This year, there are 9 research teams in the Engineering Design and Development class of the North Penn High School engineering academy.  The main research endeavors that the students are involved with are listed below.  Many of the students within these teams will also be performing various extended and supplementary experiments.  A team research section will be added to the website soon to share various images and videos of the students' research.  Please check back soon!
 

  Photovoltaic, Thermoelectric and Piezoelectric
  Energy Harvesting Roof System

ENERGY
RESEARCH

  Darren Deeck  |  Beau Meingossner  |  Alexander Vuong

Globally, there is a need for more efficient energy sources because many of the current methodologies of generating electricity are inefficient and harmful to the environment. We believe that by utilizing different aspects of our surroundings and capitalizing from the energies already actively present, we can collect energy from our environment with minimal impact. Our intended goal is to develop an energy harvesting device that will harvest energy via photovoltaic, thermoelectric and piezoelectric processes.

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First time electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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First time electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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Preparing a PVDF solution!
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First time electrospinning PVDF nanofibers!
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Zeiss Optical Microscope Characterization!
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Zeiss Microscope Slides
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Electrospinning
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Go Team!
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First Piezoelectric Characterization
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2nd Piezoelectric Characterization
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Eletrospinning
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2nd Nanofiber development
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Piezoelectric Tab Development
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Piezoelectric Tab Development
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Piezoelectric Tab Development
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3rd PVDF Electronspinning fabric
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3rd PVDF Electronspinning fabric
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Electrical characterization

 

  Virtual Reality Systems in Education
  Educational Virtual Reality Technologies
 
Click Here to Visit Our Blog!

EDUCATION
RESEARCH

  Harris Levine  |  Julia Santos  |  Bryan Moed  |  Anthony Quigel (MCCC Student)

In a globalized landscape where information is available to all with literacy and internet access, many students remain unprepared for the demands of a college curriculum or a career in the workforce. Due to the rapid advancement of technology and skills needed in the workforce, many teaching methodologies are inefficient in developing the skills necessary to ensure employment in a competitive environment. By employing virtual/ augmented reality technologies, traditional mandates of curricula could be bypassed, which would allow for the use of individualized, hands-on simulations to teach a broad range of skills from simple to complex and abstract concepts. By employing experiential virtual learning, students could acquire content at a more efficient rate. We now possess the ability to step beyond the various constraints of a typical classroom and can offer immersion into any scenario imaginable regardless of economic, feasibility, or safety constraints. The doors that are opened with the implementation of VR are infinite, including personalized curricula to a variety of careers and vocations that exist or are just emerging!

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EVRT Team: 1st Summer Meeting!
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EVRT Team: 2nd Summer Meeting!
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Thank You North Penn Educational Foundation!
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VR Computer is up and running!
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Julia is setting up the VR apparatus!
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Dr. James Perkins from St. Paul's School in London!
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The team developed a test environment!
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Brian showing the test environment!
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Brian showing the test environment!
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Google Cardboard
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Google Cardboard
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Harris Levine testing the Google Cardboard
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Bryan showing their Gantt Chart
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ReliefBand!
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ReliefBand!
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ReliefBand
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ReliefBand meeting with Christine Fonock-Smith!

 

  Nanofiber-Based
  Advanced Battery Separators

ENERGY
RESEARCH

  Nick Crisler  |  James Drinkwater  |  Jake Yoder

With the sudden increase in portable electronics comes the race for manufacturers to develop a more efficient battery to power these advanced devices.  Battery separators, a major component of all batteries, place limitations on their efficiency. Our goal is to design and develop the most efficient battery separator which will allow a battery to perform at its optimum level by capitalizing from the fundamentals of nanotechnology and materials science.

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First time electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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Preparing their 1st polymer solution!
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If you don't document it, you didn't do it!
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Electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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Penny battery experimentation
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Magnesium experimentation
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Magnesium experimentation
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Magnesium experimentation
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Innovo/MagTech Joint Research - MAFC Characterization
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Innovo/MagTech Joint Research - MAFC Characterization
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Innovo/MagTech Joint Research - MAFC Characterization
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Innovo/MagTech Joint Research - MAFC Characterization
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MAFC Lighting an LED with Saltwater!
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MAFC Characterization!
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1st Round Battery Separator Development
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1st Round Battery Separator Development
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1st Round Battery Separator Development

 

  Advanced Anode and Cathode Materials for
  Magnesium Air Fuel Cells

ENERGY
RESEARCH

  Brian Pilat |  Matthew Shaw  |  Tyler Uhler

Electricity is an amenity that is often taken for granted and the are more than 1.2 billion people worldwide who do not have access. Electricity is a scarce resource, especially in isolated locations and developing nations.  There are cost effective, efficient and clean methods of generating electricity but are not yet viable for large scale applications.  Once such method is a Magnesium Air Fuel Cell (MAFC).  Currently, it yields a performance similar to a standard AA battery while being a 100% clean energy source using salt water to power it.  Our research will focus on characterizing its current limitations and strive to increase its potential power generating capabilities by capitalizing from the benefits of nanotechnology and materials science.

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First time electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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Preparing SEM Stubs for analysis!
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Analyzing their research on the Hitachi TM3030 Scanning Electron Microscope!
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Innovo / MagTech joint research!
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Innovo / MagTech joint research!
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Innovo / MagTech joint research!
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Innovo / MagTech joint research: Anode/cathode material testing.
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Innovo / MagTech joint research: Anode/cathode material testing.
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MAFC Lighting an LED with Saltwater!
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Custom characterization circuit:  PCB design
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PCB manufacturing
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PCB manufacturing: layout transferred.
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PCB manufacturing: etched.
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PCB manufacturing: etched.
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PCB manufacturing: tinning the PCB.
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PCB manufacturing: drilling the PCB.
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PCB manufacturing: First prototype
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PCB manufacturing: First prototype
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PCB manufacturing: Testing to first PCB.
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PCB manufacturing: Testing the first PCB.
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3D Printed Fuel Cell Holder.
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First complete test!
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Data collection
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Modifying the fuel cell holder.
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Version 2!

 

  Advanced Material Development:
  Shape Memory Polymers

MATERIALS
RESEARCH

  Zandon Grant  |  Justin Hrusovsky  |  Evin Karatas  |  Sam Rouni

Shape memory polymers are growing in interest with scientist and engineers all over the world at a rapid rate. These materials allow for a great range of capabilities that could be applied to the development of a new material application from vehicles that repair themselves after an accident to medical devices that can adapt to heat or light depending upon the intended application and function.  Our research this year will focus on the design and develop of a temperature based shape memory polymer.

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Preparing a polymer solution to electrospin nanofibers.
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First time electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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Analyzing their research on the Hitachi TM3030 Scanning Electron Microscope!
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Reviewing latest published to hopefully stand on the shoulders of giants!
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Reviewing latest published to hopefully stand on the shoulders of giants!

 

  Photovoltaic, Thermoelectric and Piezoelectric
  Energy Harvesting Roof System

ENERGY
RESEARCH

  Anthony Brigidi  |  Jason Ellstrom  |  TJ Schmidt

On average, a single household pays approximately $1350 a year for electricity.  The most common current method of generating electricity is from fossil fuels and nuclear plants; however,  these methods produce large amounts of pollution and in most cases are non-renewable. We plan to capitalize from the benefits of materials science and nanotechnology to harvest energy from the environment. We will use piezoelectric materials to harvest energy from motions and forces within the environment (wind and rain), thermoelectric materials to collect the energy produced through thermal differences, and photovoltaic cells to harvest the energy emitted from the sun. By capitalizing from the recent advancements made with current nanotechnology research, we plan to harvest energy from natural, abundant, non-polluting resources.

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First time electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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Their electrospinning apparatus
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Nanofiber reconstitution: Pure Research
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Analyzing their research on the Hitachi TM3030 Scanning Electron Microscope!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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Dye-Sensitized TiO2 Blackberry Solar Cell Development!
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SUCCESS!!!!
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SUCCESS!!!!
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SUCCESS!!!!
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SUCCESS!!!!
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A week later without the addition of the electrolyte... still have results!
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A week later without the addition of the electrolyte... still have results!
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A week later without the addition of the electrolyte... still have results!
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Piezoelectric research is next!
 

  Advanced Wireless Energy
  Transfer System Development

ENERGY
RESEARCH

  Aaron Dietterich  |  Engy Khoshit  |  Scott Schrum  |  Noah Wendt

Traditional methods of charging and powering electronic devices are expensive, ineffective, and disorderly. This problem has continued to evolve as the development of portable electronic devices has become more prevalent in modern society.  Implementing a wireless energy transfer process would provide a cost-effective, hassle-free, and viable solution by drastically reducing the amount of electrical components and resources spent either purchasing or replacing the charging devices. The implications would result in less reliance on the proximity of an outlet to recharge or power a device, allowing for more mobility.

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Settiing up the electrospinning apparatus!
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The team's first electrospinning activity
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Proof of Concept: Wireless Energy Transfer - Lighting an LED wirelessly!
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Proof of Concept: Wireless Energy Transfer - Lighting an LED wirelessly!
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Think tank!  Reviewing necessary formulas and calculations!
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Oscillator research and coil development!
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Oscillator research and coil development!
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Oscilloscope characterization.
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Colpitts oscillator development
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More calculations and research!
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A few more calculations!
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More experimentation!
 

  Microencapsulated Non-Newtonian Based
  Concussion Prevention Materials

MATERIALS
RESEARCH

  Jason Sands  |  Jonathan Storms

Approximately two-million sports and recreation related concussions occur every year in the United States. Developing a new material that capitalizes from the properties of non-Newtonian fluids to reduce the number of concussions, while maintaining the integrity of the sport or activity, will be our goal this year.

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First time electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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Using Google Hangouts for an absent student to "remote in" to the experiment!
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Electrospinning nanofibers!
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Created nanofibers!
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1st attempt to microencapsulate a non-Newtonian fluid.
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Non-Newtonian fluid.
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Microencapsulation process.
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Resulting fibers generated!
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Shear thinning fluid!
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Shear thinning fluid!
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Testing apparatus idea.
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Ferromagnetic non-newtonian fluid!
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Ferromagnetic non-newtonian fluid!
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Preliminary 3D printed idea for test apparatus!
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Ferromagnetic Shear Thinning Fluid!
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Microencapsulation Fluid
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Microencapsulation
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Zeiss Microscopy analysis
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3D Printed Test Chamber
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Arduino force sensor code
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Structural analysis
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Structural analysis testing
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Structural analysis testing
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Structural analysis
 

  Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting &
  Storage Development

ENERGY
RESEARCH

  Jonathon Deddy  |  Nicholas Hendrzak

In today's world of leisure, commerce and education, electronic devices play a crucial role in making the tasks within them more efficient. However, current battery technologies have significant energy loss due to thermal generation during energy conversion processes.  To increase the efficiency of a battery, we plan to develop a nanofiber-based structure that is designed to capture the wasted thermal energy and convert it back to electrical energy, ultimately increasing the efficiency of the battery. 

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First time electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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First time electrospinning polymer nanofibers!
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Designing their 1st experiment.
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Gathering necessary materials for 1st electrospinning endeavor
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Preparing for first epsin endeavor in the fume hood
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Electrospinning in the fume hood!
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Thermoelectric nanofibers? Hopefully...
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Analyzing an IME: Interdigitated Microsensor Electrode
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Analyzing an IME: Interdigitated Microsensor Electrode
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Four Point Probe Characterization
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Seebeck analysis preparation
 

 

  NASA Hydrophobic Nanofiber Research
  Special Education Communication Devices
  Advanced Clock System
  Custom Application Development
  Water Transport Protection

RESEARCH

      Engineering Projects In Community Service Club
 
Below are a few videos from the 2015-2016 school year research endeavors.  The video below is the final presentation offered by the students on June 1, 2016. 

2016 Philly Materials Day Images

 

Core-Sheath Phase Change Nanofibers

Electronic Plants Thermoelectric Cells Atmospheric Pressure Research
     
     
     
Below are a few videos from the 2014-2015 school year research endeavors.  The video below is the final presentation offered by the students on June 3, 2015. 

2015 Philly Materials Day Images

 

PAN-CU Nanofibers

Dow Engineers Visit NPHS Superconductive Nanofibers We Have Vision!
     
     
Below are a few videos from the 2013-2014 school year research endeavors.  The video below is the final presentation offered by the students on June 4, 2014. 

2014 Philly Materials Day Images

 

Electrochromic Glass

Photochromic Nanofibers Microparticle Encapsulation Electrochromic Film
     
     

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More YouTube Videos
     
 
 

Drexel University FEI XL30
Hitachi TM3000

Scanning Electron Microscopy

 
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Click here to visit a sampling of SEM Images from past student research teams


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