Outreach/Education - K-8 Students
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.
Big Red Stars
Big Red Stars is a special recognition program designed to honor outstanding eighth-grade Nebraska students. Every spring these students are nominated by their school guidance counselors and receive an award for their excellence in school and community involvement. NCMN faculty member Christian Binek inspired about 125 Big Red Star students to learn the physics of waves through a variety of interactive activities including a giant slinky, flutes, and flames controlled by an electric guitar.
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.
Junior STEM Fellows Program
NCMN partnered with the College of Education and Human Sciences to provide inquiry science lab experience for 7th and 8th grade students with an interest in science. Students worked with a scientist for about 2-1/2 hours doing a lab activity related to their area of research but age-appropriate. Students engaged in actually “doing” research as well as seeing research being done in scientists’ labs. Running concurrently with the Junior STEM program were related workshops for the teachers and principals accompanying these students.
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.
NCMN partnered with the UNL Physics and Astronomy department during their annual Saturday Science series held during February for Lincoln Public School 5th graders. NCMN Undergraduate Fellows and staff shared information and giveaways about nanoscience with about 200 students at the event.