We enjoy participating in different outreach activities at the University of Nebarska and Lincoln area. Here are some examples of our outreach efforts:
Middle School Nanoscience Camp
Our group participated in the five-day Nanochemistry and Nanomaterials Explorer camp organized by the Nebraska EPSCoR Young Nebraska Scientists (YNS) program. Participating middle school students learnt about the fundamental properties of nanomaterials, including hands-on experience with the chemistry that is used to prepare, modify, and analyze nanomaterials.
In the framework of the 2013 Nanoscience Camp our group organized and coordinated the Carbon day were we introduced participants to the fascinating world of carbon materials. The daylong schedule included demonstrations and hands-on activities, such as
- preparation of graphene by the Scotch-tape method;
- use of amorphous carbon for water purification;
- exploring mechanical and electrical properties of graphite;
- understanding the structure and properties of carbon nanotubes and fullerenes.
Here are some photographs from the event:
Dr. Sinitskii talks about different carbon allotropes (left), shows a balloon model of fullerene (right)…
…and then explains students how fullerene consists of five- and six-membered rings and how to properly make such model.
Dr. Sinitskii, graduate student Peter Wilson (center, in a check shirt), and Dr. Alexandra Fursina (right) supervise students’ work.
Our group participates in annual NanoDays that offer fun educational activities about nanoscale science. The event is organized by Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (NCMN) in collaboration with Nebraska EPSCoR and the University of Nebraska’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). In 2013, Nanodays took place in Lincoln’s Gateway Mall on Saturday, April 6, 1:00 – 4:00 pm and included 10 stations that featured 15 interactive demonstrations and two games to engage people of all ages. Nanodays celebrations bring university researchers, staff and students together with science educators to create learning experiences for both children and adults to explore the miniscule world of atoms, molecules, and nanoscale forces.
NanoDays-2013. (left) Graduate student Gilbert Mbah demonstrates a Morpho didius butterfly with beautiful iridescent wings and explains principles of optical diffraction. (right) Young scientist assembles a fullerene model.
The Department of Chemistry organizes annual Chemistry days for the Lincoln area high school students and their parents to acquaint them with the departmental research programs and encourage students to pursue their interest in science. Every year we provide tours of our lab to several groups of students and their parents and discuss our research on carbon nanomaterials.
Chemistry Day – 2014. (left) Graduate student Ross Netusil (in the center) demonstrates graphene exfoliation using a Scotch tape. (right) Graduate student Mikhail Shekhirev (far right) talks about the principle of scanning electron microscopy.
Science Art exhibitions
NCMN organizes annual NanoArt competitions to celebrate the aesthetic appeal and creativity of nanoscience. In 2013, two graduate students from our group, Gilbert Mbah and Alexey Lipatov, received Honorable Mention diploma for their participation in the competition, and their works were displayed for the general public. More information about the Science Art competition could be found at the event web site http://www.unl.edu/ncmn/nanoart.shtml
Graduate student Gilbert Mbah with a Honorable Mention diploma.
Here is the list of visiting undergraduate and high school students who worked with us over the last few years:
- Rachel Martin, Carthage College, WI (NSF REU student, summer 2012)
- Linh Nguyen, Lincoln High School, NE (YNS student, summer 2012
- Ingrid Lehman, University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras, PR (NSF REU student, summer 2013)
- Christian Leboy, University of Puerto Rico – Humacao, PR (Nebraska EPSCoR, summer 2013)
- Romy Rodriguez, University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras, PR (Nebraska EPSCoR, summer 2013)
- Anthony Wertish, University of Minnesota – Duluth, MN (Nemykin group, summer 2013)
- Jorge Marcano, University of Puerto Rico – Humacao, PR (Vedrine-Pauleus group, summer 2013)
- Ashley Harkleroad, University of Missouri – Kansas City, MO (NSF REU student, summer 2014)
- Carlos Navarro, California State University – San Bernardino, CA (NSF REU student, summer 2015)
- Philip Yox, California Concordia University, NE (NSF REU student, summer 2016)
- Francisco Guzman, California State University – San Bernardino, CA (NSF REU student, summer 2017)
- Michael Loes, University of Wisconsin-Stout, WI (NSF REU student, summer 2017)