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Laurie Christian and Annette Koo are scientists in the MeasurementStandards Laboratory which is part of IRL (see www.msl.i...
IRL provides research and services in a large range of areas using its 260science staff who are a mixture of physicists, c...
right-hand speaker to the left-hand speaker of your stereo system.                                                        ...
Here you see Steve Tallon working on a supercritical extraction system.Do you know how caffeine can be removed from coffee...
IRL covers a wide range of science and technology areas and hascommercialised some of the IP generated. Our website www.ir...
IRL staff have been involved in science education for many years. Forexample, Chris Sutton has been a judge for the NIWA W...
Now the cheapest thing we could send around is the scienceexperiment that Annette will pass out at the end. It doesn’t hav...
What about a thermal imaging camera. Peter Saunders, one of mycolleagues, recently wrote the book “Radiation Thermometery”...
What about sending a 3D sound imaging system around? Whatscience experiments could you do with this?                      ...
A final thought. The Young Enterprise Scheme is a great way to giveschool kids the experience of setting up and running a ...
Annette and I would welcome any comments, thoughts, or other ideasyou have. We are not teachers but we are keen to help sh...
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13.15 o16 l christian & a koo

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Physikos 6: L Christian and A Koo

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13.15 o16 l christian & a koo

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  2. 2. Laurie Christian and Annette Koo are scientists in the MeasurementStandards Laboratory which is part of IRL (see www.msl.irl.cri.nz). Weare part of the team that provides NZ with measurement standards.Annette Koo and I are here at this conference because IRL wants toincrease its engagement with the secondary and primary educationsector. We aren’t professional teachers and we realize that we needyour help with this. This desire to engage with education predates SirPeter Gluckman’s report “Looking Ahead: Science Education for theTwenty-First Century”. Steve Chrystall yesterday quoted one of the keyconclusions of this report that there would be value in increasing thelinkages between schools and science research organisations such asIRL. Annette and I thought it would be good to give you an idea of whoIRL is and then to pick your brains on how we might work together.IRL has 350 staff mainly in Lower Hutt (shown) but branches inChristchurch, Auckland. Around 260 science staff and the rest involvedin industry engagement, finance, HR, etc. 2
  3. 3. IRL provides research and services in a large range of areas using its 260science staff who are a mixture of physicists, chemists, mathematicians, andengineers. I will focus on two areas just to give you a taste of what we do. Icould tell you about high temperature superconductors but you will have heardabout our successes in that area. In fact my son, Matt, works for HTS-110which is the company that IRL spun-off to commercialise the IP we created. Icould also talk about the Measurement Standards Laboratory where I workand the research we do in quantum electrical standards and I am happy to doso one on one.One area you may not have heard so much about is acoustics. Mark Poletti isthe inventor of the Variable Room Acoustics System that has been licensed toMeyer Sound in the US. This system allows you to tune the reverberationtime of a room to suit singers, public speaking, or orchestras by using sets ofmicrophones and speakers and a computerized digital processing system thatconnects the two. The computer in essence creates a virtual room that ismathematically coupled to the real room and the clever maths allows thiscoupling with the virtual room to modify the reverberation time of the realroom. Recently IRL passed its million dollar licensing fee milestone for thistechnology. Now Mark is interested in 3D sound systems that allows you tomake a sound appear to come from any direction. So imagine yourself sittingin front of a small linear array of speakers with your eyes closed. You hear abird singing in a tree behind you or someone moving a box of matches aroundyour head while shaking them. Believe me that is a cool experience andmuch more impressive than the hearing the car moving in front of you from the 3
  4. 4. right-hand speaker to the left-hand speaker of your stereo system. 3
  5. 5. Here you see Steve Tallon working on a supercritical extraction system.Do you know how caffeine can be removed from coffee in a safe way?Non-safe methods that have been used in the past include benzene butsupercritical extraction using CO2 is much better. You place the beansin fluid CO2 at 73 to 300 bar and overtime the caffeine getspreferentially dissolved from the beans. You reduce the pressure andthe CO2 evaporates. The beans are then free of caffeine and the CO 2which can be recycled for reuse. This technique can be used toselectively isolate specific chemicals for example, for removing lipidsfrom fish waste such as the cod heads shown. IRL has created aSUPEREX pilot scale supercritical extraction plant housed in acontainer so that NZ companies can evaluate the technology in theirproduction processes. By this means industry can move from alaboratory test tube scale process to a larger production scale one. 4
  6. 6. IRL covers a wide range of science and technology areas and hascommercialised some of the IP generated. Our website www.irl.cri.nzwill give you much more detail. 5
  7. 7. IRL staff have been involved in science education for many years. Forexample, Chris Sutton has been a judge for the NIWA WellingtonScience Fair for many years. Geoff Willmott and others at IRL hasbeen involved in the IPENZ FutureIntech Ambassador schemes visitingschools. Annette and I setup the Science Focus Club last year whichon Thursday afternoons tutors Year 13 students from local high schoolsin physics, maths and stats. But our CEO, Shaun Coffey asked Annetteand I what we thought IRL could add to these activities and ourproposal included buying scientific instruments and sending them freeof charge around schools. We want to pick your brains on whether thismight be useful and what would be good choices for these instruments. 6
  8. 8. Now the cheapest thing we could send around is the scienceexperiment that Annette will pass out at the end. It doesn’t have thesame appeal as the sweets experiment Elizabeth did yesterday but itdoesn’t damage your teeth either. And hopefully it might give kids asmart and informed answer for why they can’t stop their parents hearingthe bass. Mark Poletti our acoustics scientist showed me how papercan be shown to reflect the sound but to be fair to him I should say thatI wrote this A4 Physics handout over the weekend and he hasn’t seen ityet. So your homework is to check the physics and to make it moreaccessible to senior physics students. Once I looked at what washappening with sound transmission through partitions I found that it gotcomplicated quickly. I won’t dwell on the physics but it shows that IRLcan engage with your students in various ways. We would providecheap equipment (an A4 sheet of paper) but knowledgeable experts.But I want to talk though mainly about IRL buying expensive equipmentand sending it to your schools free of charge accompanied by teachingmaterial, video, worksheets,…, whatever. We need your help withchoosing this equipment. What would work for you? I have a couple ofsuggestions that might get your minds thinking. 7
  9. 9. What about a thermal imaging camera. Peter Saunders, one of mycolleagues, recently wrote the book “Radiation Thermometery” which isavailable from Amazon. These cameras are fascinating and fun. Theycan show that clouds are very cold, or explain why grass gets so brownin summer when deprived of water. How does it fit into the curriculum?Does it need to? 8
  10. 10. What about sending a 3D sound imaging system around? Whatscience experiments could you do with this? 9
  11. 11. A final thought. The Young Enterprise Scheme is a great way to giveschool kids the experience of setting up and running a business. Butwouldn’t it be great if the scientific and technology innovation content ofthis scheme could be beefed-up? Is this unrealistic? Would it make adifference to have IRL involved in a technology coaching/mentoringrole? 10
  12. 12. Annette and I would welcome any comments, thoughts, or other ideasyou have. We are not teachers but we are keen to help showsomething of IRL’s science and technology to your students. We canbe contacted atAnnette: A.Koo@irl.cri.nz, (04) 931 3739Laurie: L.Christian@irl.cri.nz (04) 931 3110Or if you want to know more about IRL, visit www.irl.cri.nz. 11
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