The Chemistry of Alternate Energy Sources:
How can we produce sustainable energy through chemical intervention? How can we harvest energy efficiently, cost effectively and responsibly? How can we store it for use when needed? These are huge, still open issues facing humankind. In this hands-on workshop, students will discuss alternative energy sources, concentrating on solar cells modeled on photosynthesis, specifically the Gratzel solar cell. Students will have an opportunity to make solar cells using berries and to use their cells to operate digital watches. Students will also have an opportunity to harvest solar energy using commercial solar cells, store the energy using "super capacitors" and operate higher power appliances.
The Surface Chemistry of Disease Detection:
When doctors want to know whether their patients have been exposed to infections, they order blood tests. How do these tests work? In this hands-on workshop, students will perform a surface chemical test known as ELISA (Enzyme linked immunosorbant assay), a technique widely used to detect antibodies, antigens and other molecules in blood. They will discuss surface modification, antigen-antibody binding, enzyme activity, spectroscopy and other analytical methods. Students will use ELISA and safe animal antigens/antibodies to track a simulated outbreak of disease.