Cordilleran Section - 115th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 11-32
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


POLCINO, Christina, JORY, Billyjack, GRENOT JONES, Laura and SABETY, Jean, Pasadena City College, 1570 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106

The manufacture of metal alloys are ubiquitous, yet infrequently discussed in lower division coursework as the concepts related to them are often too complex or abstract for beginning science students. Earlier introduction to metallurgy in classroom settings can promote an interest in the practical applications of chemistry, physics and geology due to the demonstrable significance of materials in daily use. Several Pasadena City College students involved in an independent undergraduate research initiative have designed a series of experiments exploring how eutectic systems can be employed as both engaging and accessible teaching and learning tools.

Elemental metals with low melting points such as bismuth, zinc and tin are melted down, mixed at various percent compositions, and allowed to solidify. The solidified composites are then broken open to examine the resulting internal structures. Changes in the physical properties of the new compositions are observed, with special attention paid to those with obvious changes.

The experimental results are the basis for a multi-tiered laboratory assignment for high school and early college chemistry and geoscience courses, whether it be in the form of an instructor demonstration or student performed laboratory exercise. These lab assignments will provide both a deeper appreciation of interdisciplinary science and an overall increased interest in STEM fields. From introductory, inquiry-based techniques in chemistry to more advanced concepts in petrology, each lab can be tuned to cover a wide spectrum of educational applications.