Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My return to BU for RET round 2!

Three years ago I spent a summer at Boston University's Photonics Center working for a program called Research Experiences for Teachers (RET). The program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is designed for middle and high school teachers to work in a research laboratory at a university in order to experience current research first hand, but also to bring the experience back to students in the classroom.  During my first year, I met and worked with a wonderful group of teachers during BU's first year of the RET program.  This year, I was asked back to work in a different laboratory with a new cohort of teachers.  I am one of five teachers working at BU this summer, three of the teachers participated last summer (2012), one teacher participated in the summer 2011 group, and I am representing the participants from 2010.

I'm very excited to be back at BU's Photonics Center for another yet another summer working in the lab!  Below are images from week 1.  This year we didn't waste any time getting started.  Since all of the teachers are returning to the program for year 2, we were able to jump right in head first.  I am assigned to Professor Bishop's Research Laboratory, where I will work on an outreach program for his lab.  Below are a few photos that I took during my first week on the job. 
Jackson and Han working in the Clean Room during the sacrificial release (HF wash) of their MEMS devices.  The sacrificial release removes the sacrificial layers that support and hold up the features of a MEMS device during fabrication (when the device is built).  FYI, HF stands for Hydrofluoric Acid and it's very dangerous!

Experimental set-up under the fume hood in the clean room where Jackson and Han are working on the sacrificial release.

Han completing the sacrificial release using the Critical Point Dryer in the Clean Room.

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