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When Work & Home Collide, Resilience Abound Through STEM Activities

4 min read

Professionals use Panametrics’ Technology in STEM Activities at Home

As Christine Callahan, Executive Director of Panametrics for Baker Hughes, mentioned in her recent LinkedIn video, the Panametrics team's resilience and creativity has been impressive and inspiring. Over the last few weeks, their team members have shared fun social posts demonstrating the creative ways they are engaging with their children in STEM activities that teach about water usage and conservation (and just in time for #WaterWeek!).

Learn by doing

In the first of a series of posts from Tom Michalowski, Global Product Manager at Panametrics, he challenged his children to reduce their electricity and water usage while they are home from school and adhering to local stay-at-home orders. When his children questioned Tom about how to know if they reduced their use and by how much, this ‘learn-by-doing’ father told them they would have to measure first before they could control and reduce. “Luckily, we had a TransPort PT900 portable clamp-on flowmeter at home so they could start measuring supply water,” explains Tom. “One of my daughter’s volunteered to put the TransPort PT900 App on her device, while I installed the transducers. We collected data with the PT's data logger.” 


Home flow measurements

After 4 days of flow measurement, they had a baseline! “Some information was a surprise,” shares Tom. “We expected random jumps in flow rate when someone used the bathroom and washed their hands. We expected larger water usage for showers and washing dishes. However, we had some surprises. The spike amounts during the day seemed too high, but we linked usage to multiple activities, such as washing hands after meals and activities, showers, and mostly drinking water. The distribution was not clustered around meals as expected, but spread throughout the day. The big surprise was at hour 14, in between two showers, where the toilet flapper did not seal properly.''

This exercise should open everyone's eyes on not just water usage, but understanding their own flow needs,” declares Tom. 

He poses the questions: do you really understand your true flow usage? Do you know why your flow is more or less than expected? These are very valid questions that are frequently asked in industrial applications.

PT900 clamp-on flowmeter demonstration

Whether it’s offshore platforms in the oil & gas industry or farms producing fruits and vegetables, fluid flow is a critical parameter, and one that can be measured easily and effectively with clamp-on ultrasonic flow meters - just check out the demonstration from Marc Hoffland, PE, EPC Key Account Manager at Panametrics, and his kids Pierce and Aly. In the video they posted (which comes complete with blooper reel), Marc’s young son, Pierce, walks us through using the PT900 clamp-on flowmeter to measure water flowing through a PVC pipe with a 2-inch diameter. “The flow rate is 5.9 gallons per minute,” states the proud youngster before giving the flowmeter a 5-star rating. 

I have always said Panametrics’ TRANSPORT PT900 is so easy, a nine-year old can do it,” states Jerry Guidroz, Senior Sales Manager- Flow, Moisture and Gas at Panametrics. “So I decided to have my son actually do it! [see that post here]!  He programmed the tablet based Bluetooth flow meter and installed it on my ‘flow loop’ in under 20 minutes.”  

Flowmeter easy to use

In a separate STEM exercise with his children, Jerry conducted a lesson focused on tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS)using Panametrics’ Aurora TransPort. “My thirteen year old shows how easy it is to wheel around and program. After a few minutes going over the user manual, he set up the display and trimmed the outputs. In this case, we measured moisture in ambient air, but it can be used with natural gas, H2 recycle, etc. We finished the lesson with a YouTube video that demonstrated the response time of the Aurora.” 


PT900 flowmeter demo video

Paulo Souza decided to build a device in order to explain the benefits of PT900 flowmeter. His demo video shows how the equipment operates in easy way. His daughter Luiza supported the preparation set up and gave some important suggestions on how to improve fluid’s visibility for the viewers – you would just have to add some glitter! 

Working, parenting, and teaching from home is challenging, but these professionals are certainly making the best of a unique situation. It is very cool to see these Panametrics Pros share their passion for measurement and sensing with their personal and professional families around the world.