Course: 25.108 - Introduction to Engineering II (Plastics Engineering)
Instructor: Carol Barry
Partner:UML Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN)
Project Description: Explaining Nanotechnology. The students (in teams) were asked to develop new hands-on activities for the Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN)’s outreach program to extended day program at the Bartlett Middle School in Lowell, MA.
The freshmen were first introduced to the nanoscale and the differences in properties at the nanoscale, selected nano products, and the societal impact issues associated with nanotechnology. A service learning-oriented laboratory session allowed the students to test current K12 outreach activities from the Bartlett School Program, including activities on scale, measurement at the nanoscale, nanotextiles, and ferrofluids. Two weeks later, the students were given an overview of injection molding at the nanoscale; then they presented their modules to Carol Barry and CHN’s Bartlett School outreach leader, Rinky Devre.
Specifics: Mandatory module requiring two 50-minute lectures plus two 110-minute laboratory sessions, separated by two weeks. The S-L project counted for about 16% of the course grade.
Evaluation: The timing and connections in this project, however, were much better than with CHN’s project in spring 2006. As a result, the projects were excellent. All were ready for use in the Bartlett School program and the teams provided instructions for creating more of these units. Overall, CHN was very happy with this S-L project and will sponsor another S-L project – probably aimed at illustrating specific nanomanufacturing concepts - in spring 2008.