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College of Science hosting fifth annual NanoCamp for high schoolers

February 21, 2017

Nanocamp 2016 tech display

Nanocamp 2016 tech display
Jay Tuggle, a doctoral student in the Department of Materials and Science Engineering with the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, shows NanoCamp 2016 participants computer-enhanced images of nanoparticles.

The Virginia Tech College of Science is inviting high school students to join university faculty and students in carrying out experimental research and discovery at the fifth annual NanoCamp Aug. 2-5 in Blacksburg.

The registration deadline is July 19. The cost of the camp is $250 per person, which covers all meals, on-campus lodging, and supplies for all lab experiments and activities. Financial assistance will be available for students in need.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide this outreach activity to a diverse group of high school students in order to increase their interest in science and technology,” said Randy Heflin, associate dean for research and graduate studies with the College of Science and head of the nanoscience program, which is part of the college’s Academy of Integrated Science. “We will also familiarize camp participants with our new bachelor's degree program in nanoscience and the incredible number of careers and industries that use nanotechnologies.”

Planned events include a tour of a local nanoscience company, lab activities at Virginia Tech’s Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory, and both talks and hands-on laboratory experiences with university faculty and researchers concerning nanoscience, the environment, nanomedicine, and electrochromic devices made from nanoscale self-assembled films. Also included are recreational activities, such as a lawn party and lunches with the Hokie Bird and various nanoscience faculty, staff, and students.

“Last year was a significant expansion in terms of the number of participating students, as well as the range of activities and duration of the camp,” Heflin said. “The students who have participated in prior NanoCamps have told us that they really enjoyed the experience.”

Pulling in campers from across the nation and beyond – past students have come from China and France – Virginia Tech’s NanoCamp has grown from an initial 11 campers to 37 campers this past year. The camp is geared toward rising ninth- through 12th-grade students.

“The nanoscience industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in science today, with a variety of applications in fields such as electronics and information technology, medicine and healthcare, energy, environmental remediation, and materials and polymer research,” said Charlotte Parks, an academic specialist with the College of Science who has helped spearhead the camp for several years.

“Virginia Tech is one of only two universities in the United States with an undergraduate degree program in nanoscience. We are excited to give high-school students the opportunity to learn about Virginia Tech and this exciting field of science.”

Written by Jessie Rogers, of Suffolk, Virginia, a junior in the Department of English, part of the College Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

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