2023 Philly Materials Day
Faculty, students, and staff from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), and the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), participated in the 12th annual Philly Materials Day, hosted at Drexel University, on February 11, 2023. The event’s primary objective was to educate K-12 students on how the materials that they use on a daily basis impact the world, and excite their interest in the STEM field.
Eric Stach, Director of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM), oversaw this year’s event on behalf of Penn, who provided 15 of the 34 demonstrations. The hands-on exhibits showcased the diverse scope of materials, including metals, composites, and plastics, and how they can be used in a variety of applications, such as displays, light guiding, food, superconductors, shape morphing, biomedicals, water storage, smart fabrics, and sustainability. Of course, there were many classic, fun activities, such as ice cream making, and running on an oobleck.
Mark Licurse, Director of Education and Outreach at LRSM, commented, “What’s exciting in science and technology these days has a connection to materials. The key for us is to develop good ways to show these links and get kids excited.”
The turnout for the event, a day before the Super Bowl, was electric. “Since the event was planned several months in advance, and with the Philadelphia Eagles playing in the game, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. It seems the interest in science and technology was quite strong and the turnout was pretty incredible,” remarked Kun-Hao Yu, a postdoctoral fellow from the Shu Yang Group.
Among the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the Composto, Murray, Stach, and Yang groups, with Steven Szewczyk overseeing the undergraduate group have contributed to various demos. “Philly Materials Day provided an excellent opportunity for young students to learn and be inspired by materials science,” a Penn student remarked.
Provided below is a list of all Penn Philly Materials Day contributors.
|Lee Bassett||SEAS||ESE||Colors, Lasers, Fluorescence, and Computer Screens|
|Rob Carpick||SEAS||MEAM||Tribology: The Science of Friction|
|Russell Composto||SEAS||MSE||Shrinking Polymers|
|Zahra Fakhraai||SAS||Chemistry||Fun with lights and glasses|
|Ekaterina Grishchuk||SEAS||LRSM||Why is blood liquid in our arteries but it clots quickly in laboratory tubes?|
|Chris Murray||SEAS||MSE||Visualizing Nanoscale Materials|
|E. James Petersson||SAS||Chemistry||Bright Molecules for Brain Studies|
|Jordan Raney||SEAS||MEAM||The Utility of Instability|
|Eric Stach||SEAS||LRSM/MSE||Superconducting Levitation|
|Kathleen Stebe||SEAS||CBE||Introduction to Liquid Crystals|
|Steven Szewczyk||SEAS||MSE||Non-Newtonian Fluids|
|Kevin Turner||SEAS||MEAM||Sticky Materials|
|Liang Wu||SAS||Physics and Astronomy||Electromagnetism Demonstration|
|Shu Yang||SEAS||MSE||Origami /Kirigami and hydrogels|
|Arjun Yodh||SAS||Physics and Astronomy||What is an Emulsion?|