Knex Electrospinning Project Description

This September, my 11th grade chemistry students will participate in a weeklong electrospinning project.  Drexel researchers Jennifer Atchison and Will Stoy designed a fully functioning electrospinning apparatus using Knex and other affordable parts.  My students will assemble their own electrospinning apparatuses and use them to do a weeklong research project.

The students will work in groups of 4-5 to test the effects of changing one variable in the electrospinning setup.  After they build their apparatuses, the students will engage in a discussion of how it could be changed to be more efficient.  They will then choose one of the following variables to focus on:
  • Spinning Speed
  • Target Distance
  • Solution Surface Tension (can be increased by adding ethanol to the polymer solution)
  • Solution Viscosity (can be increased by adding more polymer)
  • Solution Conductivity (can be increased by adding salt to the polymer solution)
The students will be responsible for designing a sound experimental procedure, running at least three tests, and analyzing their results.  To compare their tests, the students will be able to determine yield in the classroom, and they will also have their samples sent to Drexel to be imaged using the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).  The SEM images will then be analyzed by the students using computer software.

To share their results, each group will construct and present a research poster outlining their procedure, data, and conclusions.

Below you can download the Student Proposal Worksheet, the Project Rubric, Instructions, and the Powerpoint presentation that will be used to introduce the core concepts of nanotechnology and electrospinning.

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Paul Holt,
Aug 18, 2011, 1:20 PM
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Paul Holt,
Aug 18, 2011, 1:20 PM
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