Published on Tuesday August 7, 2012
Drexel University's Department of Materials Science and Engineering just completed its first offering of the Drexel Materials Science and Engineering Summer Institute.
Run and organized by Professor Christopher Weyant, the one-week pay program provided 16 high school students with a hands-on summer research experience learning the roles of materials in biotechnology, energy and electronics, as well as the impact of nanotechnology and sustainability in materials research.
Laboratory modules in electrospinning of nanofibers and nanocrystalline dye-sensitized solar cells allowed the students, working in groups, to conduct experiments exploring how process variables affect material properties and performance. Measurements of nanofiber diameters were made using a scanning electron microscope and digital image processing. Dye sensitized and commercial solar cells were evaluated to determine their power output as a function of light intensity and color.
The participants finished out the week with each group giving an oral presentation on their results and conclusions to family members in the audience.