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Welcome to the High School Nanoscience Program!

The High School Nanoscience Program is a joint effort of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) and the NSF funded IGERT Materials Creation Training Program (MCTP).  The purpose of the program is to bring nanoscience to high school classes in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and throughout the greater Los Angeles area.  Our basic goal has been to find ways to integrate nanoscience experiments into the prescribed high school curriculum so that they teach required fundamental science concepts, while at the same time introducing students to the new field of nanoscience and exciting them about science in general. 

The program, which was started in 2002, involves a group of about 30 graduate students and postdocs associated with the CNSI and the MCTP.  The experiments, many of which were developed at UCLA, can be readily conducted by high school students and demonstrate fundamental concepts about chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering.  Currently we have seven different experiments with more in development.  The experiments give students hands-on experience with materials, methods, and devices, including self-assembly, supercapacitors, solar cells, photolithography, superhydrophobic surface (or the lotus effect), water filtration, and the toxicity of nanoscale systems compared to similar materials in bulk form. 

To bring these experiments to high school classrooms, we have teamed up with Center X, which is the science outreach arm of the UCLA School of Education.  Enthusiastic teachers are brought to UCLA for training workshops throughout the school year.  The graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the program prepare experiment kits to give to teachers for use in their classrooms.  These graduate students and postdoctoral scholars also lead the teacher training workshops. 

NanoScience Institute Workshop Schedule

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Support that makes it possible for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to participate in this outreach program is provided by NSF awards: Material Creation Training Program IGERT, Clean Energy for Green Industry IGERT, and CHE-1112569