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MAKER: Piezoelectric Crystal Experiments for High School Science and Engineering Students

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Make It!

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Paper Authors


William H. Heeter Porter High School Engineering Dept.

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My name is William (Bill) Heeter. I graduated from Texas A&M with an
Engineering degree in 1973. I worked in Industrial Distribution for over 30
years before becoming a high school pre-engineering teacher. I have been
teaching engineering and technology for the past 13 years. I have been a
Master Teacher for "Project Lead the Way", CTE co-Director, CTE
Building Chair, Technology Teacher. My students have received many
awards and college scholarships. One group of students received a
provisional U.S. Patent. Several students have seen their work actually
produced by industry, including the ordering touch screens used by

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Sheng-Jen Hsieh Texas A&M University

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Dr. Sheng-Jen (“Tony”) Hsieh is a Professor in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Engineering Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include engineering education, cognitive task analysis, automation, robotics and control, intelligent manufacturing system design, and micro/nano manufacturing. He is also the Director of the Rockwell Automation laboratory at Texas A&M University, a state-of-the-art facility for education and research in the areas of automation, control, and automated system integration.

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Jun Zou Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University

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Jun Zou received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. In 2004, he joined in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Texas A&M University, where he is currently an associate professor. His current research interests lie in the development of micro and nano opto-electro-mechanical devices and systems for biomedical imaging and sensing applications. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and SPIE.

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The paper describes the design, construction, and evaluation of an instructional module for K-12 science and engineering students on energy harvesting using piezoelectric crystals. The module consists of a combination of lecture and activities. The lecture component covers the history of piezoelectric materials, how they work, how to use them to generate energy, and how to measure the amount of energy generated. The activity component includes how to make a piezoelectric crystal, and an embedded assessment, pre assessment, and post assessment. The module was used in three engineering classes. Students worked in teams to prepare crystals and successfully tested them. An evaluation of the module indicated that a high level of learning was achieved. In addition, the students all enjoyed the hands on experience. This module was created as a result of attending a Summer Research Experiences for Teachers program at Texas A&M University in 2014.

Heeter, W. H., & Hsieh, S., & Zou, J. (2016, June), MAKER: Piezoelectric Crystal Experiments for High School Science and Engineering Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25635

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