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NanoTecNexus Interns Deliver Summer Workshop at Library 

On July 25th the NanoTecNexus Internship Program held an event at the Carmel Valley Public Library to inspire and educate middle school students on the wonders and benefits of nanotechnology. The library presentation is one of several projects taken on by the NanoTecNexus intern team and combined many of the skills the interns have gained from their individual projects, including researching and presenting scientific ideas in a way that is approachable and exciting.

“Activities such as these enhance long-term comprehension of the subject matter for the interns, as well as communication and presentation skills, which are a critical component of professional development and career planning,” noted Adriana Vela, Founder & CEO of NanoTecNexus. The program and projects play into the pay-It-forward model of the internshipintern_1 program.

The event was led and organized by Alex Krotz (right), a 2nd-year NanoTecNexus Intern.  Joining him were Ian Lee (below), Fernanda Sousa, Leticia Vanzetto, Ash Raj, and Vicky Cerioli. To make this event happen, Alex initiated a collaboration with the Inertia Science Program from Torrey Pines High School led by Andrew Tao and Sijia Zhang.  Establishing collaborations with other STEM groups provides real-world experience for the interns involving all aspects from proposing ideas to executing.  Other collaborations are in the works and the team invites other groups who might be interested to contact us at internprograms@nanotecnexus.org.

Following are highlights of the event shared by Alex about the experience of the attendees and interns alike.

intern_2The presentations covered several fascinating nanotechnologies including, ferrofluid, hydrophobic sand, silver nanoparticles, carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, and porous silicon.

Students in attendance were actively engaged in the presentation, asking questions like “why do the water droplets become spherical when placed on the hydrophobic sand,” which prompted a discussion on what it means to be “hydrophobic” and how that affects the shapes of water droplets.

intern_3As the presentations and demos wrapped up, the students were invited to come up and take a closer look. The students showed great interest in the demos with high visual impact like the hydrophobic sand, and quantum dots, asking many questions about where the color of the quantum dots comes from, and why the sand forms the shapes it does when placed in water.

In addition to the supplemental materials given out during the presentation, such as pamphlets detailing nanotechnology in everyday life, and its role in the future, the students requested a copy of the presentation to review and study on their own. The experience was incredibly positive both for the students in attendance and the internship program which was given the great opportunity to showcase their scientific and professional skills.

 

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About NanoTecNexus
NanoTecNexus (NTN) focuses on inspiring K-12 students to pursue STEM education careers and transforming how individuals learn about nanotechnology and its impact on industry, academia and society. Founded in 2004, it is acclaimed as a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the business-education ecosystem.  Its mission is to achieve meaningful change in how society learns about nanoscience.  Originally founded as NanoBioNexus, NTN dedicated its first five years to the intersection of nanotechnology and biotechnology. In 2009, the organization expanded to other sectors and continues to evolve to meet the evolving needs of its constituencies. For more information, visit nanotecnexus.org.

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