CEEatGT graduate students present at the Second Annual STEM Expo

Yixuan Sun and Longde Jin, graduate students working with Professor Haiying Huang of the CEEatGT GeoSystems Engineering group, gave poster presentations at the Second Annual Georgia Tech STEM Education Research Expo organized by the Georgia Tech Student Chapter of the American Society for Engineering Education (GT-ASEE) on March 5th at the Colony Bistro.

The STEM Expo aims at highlighting current STEM education research that is being conducted on campus by GT faculty, researchers, and graduate students. The titles of their presentations are: “What is hydraulic fracturing?” and “Faults, Volcanoes, Stratification and Segregation”.

Yixuan presented a demonstration experiment to illustrate the process of hydraulic fracturing using common kitchen items. Hydraulic fracturing as a naturally occurring phenomenon as well as its engineering applications are introduced. In particular, factors affecting the geometry and orientation of a hydraulic fracture are illustrated. The experiment could serve as an education tool for the general public. It also ties into the Earth Science unit education for middle schools in Georgia, e.g., the performance standards S6E6 – the human impact on Earth.

Longde showcased a tabletop demonstration cell developed to aid the 6th grade Earth Science education. The Earth Science unit is relatively new in the science curriculum in Georgia. It was first introduced into the Georgia Performance Standards for the 6th grade in 2005-2006. This particular demonstration cell, manufactured in house by our own Andy Udell, could provide hand-on experience in learning fundamental concepts in the 6th grade Science Standards S6E5, for example, the types of faults (converging and diverging boundaries) and volcanoes, as well as the process of spontaneous stratification and segregation in sedimentation. The novelty of this demonstration cell is in its multifunction. It provides a platform for illustrating all aforementioned concepts using just one experimental setup.

Both outreach activities are supported by NSF/CAREER through grant NSF/CMMI-1055882.


Yixuan Sun (left) and Longde Jin.