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Nano Schools Day 2012
On 21st June 2012 the University of Oxford Begbroke Science Park welcomed 44 students from three local Oxfordshire schools to take part in the annual Nano Schools Day. The aim of the day was for students from The Marlborough School, Wychwood School and The Matthew Arnold School to explore, discover and understand the idea of Nano Science.
By highlighting nanotechnology in their daily lives and its uses within innovation and technology, the Nano Schools Day aims to make this complex topic accessible to students. The students were fully engaged throughout the day having the opportunity to participate in a varied range of practical experiments such as exploring the nature of hydrophobic coatings, magic sand and discovering how small a nanometer actually is. Lynn Doughton from Wychwood School enthused that “the best thing about today is that it is interdisciplinary. Today, the students could see science as integrated, whereas at school science is compartmentalised in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.”
Begbroke Science Park plays a significant role in the University in helping to set up relationships between University academics and industry to encourage creativity and innovation in research, which is then turned into commercial reality. As Professor Peter Dobson, Academic Director of Begbroke Science Park, commented on the importance of the day, “Putting across the huge opportunities that Nanotechnology offers is always a challenge, but it is very rewarding and stimulating to share new ideas with young people. Many of the applications that would have seemed to be very futuristic are going to be in consumer goods in the next year or so. We want our next generation of scientists and engineers to think imaginatively and apply nanotechnology in new ways.”