McGee sworn in, nanotechnology students present at School Board meeting
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LANSDALE- Starting the NPSD Board of School Director’s work session meeting on Monday evening, Judge Robert Sobeck swore in Patrick McGee, who was accompanied by his family, as an official member of the Board. The remainder of the meeting was majorly dedicated to a nanotechnology presentation by Mr. Michael Boyer, Technology and Engineering Education Teacher and Department Chair at NPHS, and nine of his students from the Engineering Design and Development (EDD) course, which is offered in the Engineering Academy.
After giving background information regarding the Engineering Academy and the courses offered, Boyer explained that the EDD course is the capstone to the 5-course sequence, which is designed to give students the opportunity to take what they’ve learned from the previous four courses and apply it to real-world situations. Within the course, Boyer manages nine research teams, which the students name and run.
Accompanied by three of those nine teams, which at the Board meeting, Boyer proudly communicated the esteemed invitation that he and his students have received.
“They’ve been invited to go and present their research at an International Science Conference in London at St. Paul’s School. We are the first school to represent the United States at this international conference, and we’re so lucky to have this opportunity,” stated Boyer in his presentation.
Expressing his appreciation towards the district and the Board, Boyer went on to explain that the EDD students went through a selection process. After the twenty-seven EDD students presented their research to a panel of principals and administration, Boyer and the panel selected the eight students in attendance at the meeting this past Friday to represent the United States at the conference.
Giving the students the opportunity to present their research to the Board, Boyer introduced the first of the three teams: Innovo. Jake Yoder, James Drinkwater, and Nick Crisler, who was not in attendance, explained that their research focuses on the advancement of battery separators.
“Our research wants to change the battery. We want to revolutionize it. We want to take that battery separator in the battery and instead of it wasting energy on heat and deterioration through recharging, we want to make it more durable, not overhear, and we want to make sure the power is more efficient and more constant,” explained Drinkwater.
Yoder also went on to discuss their experiments, which involves moving into using two additional polymers and weaving, or aligning, the nanofibers. He explained that the current method of electro-spinning lines the fibers up randomly; they hope to make the porosity more consistent.
Following Innovo, the Nano Energy Technologies (NET) team, led by Anthony Brigidi, Jason Ellstrom, and TJ Schmidt, presented their research, explaining that they aspire to harvest energy through roof shingles from three sources: weather, heat differences, and sunlight.
The trio played a video for the Board and audience, which showed a voltage-reader that increased its reading when exposed to UV rays, and discussed their plans for the future. Before March, they hope to research piezoelectric and/or thermoelectric materials. By the end of the year, the EDD students not only want to research, test, and combine all three methods of energy collection as a proof of concept, but also improve upon it.
NAS Tek, the third and final team to present, was led by Engy Khoshit, Scott Schrum, Noah Wendt, and Aaron Dietterich, who was not in attendance. The team’s research is focused on wireless energy.
“This may seem like it’s a little far-fetched, but it’s quickly becoming a reality,” stated Wendt.
The team went on to describe MIT’s wireless energy research and explained that they made a smaller version to test that their findings were correct. By March, the team hopes to fully replicate the MIT experiment with a few variations.
Before adjourning the meeting, the Board offered the opportunity for public comment, and a student from Gwynedd Square Elementary School took the time to thank the Board for their service and congratulated McGee on being electing to the Board.
The next meeting of the Board of School Directors is scheduled at the Educational Services Center for January 19th, 2017 at 7:30 pm as an Action Meeting.