July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Chemical engineering students learn valuable fundamentals that can be used to enhance the medical field, yet the lack of emphasis on such applications can misguide undergraduate students as they choose their major. To address this misconception, we propose the use of a hands-on, interactive learning tool to expose freshman-level chemical engineering undergraduate students to applications that go beyond the traditional oil refining and catalysis emphases typically discussed in the introductory “Applications in Chemical Engineering” course. We developed a low-cost, modified fidget spinner that introduces students to blood separation principles. On each arm of the spinner, there exists a see-through chamber filled with fluid and microbeads at various ratios, which simulates the effect of hematocrit, or red blood cell fraction, on settling velocities and terminal position—phenomena that are utilized to enhance blood separation efficiencies. Due to COVID-19, we plan to implement this device by mailing fidget spinner kits with a complementary worksheet to the students to conduct observational experiments at home in the spring 2021 semester. We hypothesize that introducing biomedical applications early in the undergraduate experience will help students understand that chemical engineering knowledge can easily be transferred to biological systems and will have a significant impact on motivation and retention of women in the cohort. Motivational surveys will be used to assess pre- and post-implementation attitudes toward chemical engineering as a major and will be compared to control data collected in fall 2020. In the paper and presentation, we will also share the mathematical modeling behind creating the microbead blood simulant. We plan to conclude the paper and presentation with theoretical and practical implications of our findings.
Kaiphanliam, K., & Reynolds, O., & Oje, O., & Adesope, O., & Van Wie, B. J. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Modeling the Effect of Hematocrit on Blood Cell Separations Using a Hands-on Learning Device and Microbead Blood Simulant Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38183
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