My job as a Teaching assistant…
These past two semesters I have worked on campus as a teaching assistant for the plastics processing labs. The duties of this job include running expirements, teaching students, and grading lab reports. Last semester I ran a laboratory experiment for impact testing of films, and testing hardness of injection molded impact disks. The experiment itself only involved testing equipment, so it was difficult to keep the experiment interesting. This semester is a lot better.
This semester I am in charge of the blow molding experiment for the sophomore processing laboratory. Blow molding is a process used to make plastic bottles. There are two types of blow molding, stretch blow molding and extrusion blow molding. In my lab, we use an extrusion blow molder. The focus of the experiment is to adjust the screw speed, and measure its effects on bottle weight and wall thickness. The experiment this semester is a lot more interesting for the students, so for that reason it is a lot more fun for me to run.
Being a teaching assistant these past two semesters has given me a chance to make friends with many of the underclassmen in my program. I enjoy my job; it’s good to feel like I am giving something back to the school. I hope to be a TA next semester as well as when I am a graduate student.