ASSIST Faculty and Students Engage With Children’s Museum
This fall, ASSIST faculty and graduate students opened their labs and shared their work with local middle school students and their families.
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2015 | Filed Under: News
This fall, ASSIST faculty and graduate students opened their labs and shared their work with local middle school students and their families. Students, parents, and siblings had the opportunity to see a Scanning Electron Microscope in action, learn about nanowires and their fabrication, be amazed by backpack-wearing cockroaches, and use some of the tools and instruments ASSIST engineers use in their daily work.
The reaction to this event was extremely positive. Victor Diaz, an 8th grade student at Carroll Middle School, shared: “I found it really interesting. I especially liked the 3D printer with gallium and the laser cutter experiment, it was cool to use the computer to make physical structures and think about how that can be used in real life. I also liked using the electron microscope because it was cool to see the textures of apparently smooth macroscopic objects at the microscopic scale, and see how those structures can affect things at the macroscopic level.” Even the parents were engaged in learning about ASSIST. Victor’s father noted about the field trip that “.it showed the children that there’s a value and place for creative thinking far beyond childhood. For me, personally, I most enjoyed seeing in the presenters the qualities and traits that I see in my own child. I hope that it inspired him and opened his eyes to the potential I know he can live up to.” Students and families were very appreciative of the faculty and graduate students who opened their labs and donated their weekend time to make the visit a success.
These tours at ASSIST were part of a collaborative grant Marbles Kids Museum (Raleigh, NC) received to create a program to introduce nanoscale science and technology to their audience of children 10 and under. Twenty local middle schoolers were selected through a competitive application process and formed Marbles’ inaugural STEM Play Corp. These middle school students love science and enjoy inspiring young scientists. STEM Play Corp participants have taken part in hands-on learning with content experts, and have had the opportunity to visit STEM research facilities around the Triangle, including the ASSIST Center. They work alongside Marbles and ASSIST PreCollege educators to playfully engage younger kids in science play and share their knowledge of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The PreCollege team has been working with the Marbles STEM Play Corps to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Credit: Adapted from the ASSIST The Pulse Article “ASSIST Faculty and Students Engage With Children’s Museum”