RU RET E - 2011 Alumni


Project Title: Solar Cells and Surface Area


Teacher Fellows: Lizette Jackson and Jean Petiote of Plainfield High School

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Klein, Material Science and Engineering


Classroom Lesson: Students will create solar cells using various methods. Data will be gathered and analyzed to determine the efficiency of the solar cell created.  They will be able to create models of their designs and revisit the models to improve upon their devices. Students will apply their designs and create house-models or other living structures to demonstrate the validity of their design and the marketability of their final product.


Website: https://sites.google.com/site/jeanpetioteret201




Project Title: Fabrication of Nanocarbon Fibers



Teacher Fellows: Christopher Setteducato and Richard Decker of Middletown High School North


Faculty Mentor: Dr. Neimark, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


Classroom Lesson: Students are presented with a basic recipe for a slime made from white glue (polyvinyl acetate) and a borate solution.  After following the stock recipe, students will be asked to synthesize their own slime-making process that produces the bounciest slime.  Results will be tested and compared to determine the ideal recipe.  Students will explore how different factors affect the final product and how they can be manipulated to achieve the desired results.

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/fiberengineering/



Project Title: Materials Towards Self -Powered Sensor Technology


Teacher Fellows: Alan Herz and Dr. Robert Winston of Thomas A. Edison CTE High School

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cook-Chennault, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Classroom Lesson: Students will fabricate carbon fiber composites. They will study the mechanical properties of their fabricated carbon fiber composite. Students will explore the electro-mechanical properties of unimorph piezoelectric ceramic material. Other modules-especially those dealing with green environmental considerations: recycling, sustainability alternate source of energy, etc. will be generated.





Project Title: Multifunctional and Net Zero Buildings

Teacher Fellows: Matthew Chernoff and Jerry Silver of Hillsborough High School

Faculty Mentor: Drs. Muller and Cook-Chennault, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Classroom Lesson: Students will measure the energy usage of various household and school devices using power meters and define a daily power usage profile for a house or school. Students will design an overhang to block sunlight in the summer and allow passive solar heat in the winter. They will design, build, and evaluate a solar reflector for solar thermal and photovoltaic uses. Students will minimize heat loss through walls through optimal building design, estimate power generated by a photovoltaic system and compare system designs using computer software.


Website: http://sites.google.com/site/ruretenetzero/home



Project Title: Systems Thinking


Teacher Fellows: Anna Panova and Brian Grieco of Montgomery High School


Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mazurek, Civil and Environmental Engineering


Project Description: Teacher Fellows learned about building efficiency and energy reduction for new and existing buildings. This was a great opportunity to work with the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) for Energy-Efficient Buildings. The GPIC focuses on full spectrum retrofitting of existing average size commercial and multi-family residential buildings.


Classroom Lesson: Students will build a green roof and test it for water absorption, mass, cost effectiveness, and resistance to heat flow (R-value). Students will then redesign their green roofs to fit on an inclined roof. 


Website: http://www.mtsd.k12.nj.us/Page/7101



Project Title: Anaerobic Digestion of Equine Waste


Teacher Fellows: Loren Rogers and Eileen Teel of Thorne Middle School & Elena Podgorny of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Fennell, Department of Environmental Science


Classroom Lesson (Loren & Eileen): Students will analyze the recycling process at Thorne Middle School. Math students will analyze the present recycling process. By use of the Engineering Cycle in conjunction with the curriculum, students will make decisions about how to improve the recycling program, present ideas to the community and help implement the improvements.  Science students will explore the digestion processes through grade level activities and extrapolate the lessons to implementing new types of recycling, such as a building-wide composting program.


Website: https://sites.google.com/a/middletownk12.org/loren-rogers-and-eileen-teel-ret-2011/


Classroom Lesson (Elena): Students will complete a three week unit on bioengineering. They will learn bioenergy vocabulary and current microorganism technologies. Students will apply complete an  engineering resume detailing skills and education. They will learn about simple third world biogas digesters. Students will diagram parts and properties of digester components using flow charts. They will substitute Home Depot equipment for the flow chart components. Students will submit a proposal with a price list for their design. Design voted best will be funded, built and tested.


Website (Elena): http://www.schoolrack.com/epodgorny/


Project Title: Structure and Mechanics of Dental Enamel

Teacher Fellows: Cheryl Kaplun & Dr. Richard Minerley of Scotch Plains-Fanwood Middle School

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mann, Material Science & Engineering

Project Description: Teacher Fellows studied the effect of fluoride on dental enamel. Fluoridation of drinking water is an important issue in public health and its efficacy in treating dental caries will be assessed.

Classroom Lesson: Students build model skyscrapers from a brown
bag of provided materials, such as popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and paperclips. They then test the strength of their skyscrapers using a Leanometer - a unique device that applies a horizontal force and measures the lateral displacement, or sway, of the skyscraper. Similar to a nanoindenter used in the engineering research lab, the Leanometer stresses the material to measure its performance.

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/skyscrapereight/


Project Title: Antimicrobial Biopolymer Nanoparticles

Teacher Fellows: Thomas Paterson & Christopher Hanas of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Shapely, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering


Classroom Lesson: In the physics classroom, students will apply basic physics concepts to develop a device that will be used to separate the clean water from the impurities.  In the mathematics classroom, students will perform graphical analyses of the acceleration felt by suspended particles as a function of their density, fluid's density and applied centripetal acceleration.

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/hanaspatersonret2011/home