NHA NEWS


Los Alamos National Laboratory Workshop Educates the Educators

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), in New Mexico (U.S.A.), recently hosted the National Educators’ Workshop from 27-30 October 1996. One hundred and twenty participants from 23 states attended the 11th annual workshop/conference aimed at improving the teaching of materials science, engineering, and technology. High school and college educators attended sessions in which speakers demonstrated experiments that can be duplicated in the classroom and participated in workshops that took them into the labs of LANL staff members to bring leading edge materials/technologies into the classroom.

The Hydrogen Education Outreach Activity of the Science Education Program Office at LANL developed a special theme for this year’s conference: Hydrogen and the Materials of a Sustainable Energy Future. Goals of this conference component were to provide educators with up-to-date information about hydrogen production, storage, utilization, and related materials and to stimulate classroom and informal educational opportunities in the development and diffusion of hydrogen technologies.

There was a real-time World Wide Web conference for the hydrogen component. Each hydrogen program was captured through CU-SeeMe software and sent out over the Internet. Each conference site had an e-mail address, and many remote participants were identified. In addition, a Web site (http://education.lanl.gov/RESOURCES/h2/) was developed to provide conference materials.

Staff members at LANL built a solar hydrogen energy generation kit that was demonstrated. The prototype kit contained a photovoltaic array and an electrolyzer. As a way to demonstrate how the renewably generated hydrogen could be utilized, a small, radio-controlled vehicle powered by a proton exchange membrane fuel cell built at LANL was shown.

High Schoolers Learn, Too

The Hydrogen Education Outreach Activity has also been working with a group of chemistry students from Los Alamos High School. The group meets on a weekly basis to learn about hydrogen and prepare to build the hydrogen energy generation unit. LANL staff members have given lectures and demonstrations at these evening sessions. The students and their teacher attended the conference on scholarships.

Other workshops covered hydrogen transport through metals, modeling codes for evaluating hydrogen-powered vehicles, fuel cells for transportation and utility applications, hydride-based batteries, and hydrogen separation.

The National Educators’ Workshop was sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the NASA Langley Research Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Norfolk (Virginia, U.S.A.) State University.

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