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What serious science can one do with $100 or less ? Himanshu Jain, Lehigh University , DMR 0844014. Temperature controller built by REU students. … Build Low Cost Instrumentation for Glass Science.

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slide1

What serious science can one do with $100 or less ?

Himanshu Jain, Lehigh University , DMR 0844014

Temperature controller built by REU students

…Build Low Cost

Instrumentation for Glass Science

  • Goal:Design and build instrumentation capable of real glass science investigations for under $100.
  • Approach:Engage students in designing and fabricating the analytical measurement tools using low-cost and readily available components, to investigate the mysteries of material science
  • Outcome:Recent examples of student built instruments
  • Temperature controlled microscope hot stage
  • Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) apparatus
  • Electrometer for ultra low conductivity
  • Experiments based on these instruments have produced results that demonstrate the glass transition and crystallization phenomena in sugar glass (candy) quantitatively.

REU student builds a micro-processor-controlled robot

DTA apparatus using common lab glassware and student- assembled thermocouples.

Graph demonstrates glass transition using the low-cost , student-built DTA

slide2

Cooperative Learning: A strategy to enhance REU experience

Himanshu Jain, Lehigh University , DMR 0844014

A cooperative learning strategy was explored with the REU students, who designed and built low-cost instruments for glass research. This approach, comprising of: (1) adviser-led hands-on group sessions, (2) peer teaching, and (3) independent investigation, is proven to be far more effective in stimulating the interest of undergrads in research than commonly practiced mode of working with a graduate student.

Independent

project work

Student receives help from his adviser, Dr. Heffner

Students learn from

each other

Cooperative Learning

Hands-on group session

  • Benefits of Cooperative Learning Approach:
  • Team approach enables students to take on challenges beyond their individual abilities
  • Each student brings his/her own strengths and contributions to the team
  • Motivational levels remain consistently high
  • Ability to work on an individual project is encouraged, while remaining part of a team-project