a teacher instruct your students in the proper use of an engineering notebook to record their ideas, experiments, and designs, you help prepare your students for the intense and often unethical competition they will face once they have completed their education — and possibly even before. Properly designed notebooks for scientists concentrate not only on preserving the material recorded in them, but also on verifying the processes used and the date the discoveries were made.
The legal protections offered by properly formatted laboratory notebooks are perfect for the budding engineer or inventor, but what many people miss is how important these notebooks can be for non-scientific uses.
Almost every family has someone who chronicles the family history, or writes songs, or develops new recipes that are family heirlooms. No one wants to see those lost forever by a spilled soda, or simply the ravages of time, and one of the best ways to prevent that is to use an archival pen in a good notebook.
With the right ink, the writing will not fade, feather, or run, and with the right paper, whatever you’re writing can be preserved for decades to come. These permanently bound notebooks offer archival paper meant to hold up to moisture, chemical exposure, and more, creating a long-term record of the things that are important to you.
Whether it’s Aunt Emma’s cherry cobbler recipe, a chemical formula to eliminate soap scum on showers, or the beginnings of cancer research that wipes the disease out forever, using a laboratory notebook to record these important things is the first step in making sure that they are documented forever.
Regular notebooks will yellow with age, and ink can fade to the point where it is no longer decipherable, but when you take the right precautions, your notes will be as legible in 30 years as they are today. Choosing to make an investment in the things you want to keep is simply a matter of good sense.
Everyone has something that they want to keep forever – be it bad poetry, love letters, or scientific notes. To help make sure that forever really is possible, those important words and notations should be written with an archival pen.
Preserving the words you want to keep forever with paper and ink may seem a tad old-fashioned, until you remember that in the last 25 years computer storage devices have progressed from cassette tapes and large floppy disks, to thumb drives and cloud storage. At the same time, those hand-written letters from decades ago are still the same and still easily accessible.
Pen and paper, though it degrades with age, doesn’t seem to run the risk of being made obsolete with the next computer upgrade.
Of course, writing with just any old ink pen can spell disaster if the writing gets wet, the ink smears, or bright lights cause it to begin to fade. With an archival pen, you can avoid all those problems. Archival pens come in a variety of colors, and six different point sizes, with every tip protected by a steel sleeve.
When it is dry, the ink won’t smear, and it is resistant to chemical damage and waterproof. In short, just about the only way to ruin this ink is to ruin the paper that it is written on. The ink won’t fade or bleed through the page, meaning you can write your heart’s desires or your grandma’s favorite recipes, on both sides of the page, and preserve them for generations to come.
Research notebooks are vital to any laboratory or business that has employees who are working on a project that may one day be patented. Specific notebooks are designed for research use with features to record daily information during the processes dealing with the project.
Detailed notes are painstakingly recorded by hand on the pages of a notebook. Preliminary, then highly detailed sketches may also be required when a person is working on an invention or scientific experiment. A researcher may keep daily records, which provide proof of dates for when work is conducted. This protects the data from being claimed or stolen by another entity. Should the laboratory or business ever have to go to court over the ownership of the materials, the meticulously recorded data is readily available for additional proof and protection.
A detailed pre-printed series of pages, which feature graph paper, signature blocks, and areas to list the project number and other pertinent information, fills the notebook. These notebooks are designed to meet criteria for patent laws.
Archival paper, which is acid-free, is important for any permanent record. The use of archival ink is also vital for note-taking and sketches that must last for decades. Scans and computer records are fine, but the original paperwork is the absolute when a patent is being challenged in court. The research notebook is independent of any one person or team, as a long-lived project may be done by a series of individuals who are employed by a specific business.
Going to college can be an entirely new experience for many students. Living away from home, meeting new people, and a finding a whole new set of responsibilities are just a few of the experiences awaiting students. Being self-reliant and getting prepared is one of the most important aspects of being a successful college student. If a college chemistry class is on the schedule, then students should start gathering supplies and materials well in advance. Some items, like a laboratory notebook, may not be easily found at the local office or school supply store and may need to be specially ordered.
Chemistry is a class required for most students majoring in science. It covers a wide range of topics, and students will be called upon to participate in a number of experiments. Most of the lab equipment used for these experiments will be provided by the school or teacher. The student will be expected to supply certain things, however. Much of the student-supplied material is needed for personal safety and for record keeping which includes detailed notes on the experiments and lecture notes.
Teachers will typically provide students in advance with a list of items required for class. Most campus stores will carry the majority of these items. Often the instructor will recommend places to find any out-of-the-ordinary items. Safety goggles will most definitely be needed, as will a laboratory notebook. For science majors, it may make sense to purchase the notebooks in bulk to save money over the course of the years spent in school.
An aspiring engineer uses a book to record ideas, quick sketches, and detailed drawings for future projects. These bound notebooks are lightweight and easy to carry on field trips. The book should lie flat to allow for ease of access to a full page to complete a sketch of a new idea.
The sketchbook is sewn in sections for a firm binding of the pages, to keep them intact for years. Many engineers and inventors keep all of their sketches for reference as they put their ideas into action. Plain white pages are made from acid-free material for long-lasting archival quality. Idea sketches and plans for how an idea might work should be recorded with an archival pen.
A professional quality notebook offers plenty of space for a student to draw out an idea or invention, as well as the steps taken to bring the idea to life.
A set of notebooks can be numbered and have the year as a reference point for the artist to keep track of work over a period of time. The number is embossed on the spine of the book so that it is easily read when stored on a shelf. The hard cover of the book protects the series of pages. A school name can be
embossed on the cover for the students who enroll in art classes. A bound notebook is a compact carryall for an entire series of ideas, research, and trial runs for new inventions and products.
As the educational system places ever increasing value on test results, teachers are forced to spend less time teaching and more time preparing students for taking tests. Science receives less and less attention overall, because in many locations it is not a required testing subject. A 1999 study in Northern California showed that elementary school teachers spent only about 8% percent of their teaching time on science. Conversely, in places where science is actively taught, student results across all curriculums showed marked improvement. Those using scientific notebooks demonstrated better scores on standardized tests across all tested subjects.
How does a science notebook help? The purpose of a science notebook is to act as a compilation of entries that provide a written record of the instructional classroom material experienced by a student over the course of the quarter, semester, or year. This includes notes from lectures and presentations, as well as notes and findings from classroom experiments. The notebooks are like those used by real scientists, and they encourage scientific thinking in students as they explore the world around them.
Students learn how to pose a question, make predictions, formulate a plan, carry out the steps of that plan, and document what occurred. There are places for drawings and sketches, as well as for making additional notes. The thinking skills used can be applied to any subject and can teach students to apply critical thinking skills to any situation or subject. Scientific notebooks teach a structured type of writing style that focuses on the scientific method.
Cleanrooms call for the highest standards of sanitation, and there are certain items that should be allowed in the room, and others that should never be present in the field to prevent contamination. Cleanroom notebooks, proper apparel, and approved pens are a few of the items that are allowed, but what are the other rules about what can enter the sterile field?
Items that are Typically Banned
In almost every case, food, drink, chewing gum, and mints are not allowed. Jewelry, watches, and other personal accessories are not permitted, as outside contaminants can travel on these items. Makeups and perfumes are also banned, as these can also introduce contaminants into the field.
What Should Be Used?
Gloves are to be worn at all times, as fingerprints can interfere with results. Protective hair coverings are usually required, to prevent hair and dandruff from entering the field. Street clothes must be covered by the appropriate gowns, and shoe coverings are almost always required. Cleanroom notebooks and approved pens are also permitted in the room.
Although the cleanroom must be cleaned thoroughly and regularly, only approved materials must be used. Mops, disinfectants, cleanroom wipes, and vacuum cleaners are permitted so long as they meet industry cleanroom standards. Paper towels and cloth towels may be used for cleaning—in some cases—but are not permitted for the drying of hands.
Cleanrooms have strict rules for which items are allowed and which items are not permitted in the space. Cleaning regulations are also closely monitored to ensure that the results of any study are not impacted, and that any dangerous materials being used will not compromise the health and safety of those inside the space or the surrounding area.