Outreach / Education – K-8 Students
Phis's World Comic Books
Phis’s World, a comic book series for middle school and high school aged students, as well as the general public who are interested in science, provides a creative way to stimulate learning. Dr. Xia Hong at the UNL Department of Physics & Astronomy is partnering with NCMN and Lincoln’s local schools to raise awareness about physics and general science. Weaving science principles with the daily challenges and questions Phis and her sister Chemi face with personal development, habits, caring and other issues, readers are given a fun way to relate science to real-life situations. See more about this series at http://www.physics.unl.edu/~xhong/hong/Phis/PhisHome.html and take a short survey after reading the comics.
In an effort to reach underrepresented students and immigrants we partnered with the Lincoln Literacy organization to provide science programming to adult students and their children. NCMN staff provided a series of hands on activities tailored for those who did not speak fluent English. The lessons were centered around science kits covering subjects such as Nanosand, Invisibility, UV bracelets, and more.
Nano and the Nebraska Robotics Expo
The annual Nebraska Robotics Expo provided a unique venue for NCMN to share what’s happening in the Nano/STEM areas to Expo participants, spectators, and parents. Nebraska youth were given demonstrations and interactive activities about opportunities and careers in chemistry, physics, and engineering.
Nano and Discover Engineering Days
NCMN partners with the College of Engineering to introduce middle school students and their teachers to the various fields in engineering and nanoscience at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Events are filled with hands-on activities that apply math, science and creative thinking skills.
Junior High Teaching Camp
Students, 6-9th grade, were part of a weeklong Teaching Camp sponsored by the College of Education and Human Sciences in June. The Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience provided a session to the junior high students about what’s happening in the materials and nanoscience world. Students toured facilities which included scanning probe and electron microscopes, a world class cleanroom, laser equipment, and more. Students also received training on how to use prepackaged “nanokits” to teach others about nanotechnology concepts.
Faculty members, and NCMN students and staff provide regular programming during the school year for a Nanoscience After School Program at Culler Middle School. One hour presentations are given to students who had limited knowledge of nanoscience. Information includes videos, hands-on activities, giveaways and discussions of nano applications which provides a broad overview of nanoscience/nanotechnology as a field with many career opportunities. Students gain a more comprehensive understanding through activities that introduce them to the unique properties at the nanoscale. Professors presenting are from the Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics departments with help from NCMN Undergraduate Outreach Fellows and staff. This year a Science Fair was added to give students a venue to share what they had learned during the semester. Videos are at https://mediahub.unl.edu/channels/313.
Students, 6-9th grade, participated in a weeklong NanoCamp held in June where UNL faculty and graduate students, NCMN & Bright Lights staff, future science teachers and the Department of Physics & Astronomy all worked together to present an amazing mini-course about nanotechnology at UNL. Topics and supporting activities included nanolight technology, carbon nanotubes, self-assembly, hydrogels, magnetism, soft material robotics, nanocomposites, alternative energy, and of course nano ice cream! Resources and more information about previous camp can be found on the NanoCamps page.
Summer STEM Camp
This summer NCMN extended their regular nanoscience programming during the school year at Culler Middle School into a 3 day STEM class involving over 100 students! Information included videos, hands-on activities, giveaways and discussions of science applications which provided a broad overview of STEM fields with many career opportunities. Students gained a more comprehensive understanding through activities that introduced them to STEM concepts.