My name is Jaymi Booth, and I graduated from the Materials Engineering department at the University of British Columbia in the spring of 2018. After struggling to find my place in Engineering, I took an electrochemistry class in my third year, and I was hooked!
My specialization is in Mineral and Metal Processing, which I like to think of as the opposite of corrosion. In both cases, we are essentially looking at the electrochemical reactions that occur to determine if the metal finds equilibrium in its solid state or its ionic state.
In time, I decided that a career in engineering was not meant for me. However, I am passionate about learning and love to engage people in science. As of September 2021, I will be a teacher candidate specializing in Secondary Physics!
On this website, you'll find links at the top to connect you with certain aspects of my project. The "Physics Concepts" page will give you a breakdown of the physics behind electrochemistry, which is a great refresher before instructing your class - it is a short overview of the chemistry that is incorporated in the CHEM 12 Lesson. The "Corrosion Experiment" link will direct you to a breakdown of my demonstration setup and show you some of the results of my project. The CHEM 12 links will download direct copies of the Powerpoint lesson and related worksheet that you can use for guiding your CHEM 12 class through a presentation on electrochemistry and some methods of corrosion protection. The STEM Lesson link will download a Powerpoint lesson that I used to lead Grade 10 STEM students through a basis on corrosion protection, and includes a prompt at the end for them to come up with their own ideas for protecting ships against corrosion.
In the corrosion process, solid metals are “de-stabilized” by their environment, making their surface reactions electrically dynamic. This means the metallic ions want to join the bulk solution – for ships in the ocean, this means the metal body of the ship loses electrons to the sea water!
My project uses many different metal samples to demonstrate the impact of a harsh yet natural environment on metals. I used four different samples to create my project: regular steel, stainless steel, copper, and a zinc anode. For the zinc anode, I attached it to a steel sample using a plastic nut and bolt.
I collected seawater from Kitsilano Beach in order to provide a realistic environment for my samples to mimic ocean conditions for boats.
My setup involved putting these samples in the water and recording them over the course of 48 hours to see the impact of the corrosive environment. In the case of the copper sample, not much was visible after 48 hours, but after letting the sample sit for another week or two, clear patches of corrosion product had developed on the copper. Similarly, the sample with the sacrificial anode never developed true corrosion product over my timeline, but you could clearly see the difference between the steel with the anodic protection and the results of the normal unprotected steel.
I was lucky to present my project to the Grade 10 STEM classes at Templeton Secondary School, where I worked with the coordinator of the STEM program to develop an “engineering” case study for the students to approach this issue. After speaking about corrosion and working through our different methods of protecting metals, the students were presented with their engineering problem. They were responsible for coming up with a solution to corrosion problems on steel shipping containers, using an engineering toolbox I provided for them and the Internet. There were all sorts of solutions that were presented and the groups had to think about many facets of decisions that go into solving a big-picture issue.