Nanoscience symposium offers workshops, career panel
October 25, 2012
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UW-Whitewater’s Nanoscience Symposium was a great success, according to Eric Brown, assistant professor of biological sciences.
The symposium consisted of nanoscience workshops focusing on physics, chemistry, and biology, a career panel and a keynote presentation.
The symposium drew in more than just students.
“We had a real good mix of UW-Whitewater students, but we also had K-12 educators from around the area,” Brown said.
The workshops gave students opportunities to learn and understand the uses of nanoscience, some that even extended to using nanoscience to detect and kill cancer cells in the body without causing any harm.
“Nanoscience opens doors for people,” Lauren Crescent, a UW-Whitewater student, said. “In science, there’s so much to learn and it’s opening a new avenue for people to direct their education.”
John Frost, a chemist and project manager for the company picoSpin, led the chemistry workshop that demonstrated how to use a miniature nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).
“It’s an outstanding opportunity,” Frost said regarding his involvement in this year’s symposium. “Understanding how things behave in nanochemistry is really fundamental to understand what’s going on in chemistry.”
The keynote speaker was John Kirk, associate professor of chemistry and nanotechnology at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. His presentation was based around the growing influence of technology on this generation and how to incorporate education for the future.
“We need to figure a way of redesigning education to reach a broader audience,” Kirk said. “It’s beneficial because we can reach and train more people in the sciences,” Kirk said.
Kirk’s work has included working with a team of game designing students and creating a game, “NanoFever” that demonstrated nanoscience attacking cancer cells within the body. His purpose was to combine both education and video game “fun” into one.
“Professor Kirk touched on a topic that’s very important, and that’s how education and games are out there that can inform and teach people.” said LaCherie Weathers, a UW-Whitewater student.
Assistant Professor of physics, Jalal Nawash, conducted a workshop based on informing people about the atomic force microscope. Nawash had a positive review about the keynote speaker.
“Kirk was great,” Nawash said. “He did a good job focusing on nanoscience and the balance of educating students. I’m actually going home to play his game.”
Nanoscience has many attributes, and there’s still more knowledge that can be attained about how it works.