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October 22, 2020 Thursday 06:55:17 PM IST

'Lab in a box' projects for home learning

Teacher Insights

The Materials Department of Imperial College London has faced a new challenge to adapt materials characterisation lab experiments for students currently studying away from campus. This led to the expertise and creativity of their staff and students, with the result being a new 'lab in the box' project. Dr Eleonora D'Elia led the creation of the concept, alongside, Mr Enrico Manfredi-Haylock and Dr Ben Britton. Co-ordinated by Dr Amy Nommeots-Nomm (Research and Development Manager for Royce at Imperial), three undergraduate students led the design and test of a toolkit for ‘at home’ material property characterisation, as part of their summer internship.

The 'lab in the box' will be sent to first-year students to support remote teaching. The box contains 36 items, including many of the items used by first-year undergraduate students while studying in the lab. This includes a sensor kit, power supply, jump wires and a mini-microscope. The placement students, worked to ensure these resources could also be shared with teachers and pupils to carry out experiments on materials science outside of a university context, to breach the current gap in the schools' curriculum. The users of the box will be able to use the equipment to conduct experiments that deepen their knowledge of Materials characterisation, including Thermal conductivity, Electrical Conductivity, Density, and hardness of materials.

(Originally Written by Kayleigh Brewer. Courtesy: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/205993/materials-staff-students-create-projects-home/)