Scientists Play an Inspirational Role

January 5, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama recently announced his nomination of Steven Chu  as the next Secretary of Energy.

Chu said that his interest in science goes back to elementary school, a crucial time in developing the scientists this nation, and the world, need in order to keep up with the changes that our lifestyle demands create.

Molecule display
Creative Commons License photo credit: net_efekt

Chu shared a Nobel prize in physics for developing a method to trap atoms with laser light. As a scientist he can bring to the office an understanding of energy and a commitment to alternative energy concepts beyond politics and economics.

The Wiess Energy Hall plays an inspirational role in the formation of young scientists in the Houston area. The Wiess Energy Hall also catalyses interactions between young scientists and existing scientists from local research organizations.

 Hydrogen Fuel Cell

One great example is the work of Dr. Peter Strasser, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston.  Dr Strasser’s research on clean hydrogen fuel cell technology was recently chosen as the highlight for 2008 in the “Energy for Sustainability Engineering” section  for a grant received by the National Science Foundation.

His research is aimed at developing a new way to get fuel hydrogen out of the air.  Currently, hydrogen fuel cell technology is expensive.  This new reaction makes it more cost effective.  By putting non-noble transition metals with a platinum catalyst, the new oxygen reducing reaction is more efficient. 

Part of Dr. Strasser’s grant included a learning component where he brought middle school students to the Wiess Energy Hall in order to help them learn more about sustainable energy technologies.

Pictured below are Lisa White, Rebecca Scheers, April Bievenour, Dr. Strasser, and Neil Manchon. These students were attending West Briar Middle School at the time. Just as Steven Chu was influenced by other scientists, these students are learning from Dt Strasser that science is fun and exciting.

Authored By Claire Scoggin

As Director of Wiess Energy Hall Programming, Claire coordinates energy education activities for schools, universities and business; promotes energy-related events, and generally works on spreading the word about the Wiess Energy Hall, the premiere energy resource worldwide. Check out her posts for all things energy – from the “Big Bang” to sustainability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Become An HMNS Member

With a membership level for everyone; Don't just read about it, see it.

View All Membership Levels

Editor's Picks A Few Member Benefits Most HMNS Members Don’t Know About What The Loss Of The Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro’s Collections Means To The World What Is The Deal With Brontosaurus?! Lou The Corpse Flower : Why He Smells So Bad And Why We Should Be Excited When He Blooms Wait Just A Minute! Let’s Take A Second To Talk About the Origin Of Time Keeping. The Krak Des Chevaliers: A Tough Nut To Krak
Follow And Subscribe

Equally Interesting Posts

HMNS at Hermann Park

5555 Hermann Park Dr.
Houston,Texas 77030
(713) 639-4629

Get Directions Offering varies by location
HMNS at Sugar Land

13016 University Blvd.
Sugar Land, Texas 77479
(281) 313-2277

Get Directions Offering varies by location
George Observatory

21901 FM 762 Rd.
Needville, Texas 77461
(281) 242-3055

Tuesday - Saturday By Reservation
Saturdays 3:00PM - 10:00PM
Saturdays (DST) 3:00PM - 11:00PM
DST = Daylight Savings Time.
Please call for holiday hours. Entry to Brazos Bend State Park ends at 9:30 p.m. daily
Get Directions Offering varies by location

Stay in the know. Join our mailing list.