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Pupils Explore Nanotechnology at Begbroke Science Park
Pupils from Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and Northamptonshire visited Begbroke Science Park to attend its annual Practical Nanoscience day for schools on the 13th June 2018.
Forty year 8/9 pupils from Our Lady’s Abingdon, Sibford School and the Unicorn School in Oxfordshire, Wootton Park School in Northamptonshire and Bradon Forest School in Wiltshire, took time out of their normal school day to explore the fascinating world of nanoscience.
The event opens the door to nanotechnology, showing students where it is already being used in their daily lives, as well as the vast range of future applications. Showing pupils day to day examples makes this highly complex topic much more accessible.
Pupils took part in six practical workshops, ranging from exploring the nature of hydrophobic coatings and ‘magic sand’, to constructing complex models of carbon nanostructures from plastic tubes. All the sessions support the school curricula and the knowledge is relevant all the way through to A levels.
The sessions were led by DPhil and post-doctoral researchers from the Physical Sciences groups based at Begbroke and Dr Christiane Norenberg the Nanotechnology Business Manager. Felicity Crawshay-Williams, leading the hydrophobic coatings commented for us saying, “It was great to help nurture the curiosity in our potential next generation of scientists and to see the genuine interest the pupils had, and to show them science beyond examinations and worksheets. We aim to create new interest in the Stem field and help promote the field of nanotechnology, it’s a pleasure when this is a success.”
We received a comment from a pupil from Our Lady’s Abingdon, telling us how he thought, “The magic sand was amazing and the tissue was incredible. I liked building the Buckyball model and am so glad I came!” The general consensus was that it was very interesting and very fun!
Christiane Norenberg said “We’re thrilled that the day has again been so well received. It is highly rewarding to show the pupils how these seemingly futuristic applications are starting to appear in consumer goods already. We aim to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, and to encourage them to think imaginatively about science and nanotechnology. It’s also an invaluable experience for our graduate students, giving them an opportunity to engage with the public to explain their work here at Begbroke.”
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