FLUID DYNAMICS &
FLUIDIC MIXING USING
HIGH SCHOOL SC
ENCE AND MATH
Pullman High School
Clark State College
Washington State University Mentors
Graduate Research Assistant
The project herein was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant
. Zollars, Principal Investigator and Dr. Donald C. Orlich, co
PI. The module
was developed by the authors and does not necessarily represent an official endorsement by the
National Science Foundation.
This module attempts to enhance student under
fluid dynamics using the context of
the emerging discipline of micro
p” fluid analysis
Students will explore the basics of fluid dynamics before attempting to
tackle the more
sophisticated concepts of micro
ics and nanotechnology.
This module is intended for use in a 9
grade physical s
cience course or equivalent level general
science class. The labs
are intended to be adapted for teaching mathematica
l applications in
algebra, and are
scalable up to the high school p
in science and algebra II level
The duration for this module is
just under three weeks, incorporating
14 standard 55 minute sessions
A brief summary of the project follows:
Introduction to fluid dynamics presentation/discus
Fluid Flow Worksheet
Introduction to fluid dynamics
Unit of Measure and Capillary Action worksheets
Fluid Dynamics Lab #1
Viscosity and rate of flow.
Stokes’ Law Worksheet
namics Lab #2
fluidic Mixing Presentation.
Macro to Micro Worksheet.
Start Fluid Dynamics Lab #3
Complete microchannel lab. Unit review
urveys indicate that s
udents in middle and high school
do not have enough
information to thoroughly con
sider engineering as a career.
if we have not
to learn about
derations, understanding engineering is important so that citizens can make informed
decisions about the impact of technology on society.
So as to improve the learning curve across
Washington State University, with funding from the National Scie
conducts a 6
on engineering program
middle and high
teachers with engineering processes, which they
then carry into their classrooms in
the form of comprehensive
. The goal of
is to develop teachers who
prepared and committed to
study and application of
various forms of
product of that effort.
ry of Fluid
Fluid mechanics owes its development to
indebted to the
work of Isaac Newton, Leonard Euler, and Ludwig Prandtl.
ibutions include t
development of calculus and the fundamental laws o
is name is also attached to the
rate of strain
, which in conjunction with
Newton's 2nd Law
facilitated the Navier
of fluid mechanic
Euler introduced the idea of a
to the study of fluid mechanics, as well as the classical differential element of
material on which forces act.
these discoveries the mo
tion of fluids
no longer limited
to endless exercises in geometry or physical reasoning but for the first time
could be analyzed
dwig Prandtl's contributions
include his development of
and his work in turbulence
is discovery of the boundary layer is regarded as one of
the most important breakthroughs
in fluid mech
anics of all time,
the title of Father
of Modern Fluid Mecha
nics (Cramer, 2004).
of Fluid Mechanics
has a wide range of
applications, including calculating forces and
moments on aircraft, determining
the mass flow rate of petroleum through pipelines, and
predicting weather patterns. Some of its principles are even used in traffic engineering, where
traffic is treated as a continuous fluid. Fluid dynamics
typically consider various
f a fluid, such as surface tension and viscosity, and calculate for
velocity, pressure, temperature, and density
as functions of space and time
twenty years ago
the field of
inkjet printers, in which the
tubes combine and isolate from each other to
The Future of Fluid Mechanics
fluidics involves the handling and manip
ulation of minute amounts of fluids;
volumes thousands of times smaller than a common droplet, which requires measuring in micro
liters or even pico
fluidics lies at the interfaces between biotechnology,
medical industry, che
mistry and micro
mechanical systems (MEMS).
the integration of mechanical elements, sensors, actuators, and electronics on a silicon
substrate through microfabrication technology. While the electronics are fabricated using
circuit process sequences, the micromechanical components a
re fabricated using
processes that selectively etch away parts of the silicon wafer or
add new structural layers to form the mechanical and electromechanical devices.
microchips complete laboratories
can be created,
channels, mixers, reservoirs,
diffusion chambers, integrated electrodes, pumps,
valves. With the lab
complete laboratories on a square centimeter can be created
The goal of the technology is to
automate standard laboratory processes
, improving speed
and cost efficien
results can be
obtained within a few seconds instead of hours or days. Lab
chip devices are commonly
used for capillary electrop
drug development, high
throughput screening and
circuits can be thought of as the
MEMS augments this decision
making capability with
o sense and control the environment. Sensors gather information from
the environment through measuring mechanical, thermal, biological, chemical, optical, and
magnetic phenomena. The electronics then process the information derived from the sensors and
ough some decision making capability direct the actuators to respond by moving, positioning,
regulating, pumping, and filtering, thereby controlling the environment for some desired
outcome or purpose.
MEMS and n
anotechnology are still the subject of broad
research efforts, and the field is constantly changing.
Rationale for Module
This module is intended to introduce
to fluid dynamics and micro fluidic mixing. The
intent was to create a module that could be plugged into several differ
ent areas of a physical
science classroom to provide enrichment and application. The basic module can be used as an
introduction to physical science
unit or as part of the
properties of matter
section in the
chemistry unit. The module may also be used as
the capstone to a basic mechanics module, with
the addition of more instruction
on advanced concepts like;
buoyant forces, types of pressure,
capillary action, sedimentation, etc. The engineering and fabrication aspect of the module also
makes it appropr
iate as part of a materials science or applied technology program.
The unit will cover several basic concepts in fluid dynamics
Pascal's principle states that when pressure is
a confined liquid, this pressure is transmitted, without loss, throughout the entire
liquid and to the walls of the container.
See discussion at:
ee web applet at:
buoyant force on a submerged object is equal to the
weight of the fluid
See discussion at:
See applet at:
. (Continuity Equation: A
See discussion and diagram at:
See web applet at:
A flow in which
flow over one an
other at different speeds
with virtually no mixing between layers. The flow velocity profile for laminar flow in circular
pipes is parabolic in shape, with a maximum flow in the center of the pipe and a minimum flow
at the pipe walls. The average flow velo
city is approximately one half of the maximum velocity.
is characterized by the irregular movement of particles of the
fluid. The flow velocity profile for turbulent flow is fairly flat across the center section of a pipe
rops rapidly extremely close to the walls. The average flow velocity is approximately equal
to the velocity at the center of the pipe.
For fluids flowing in pipes, the transition from laminar to turbulent motion
depends on the diameter
of the pipe and the velocity, density, and viscosity of the fluid. The
larger the diameter of the pipe, the higher the velocity and density of the fluid, and the lower its
viscosity, the more likely the flow is to be turbulent.
scosity is the fluid property that measures the resistance of the fluid
to deforming due to a shear force. For most fluids, temperature and viscosity are inversely
See Appendix for detailed discussion of Stokes’ Law for falling spheres.
tendency of liquids to reduce their exposed surface to the smallest possible
area. The phenomenon is attributed to cohesion, the attractive forces acting between the
molecules of the liquid. The molecules within the liquid are attracted equ
ally from all sides, but
those near the surface experience unequal attractions and thus are drawn toward the center of the
liquid mass by this net force. The surface then appears to act like an extremely thin membrane
Capillary action is
the result of adhesion and surface tension. Adhesion of
water to the walls of a vessel will cause an upward force on the liquid at the edges and result in a
meniscus which turns upward. The surface tension acts to hold the surface intact, so instead of
st the edges moving upward, the whole liquid surface is
The Kinetic Molecular Theory is a single set of descriptive characteristics of a
substance known as the Ideal Gas. All real gases require their own unique sets of descri
characteristics. Considering the large number of known gases in the
orld, the task of trying to
describe each one of them individually would be an awesome task. In order to simplify this task,
the scientific community has decided to create an imagin
ary gas that approximates the behavior
of all real gases. In other words, the Ideal Gas is a substance that does not exist. The Kinetic
Molecular Theory describes that gas. While the use of the Ideal Gas in describing all real gases
means that the descript
ions of all real gases will be wrong, the reality is that the descriptions of
real gases will be close enough to
that any errors can be overlooked.
The engineering aspects of the module cover a broad range of areas from fabrication to
hnologies to overcome key issues.
requires the use of
clean rooms and computer automated design and fabrication machines (CAD/CNC).
Mixing is the primary challenge for most micro fluidic systems, resulting in inno
vations in how
materials are pumped and channel design. The small diameter of the channels (<10
provide for only laminar flow under most conditions. T
hus, diffusion rather than turbulence is
the primary method for
Solutions include inc
orporating hundreds of tiny turns into the
channels as well as placing tiny portions of each fluid in the tubes in tandem rather than side by
side, in order to maximize the amount of surface area in contact.
Controlling the flow through micro and nano
channels is also a challenge. Normal pressure
pumps lack the precision necessary on these small scales. Thus, this technology requires the
on of micro scale voltage pumps
to use electromagnetic charges to generate the
‘pressure’ to move fluids t
hrough the micro channels.
The goal of this module is to convey an understanding of the basic principles of fluid
while at the same time drawing a connection between current applications of fluid dynamics and
the quickly evolving future
present a vision of the future while
Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) and EALRS met.
The following are extracts from t
he Washington Grade Level Expectations that are addressed in
this module. This includes the GLEs themselves as well as vocabulary and detailed investigation
Grade Level Expectations
1.1.2 Apply an understanding of direction, speed, and accelerat
ion when describing the linear
motion of objects
1.1.4 Analyze the forms of energy in a system, subsystems, or parts of a system
1.2.1 Analyze how systems function, including the inputs, outputs, transfers, transformations,
and feedback of a system and its
1.2.2 Analyze energy transfers and transformations within a system, including energy
.3 Understand the structure of atoms, how atoms bond to form molecules, and that molecules form
1.3.1 Analyze the forces acting on
1.3.3 Analyze the factors that affect physical, chemical, and nuclear changes and understand that matter
and energy are conserved
2.1.1 Understand how to generate and evaluate questions that can be answered through scientific
.2 Understand how to plan and conduct systematic and complex scientific investigations
Understand how to construct a reasonable explanation using evidence
Synthesize a revised scientific explanation using evidence, data, and inferential logic.
2.1.4 Understand how to use simple models to represent objects, events, systems, and processes.
2.1.4 Analyze how physical, conceptual, and mathematical models represent and are used to investigate
objects, events, systems, and processes.
understanding of how to report complex scientific investigations and explanations of objects,
events, systems, and processes and how to evaluate scientific reports
2.2.1 Understand that all scientific observations are reported accurately and honestly even
observations contradict expectations.
2.2.2 Analyze scientific theories for logic, consistency, historical and current evidence, limitations, and
capacity to be investigated and modified.
3.1.2 Evaluate the scientific design process used to d
evelop and implement solutions to problems or
3.2.3 Analyze the scientific, mathematical, and technological knowledge, training, and experience needed
for occupational/career areas of interest.
GLE Grade 10 Vocabulary
Controlled Scientific Investigations
Make a hypothesis (prediction with cause
effect reason) related to an investigative question.
Identify two of the controlled variables (kept the same) in a given investig
Identify the manipulated (independent) variable in a given investigation.
Identify the responding (dependent) variable in a given investigation.
Make a logical plan for a second investigation for a different investigative question that can
ed using a similar plan [with a different manipulated (changed) variable for a
controlled investigation]. A logical plan includes step
step instructions clear enough that
others could do the investigation.
Describe appropriate materials, tools, and tech
niques, including mathematical analysis and
available computer technology, to gather and analyze data.
Describe an experimental control condition when appropriate for an investigation
Describe validity measures, in addition to controlled and manipulated
variables, for an
Record data (measurements) in a systematic way using tables, charts, graphs, or maps.
Organize and analyze data to look for patterns and trends. When appropriate sort
measurements (observations) into categories; calculate m
eans, modes, or medians; create
graphs, tables, or maps; compare data to standards; and perform statistical analysis to
correlate continuous variables (10th grade).
Answer the investigative (study) question or respond to the hypothesis using supporting dat
Compare data to standards, when appropriate, to answer a larger question.
beginning this module
, students should have a basic understanding of the following:
relationships to include direct, inverse and exponential proportions.
Basics of unit conversions
Models of the atom and
Mass, Volume and Density
Relationship between pressure, volume and temperature for ideal gasses.
Thermal Energy, temp
erature and heat.
Position, velocity, acceleration and forces
The following are
adapted from the Washington State
. OSPI has a color
safety poster available at:
All science teachers must be involved in an established and ongoing safety training program,
relative to the established safety procedu
res, that is updated on an annual basis.
Teachers shall be notified of individual student health concerns.
Materials intended for human consumption shall not be permitted in any space used for
hazardous chemicals and or materials.
Students and parents w
ill receive written notice of appropriate safety regulations to be
followed in science instructional settings.
More specific to these labs: Ensure students wash the
hands after the labs (especially after
Ensure students do not try to eat
/drink the simple sugar or glycerin.
This module was designed to minimize direct instruction and maximize student involvement.
The focus is on generating student interest through cognitive dissonance and/or inquiry
questions. A s
hort discussion of some possible strategies follows:
Labs and activities are
structured to enable inferences
that lead to accurate
predictions for how
scientific methods. Students are given suff
icient information to create
explanation that can be tested.
Labs require students to analyze data both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Questions require them to interpret
their measurements, and then
comes by explaining how the manipulated variable caused the responding variable to change.
See individual labs.
See individual labs.
See individual labs.
See individual labs
Fluid Dynamics Presentation
Micro Fluidics Presentation
Stoke’s Law Background
Fluid Dynamics #1
Flow Rate and Viscosity
Fluid Dynamics #2
Fluid Dynamics #3
Fluid Flow and the Continuity Equation
Micro to Macro
Unit of Measure Conversions (supplemental)
Channel Construction and Relevant Difficulties
Blaber, Michael. (1996). Intermolecular forces. Tallahassee: FSU.
Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS). (1998). Science Safety:
Making the Connection.
. NY: Cambridge Univ. Press
Retrieved July 12, 2006,
Drakos, N. (1997). Computer Based Learning Unit. Physics 1501
Modern Technology. UK:
University of Leeds.
ynamics. (2006, July 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 18, 2006,
Johnson, John & George Petrina. (Jul 2005). Microfluidic Mixing Using Microchannels in High
ence and Math. Pullman, WA: WSU.
NSTA. (2004). Inquiring Safely: A Guide for Middle School Teachers.
STA. (2004). Investigating Safely: A Guide for High School Teachers.
OSPI. (2000). OSPI: Health an
d Safety Guide, section K.
0 Grade Level Expectations: A New Level of Specificity
Document Number 04
RSC. (Sept. 2003).
AMC Technical Brief. Analytical Methods Committee, Royal Society of
Summer at WSU
Engineering Experiences for Teachers
July 17, 2006 from