Many natural surfaces, such as lotus leaves and a water strider’s leg, have shown striking water repellency so that they remain clean and dry even in “dirty” habitats. Such water repellency is called superhydrophobicity, which has stimulated lots of science and engineering imagination for self-cleaning windows, never dirty clothes, drag-reduction swimming suits, etc. In this workshop, we will use superhydrophobicity as a model to guide an integrative teaching and learning experience through hands-on experiments, critical thinking, basic science, as well as a lecture on state-of-the-art research discoveries. The objectives of this workshop are to (1) stimulate student curiosity and imagination through simple hands-on experiments to reproduce a superhydrophobic surface with simple resources like candles or sandpapers with dishes or glass slides, (2) link diverse daily life phenomena to superhydrophobic science and demonstrate how high-school physics plus critical thinking can be used together to advance fundamental science even today, (3) establish lesson plans for STEM education with a wide range of activities that can be adopted by different education levels (K-12), in different classes, and on different subjects. This superhydrophobic surface model can be easily extended to various bioinspired designs to further the interdisciplinary education on biology, chemistry, mechanics, etc. In general, this workshop will foster a life-learning habit that encourages students to keep their eyes open on daily observations and correlate them to the fundamental concepts they learn in the classroom.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.