posted by: mcrocker
Over the past few weeks, the three graduate fellows in the NANO collaboration (myself included) have visited 3 different classrooms, providing exciting nano-related instruction to 9 different classes for hundreds of middle and high school students. It has been an interesting experience, and we have continued to modify our activities and rearrange our presentations based on what has worked well in past classes. There was a significant different between high school and middle school attention spans. However, each class had a unique personality, and the makeup of the classroom has been a fun mishmash of student personalities. In one classroom, it was the quiet, studious student that showed the most interest. In another, it was the loud, raucous student that showed the most interest, and gave a final positive exclamation at the end of the class in support of our visit. While there were some students who complained about how our activities and presentations were a waste of time, most of the students were eager to measure ping-pong balls … ahem … atoms. While some students were just glad have a change of pace, many students did show enthusiasm for our visit, for discussions of college/graduate school, for live demonstrations of unusual microscopes, and for discussions of the implications and diversity of career paths connected to nanotechnology. I am excited to do this again, and we will have ample opportunity over the next half year!