The Lab of Advanced Manufacturing (LoAM,) led by department of mechanical engineering assistant professor Shuaihang Pan, held their first “experimental corner” at The Leonardo this past weekend. This is part of a quarterly outreach activity to foster STEM education in the community, with a focus on corrasion and friction, the main subjects of research by LoAM.

Students from the LoAM lab put together a series of demonstrations and activities to show participants how to “capture electrons” using corrosion and friction. Participants had the opportunity to create a lemon battery, demonstrating how energy is generated from corrosion. They also showcased how friction generates static electricity using PVC pipe and friction, as well as balloons.

“I was truly touched by the children’s curiosity and excitement as they watched the experiments unfold,” said Bo Zhao, PhD student with the LoAM Lab. “Interacting with the kids, I could sense their growing interest in science and it made me proud to contribute to their learning experience.”

Another participating student echoed the value of working with K-12 students and building their excitement around STEM activities.

“Children’s faces lit up with excitement when they saw lemons, wires, and small LED bulbs,” said Arsham Mousavi, Masters student with the LoAM lab. “It was an immensely gratifying experience, as I knew I was helping these children develop a deeper appreciation for STEM concepts and sparking their curiosity to explore the world of science and technology.”

You can learn more about the LoAM Lab’s work through their website.