Hellstern Middle Schoolers Tour U of A's Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems

Students from Hellstern Middle School tour HiDEC.
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Students from Hellstern Middle School tour HiDEC.

The U of A Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS) in the College of Engineering's Department of Electrical Engineering hosted an on-campus tour for 462 sixth-grade Hellstern Middle School students and their teachers May 22 -24.

The students toured the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission (NCREPT) and participated in demonstrations of electrical energy. The tour of the High Density Electronics Center (HiDEC) included an introduction to the clean room, a demonstration of heat transfer through a diamond plate to cut ice and a hands-on introduction to a 3D printer. The students also toured the U of A campus and lunched at Baum Stadium.

The tours of NCREPT and HiDEC were the culmination of a yearlong partnership that formed out of a National Science Foundation grant. The program began last summer with Shawn Bell, then a seventh-grade science teacher, who is now the science specialist for the U of A STEM Center for Mathematics and Science Education (CMASE), and Mike Jackson, an AP physics and chemistry teacher from Farmington High School, participating in the Research Experience for Teachers program through POETS.

The teachers experienced five short courses with various POETS faculty working in different research areas aimed at the center's research goals. From this, Bell developed a lesson plan centered around thermal energy, heat transfer and how temperature related to kinetic energy. The U of A then partnered with Hellstern Middle School to pilot these lesson plans in their sixth-grade science classrooms in October 2016.

The lesson plans and activities that resulted from the research are available to any teacher who wishes to use them through CMASE as well as the other five STEM centers around the state. Since the lesson plans and activities meet current Next Generation Science Standards, they are useful to anyone in the country.

To see the video produced by the Springdale School system, follow this link:

https://youtu.be/HcLXc2ATXaM

The 2017 RET program is already under way to build on the program created in 2016. The POETS Center's ambitious and innovative research goal is to increase the power density of current mobile electrified systems by 10-100 times over current state-of-the-art systems.  Results from this study could save highway vehicles between 100-300 million liters of fuel per year.

The POETS Center is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. At this center, engineering faculty from the U of A, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Howard University and Stanford University collaborate with members of industry to identify and carry out research projects to improve the power density of next generation electro-thermal systems that are the most relevant to industry needs.

For more information on the U of A POETS education programs, contact Shannon Davis at sgdavis@uark.edu.  For more information on the POETS center, contact Alan Mantooth, deputy director, at mantooth@uark.edu

Contacts

Karin Alvarado, marketing & communications specialist
ELEG
479-575-4958, karina@uark.edu

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