Posted by: csdailyblog | February 25, 2010

Science Classes Roll Up Their Sleeves at Michigan Tech University

Gretchen, Xaxira, and Casey get to work during their field trip to Michigan Tech University's Materials and Engineering Department.

Science Teacher Robert Eady arranged for Environmental Physics and Environmental Chemistry students  to learn about science at the college level through a field trip last Friday to  Michigan Tech University in Houghton, about a two hour drive from Conserve School.

Robert writes:

Casey at the forge

Students had a bit of blacksmithing experience and were able to forge their own screwdrivers. They observed the casting process and watched molten aluminum being poured into some large belt-buckle molds. They were given a visit to one of 4 Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) on campus, learned how they worked and got to see one zoom in on a tick proboscis, and eventually scan the atoms on the surface of an internal structure.

The classes also got to see a couple of methods for physically measuring stress and strain in an object. One instrument uses a large hammer to determine how much force is necessary to fracture a material. The students had the opportunity to measure the fracture force on steel and titanium, and the elasticity of lexan and polyethelene.

Students also made elastomer balls, and saw an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). Then they made ice cream for lunch using frozen nitrogen — good tasting fun.

Kath and Natalia collaborate.

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