Innovative Learning During the Covid-19 Lockdown But Also Applicable Under Other Major Constraints: Harnessing Thermoelectric Materials in Hands-On Experiences Out of the Laboratory

Oscar F. Posada Henao1,#

Harold E. Rebellon1,#

Elkin I. Gutierrez-Velasquez2

Andrés A. Amell3

Henry A. Colorado1,Email

1CCComposites Laboratory, Universidad De Antioquia UdeA, Calle 70 No 52 21, Medellín, Colombia.
2Faculty of Engineering and Basic Sciences, Fundación Universitaria Los Libertadores, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.
3Grupo de Ciencia y Tecnología del Gas y Uso Racional de la Energía, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Antioquia UdeA, Calle 70 N°. 52-21, Medellín, Colombia.
#These authors contributed to this work equally.

Abstract

The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on educational and research activities has been very significant, particularly in developing nations with limited access to virtual resources. This research, conducted in Colombia during the March 2020 lockdown and subsequent periods with restricted intercity mobility, focuses on engaging undergraduate engineering students in self-directed learning about thermoelectric materials and their applications, fully conducted from their homes. Two case studies were investigated. The first, explored the generation of energy from extractor hoppers, using the smoke and heat produced during food cooking. The second, consisted of a feasibility analysis for energy production from chicken manure compost. The following study describes the designs and processes employed in these two cases and highlights their learning outcomes. These results not only have potential for scalable industrial applications but also offer valuable insights applicable to similar restrictive contexts around the world. Therefore, the study showed two major findings: first, it is feasible to implement at large solutions for everyday processes, such as cooking, at low costs; second, with the correct methodology, almost any skilled student even virtually can produce significant data and results for the sustainability of the planet.

Innovative Learning During the Covid-19 Lockdown But Also Applicable Under Other Major Constraints: Harnessing Thermoelectric Materials in Hands-On Experiences Out of the Laboratory