Questions for “Copper ‘foam’ could be used as filters for COVID-19 masks”

kids wearing face masks and hugging

Face masks have become a common method of protection during the COVID-19 pandemic. A new copper “foam” could make those masks work even better.

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To accompany “Copper ‘foam’ could be used as filters for COVID-19 masks


Before Reading:

1.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the planet have donned masks to limit the spread of a novel coronavirus. What types of materials have you seen used for these masks?

2.  Some masks contain a pouch to hold a special additional filter. What types of materials might make a good slip-in filter for the part of the mask that covers the nose and mouth?

During Reading:

1.  To thwart the risk of infections, what are face masks designed to filter out? How does the new copper type compare to an N95 in filtering ability?

2.  Why did Kai Liu believe his team had a head start on designing their new filters to cope with the coronavirus pandemic?

3.  How did Liu’s team make its copper “foam”?

4.  When the first version wasn’t good enough, how did the Georgetown team tweak the recipe?

5.  What size particles can the new filter trap?

6.  What alternative approach did Semali Perera’s team take to making germ filters?

After Reading:

1.  Medical professionals have been wearing masks where risk of infection to them or their patients may be high. Since the coronavirus pandemic developed, a large share of the public also has been wearing masks. But not everyone. Have you and your family taken to wearing face masks? In what circumstances do you wear them? Describe any places outside your home where you do not wear them. Has this changed over time?