skip to main content

College of Science hosting fourth annual summer NanoCamp for high school students in August

April 7, 2016

Science demonstration at the Virginia Tech College of Science's NanoCamp 2015.

Science demonstration of making ice cream at the Virginia Tech College of Science's NanoCamp 2015.
Chris Winkler (at right), a senior research associate with the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science’s Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory, helps high school students make ice cream via liquid nitrogen at the 2015 NanoCamp at Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech’s College of Science will host its fourth annual NanoCamp on Aug. 3-5, 2016, in Blacksburg, bringing dozens of high-school age young scientists to campus to carry out hands-on, minds-on nanoscience experiments led by faculty and university students.

NanoCamp will introduce dozens of students to hands-on experiences in a frontier of modern science, said Randy Heflin, associate dean for research and graduate studies with the College of Science. Previously, the camp attracted 27 participants in 2015.

Registration deadline is July 15.

“Most of the students come in already having a significant interest in pursuing a science degree in college,” said Heflin. “They hopefully leave with an even stronger sense of the excitement and possibilities of science and a desire to pursue an education and career in a science field.”

The cost of the three-day, two-night camp is $250 per participant, with assistance available for those in need, and includes all meals and snacks, a t-shirt, supplies for all activities, a backpack, water bottle, and molecule kit. Events, talks, and lab projects include demonstrations of nanoscience in the fields of medicine and the environment, making electrochromic devices from nanoscale self-assembled films, a presentation on nanoscience from the perspective of a geologist, a tour of a polymer solutions lab, a campus tour, movie night and/or sports as a recreational option, and lunch with the Hokie Bird.

“Nanoscience is especially interesting because of its interdisciplinarity,” added Heflin. “Students get a chance to see that the basic theme of our ability to study and control materials at this extremely small length scale has impacts on essentially every science and engineering discipline.”

The College of Science, through its Academy of Integrated Science, is one of only two university programs in the nation to offer a bachelor’s degree in nanoscience.

At the 2015 camp participating students came from across the United States as well as China and France.

“The students are always most excited about visiting the Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory, with the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science,” said Charlotte Parks, an academic program specialist for the College of Science. “This gives them the opportunity to play with millions of dollars’ worth of equipment such as electron microscopes and Ion Mass spectrometers.”

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Contact: