YEAR 10 SCIENCE ‘MAKE MY DAY’ IN LOCKDOWN
At the end of last term, Year 10 Science ‘Make My Day’ completed a unit on plants. Just as schools around Victoria were closing down, our class was planting vegetable seedlings and hoping they would not all die while we were away. Well we are still all away, but the plants have not died. A recent inspection found that the beetroot, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, strawberries and various herbs were all doing well. Check out the photos! The key to good veggies is good soil, correct position, enough water and thoughtful mechanisms for dealing with pests. So far, so good.
The next challenge will be harvesting, as we are not at school to do that. We will have to give that some thought!
This term, the ‘Make My Day’ class is working at home on a unit called Materials and Technology. They are exploring various materials, engineering principles and inventions. One of the ideas examined is nanomaterials. For those of you who are not sure what a nanomaterial is, here are a few examples from the students:
Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component for the gel has been replaced with a gas. The result is a solid with extremely low density and extremely low thermal conductivity. Traditional silica-based aerogels have been successfully used in many applications, such as providing insulation on a Mars Rover. They have also been used in many commercial products. When aerogels are used for commercial purposes, they are typically in pellet form or in a composite with other materials.
A shape-memory alloy is an alloy that can be deformed when cold but returns to its pre-deformed shape when heated. It may also be called memory metal, memory alloy, smart metal, smart alloy, or muscle wire.
Shape memory alloys are used in applications such as osteo-synthesis plates and dental braces. They derive the name due to their property of remembering the prior shape, even if it has undergone significant deformation. One such shape memory alloy used in implants is Nitinol (Ni–Ti Alloy). The two most prevalent shape-memory alloys are copper-aluminium-nickel and nickel-titanium (NiTi), but SMAs can also be created by alloying zinc, copper, gold and iron.
It all started with Rudenov who had sniffed out a lucrative new business via his efforts to snuff out smelly feet and athlete’s feet. These nano-enhanced socks are now sold by his company for around $10 dollars a pair, and they have nano technology that kills bacteria. The only negative is when washed it toxicates the water!