Roberto Dimaliwat, Galena Park High School, Galena Park ISD, PreAP Physics, Grades 11-12, 3 instructional days in January E3 Final Report Thermoelectric Energy Conversion Summary The classroom project is about Thermoelectric Energy Conversion, which involved some lectures thru a power point presentation of the concept of thermoelectric conversion, what the present applications are and how nanotechnology is being applied to improve the existing devices (Peltier modules). It involves a laboratory exercises, post lab discussion and the pretest and post test. (First Day) - The pre test was conducted on the first day. It was rather difficult to follow the suggestion that the pretest be given in September 2010, because I was not sure if I will have the same roster of students for the second semester. The topic of energy is scheduled late December and early January. I decided to give the pretest right before the project started. After the pre test, I presented the concept using the power point presentation I used during the summer session, skipping the more mathematical part of the presentation. I also introduced the concept of nanotechnology and its present applications, the research efforts being done now and how it will impact the future. I likewise discussed the roles of engineers in the research and implementation process. Since a lot of my students are new to the fields of engineering, I introduced briefly what engineers do and what types of engineering are now in the industry. A brief discussion followed where the students verbalized their knowledge of engineering and nanotechnology. (Second Day) - On the second day, I had the equipment set up for 10 groups for the laboratory exercise. In my smaller classes, I limited the groupings by pairs and in my bigger class; they were grouped in three’s. The set up for each group involved a peltier module, 2 thermometers, 2 medium to large beaker (600ml), two aluminum plates, wires, a large clip to hold the plates and module and a voltmeter (multitester). The laboratory handout was condensed to a page and the students were to make their own tables and do their graphs. This is good for them to find out how to be resourceful. The lab took about 30 minutes to complete and the rest of the period was spent in answering the post lab questions. Roberto Dimaliwat, Galena Park High School, Galena Park ISD, PreAP Physics, Grades 11-12, 3 instructional days in January (Third Day) - Some groups finished the lab and post lab but some were not so we had to continue the exercises on the third day. After the lab and post lab were done, I gave them the post test. It took the rest of the period to finish everything including a short summary discussion of the activity. The project went well except for some changes I had to do on the laboratory exercise. Part A was deleted completely and Part C was done as a class demonstration. Part A of the lab is where the module assembly is to be connected to a motor with a small fan and the aluminum plates dipped in ice water and hot water. It was expected that the fan will rotate. During the summer, I tried the lab myself but I think the module that I got was not powerful enough to get the motor turn. I was thinking that maybe I can get some additional funds from my school to buy better peltier modules but it did not happen. We have a new administration and it’s just difficult to get funding for this activity. I decided to scrap Part A and just start with Part B. The voltage readings the students got in all the groups in all my classes for different temperature differences were really good. They were consistent that some students didn’t have to graph them to see the trend. The time allotted for the lab was also just right. I had them get 4 sets of data; one with both beakers having tap water and it was very clear that there is very minimal voltage produced across the module. Then they had tap water, and the other beaker was filled with ice water; then ice water and warm water; the very hot water and ice water. What I did was to have a hot plate shared by two groups and have hot water being heated continuously so as to save time; that is instead of waiting for the water to boil. Having pairs as groups is perfect. Next time I do this, I will try to get another 5 sets (about $300) so as I can have my bigger classes do it in pairs also. The students enjoyed the laboratory exercise. They were all engaged and learning. I will include some pictures I took with this report. Part C turned out to be a demonstration to show that process is reversible instead of them designing the experiment themselves since we didn’t have time to do that part. During post lab discussion the students came up with the set up on how to do the reverse process and we did a class demonstration. The results were also really good. One side of the module turned really hot and the other side was very cold when we applied a voltage on the leads of the module. Applications of the module was discussed during the post lab discussion so with the possible future applications of the technology and other nanotech applications. The only sad part is since we run out of time; I had to do all cleaning and keeping the equipment back to their shelves. Roberto Dimaliwat, Galena Park High School, Galena Park ISD, PreAP Physics, Grades 11-12, 3 instructional days in January The Class Project went well. The pre lab power point presentation was understood well by the students. The laboratory exercise was okay, having been able to finish only Part B of the lab. It would have been great if we had some better peltier modules but as far as the students getting great data/results, it was a successful experiment. What improvements would I make? - - Try to get better peltier modules so I can include Part A of the laboratory exercise. Plan to have at least 4 days to do the whole activity. I was only allowed three days this time since we have some topics I need to cover to make sure the students pass their district tests. Do Part C as part of the laboratory exercise instead of having it as a class demonstration activity. Try to get additional 5 sets of equipment so I can have the students work I pairs instead of the bigger groups. Extend the lesson to more discussions on nanotechnology applications and researches that are being done in the industry now and how these will affect the future.