'Meet the Scientist’
The aims of the project would be to develop an outreach activity based on the “meet the scientist” format currently delivered at MOSI.
“Meet the Scientist” is an event typically hosted by MOSI on a weekend whereby a scientist or engineer is present at MOSI fronting an interactive exhibition of some kind. Throughout the day the scientist may deliver (a very short informal) presentation to those gathered and go on to demonstrate key ideas and aspects through interactive demonstrations. Themes for this event currently in existence include telecommunications, acoustics, jet engines, electrical systems and pharmaceuticals.
The objectives of the project would be to expand this portfolio under the theme “Energy Futures”. The global energy crisis would be presented as one of the major issues society needs to address in the (near) future and how future solutions to the energy generation/storage/delivery mix demand new thinking by the next generation of scientists.
Specific examples of aspects of potential energy futuresinclude:
- New Photovoltaic materials and devices
- Solar Catalytic Materials (for eg the generation of hydrogen)
- New Materials for the solid state storage of hydrogen (for both stationary and mobile applications)
- Improved Li ion batteries and metal hydride batteries for mobile applications.
- New membrane materials for fuel cells (both low/mid temperature PEM fuel cells and high temperature solid oxide fuel cells)
- Efficient thermoelectric materials.
- Wave and Tidal Power
- Wind Power
- A distributed Grid
- Nuclear Power, new fission reactors and fusion
A number of messages could be put across to enthuse and engage potential young scientists through such an event including:
- Society’s need for a sustainable energy future
- The wealth of scientific/technical employment opportunities that are/will be available to trained scientists
- The environmentally friendly aspects of the technologies outlined above.
Many of the technologies outlined above lend themselves to hands-on demonstration activities. One of the project outputs would be to develop and make available demonstration rigs to MOSI. Examples may include:
- A hydrogen based demonstration could couple:
- Hydrogen generation (possibly from photocatalysis)
- Solid State Hydrogen storage (eg. Structural changes in metal hydrides on absorption of hydrogen could be observed in situ in a suitable container).
- The generation of electricity via hydrogen fuel cells.
- Thermoelectric materials could be demonstrated by directly observing the effect of current generated from such materials exposed to a temperature gradient.
- The generation of electricity in photovoltaic materials (there are suitable demonstration facilities that can be bought off-the-shelf in this instance).
- Windmill design and testing
Associated with the theme and these demonstration rigs a number of accessible presentations (to be delivered either in a rolling format or by the visiting scientist(s)) to explain the science and technology behind the theme.
Another output would be the delivery of a number “meet the scientist” events at MOSI (or at other locations in the North West) with the scientist(s) being provided by the partner HEIs. Another output would be the training of ambassadors, provided through links made available through STEMNET, to assist at “meet the scientist events”. Such ambassadors could further use their training and facilities developed through this project in a variety of other formats including schools outreach activities, science festivals, science busking ……
● Expanded 'Meet the Scientist' portfolio based on raising awareness of renewable energy and applications
● Young scientists enthused to engage with STEM
● Improved cross-institutional collaboration on targeted OEE activities