Electronics are very common in all walks of life, but when their production process is limited and they use very few ingredients, they usually produce a lot of waste. The need to develop electronics for energy-efficient manufacturing processes or renewable energy is being addressed by a team of disciplined researchers.
Aspects of the project’s education and human resource development are led by Meg Blancard, associate researcher and professor of science education at NC State College of Education.
Blanchard is part of a team of NC state researchers granting a $ 3 million future manufacturing research grant from the National Science Foundation to further research into electronics and eco-manufacturing processes to address this waste.
The support supports further research on reusable soft electronics ecosystems, such as wearable devices. This is selected by studying the integration of selected biodegradable and recyclable materials and the use of sustainable manufacturing processes guided by economic and environmental life assessments.
The work of the group is divided into five areas: material development, eco-manufacturing, biodegradation / recycling, environmental and economic life assessment and education and human resource development.
Blanchard’s role in the project focuses on curriculum development. She aims to shift the focus of her research to high school science teachers and bring professional relationships to high-level laboratories, classes, and free online courses that reach out to the wider community.
“Solutions to these pressing issues require talent and a diverse workforce. Through this project, high school, undergraduate, postgraduate and postgraduate institutions are expected to train and train diverse students in eco-manufacturing and related sustainability careers, ”Blanchard said.
“When I speak [Principal Investigator and College of Engineering Professor Youg] Many people have asked me about his role in helping him, telling him that he is’ doing the most important part – education and manpower development! I was impressed by how this project reflects the important work being done by the chief investigators and the mission and thinking mission of the NC State.
Blanchard College, in collaboration with Ellis-Sig professor Richard Wendy, said it was working to develop hand laboratories based on the team’s comprehensive manufacturing research and related to next-generation science standards.
Fifteen high school teachers will complete online career development courses during the school year to gain relevant content knowledge in the third year of the project. That summer, Blanchard and Vendett instructors will conduct additional professional development sessions to learn how to recycle soft electronics ecology and incorporate labs, content and professional relationships into their current science courses.
In addition to the laboratory experience, teachers will also be provided with resources to support and engage high school students. Meaningful learning experiences will help students develop professionalism, appreciation and potential in the soft electronics manufacturing industry, Blanchard said.