CBM2 Participates in Engineering Expo at KU February 25, 2019

The University of Kansas School of Engineering organized an annual event (the Engineering Expo) that gathered 3,000 registered K-12 participants! This year's idea was “Creating the Future”. Engineering Expo is a free multi-day, student-run event that lets visitors explore the fields of engineering including bioengineering, and demonstrates projects tackled and completed by KU students. Engineering professors presented seminars geared towards the young students in attendance.

We were happy to join for the second time the Department of Engineering and co-organize outreach activities related to our area of research. CBM2 prepared experiments on modification of surface properties of polymers. We explained the concept of material hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity.

We made a connection to the following: Why do we work with polymers? And how nanoscale structure affects material properties on a microscale. We prepared demonstrations of “Magic sand” where grains of the sand are coated with hydrophobic layer making the sand act differently than the ordinary sand that is hydrophilic. We talked about in what way nature gives us an idea of how to measure surface hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties.

By bringing the examples of lotus leaves v. clean glass we showed attendees the difference in the shape of water droplet. Students performed oxidation of polymers using UV lamp and measured wettability of oxidized PMMA or PC and compared with unmodified polymers. We drew the connection to our work in polymers and fabrication of thermoplastic devices using materials that are widely present in everyday life. Students observed microfluidic structures under a microscope. We also demonstrated how water contact angle measurements are performed in the lab.


Engineering Expo 2019 Photo Gallery