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Introducing the Science of Tomorrow to Today’s Elementary School Students

Equipment Evaluation and Support Specialist, Steve Stewart, leads 5th grade students from New Lebanon Central School District through a gowning and cleanroom activity.

Equipment Evaluation and Support Specialist, Steve Stewart, leads 5th grade students from New Lebanon Central School District through a gowning and cleanroom activity

Nanoscience is revolutionizing physics, chemistry, biology and materials science. And yet, 1 nanometer is so small that a piece of paper is about 75,000 nanometers thick! It’s amazing that science so small can make such a huge impact! And SUNY is trying to bring that impact into schools at all levels.

150 elementary students visited SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Albany site on Wednesday, March 2 to take part in an exciting “NanoDiscovery Day” program, a nanoscience-focused experience based on SUNY Poly’s popular “NanoCareer Day” initiative which immerses students in the science that is powering New York State’s growing high-tech ecosystem. In fact, according to AZO Nano, New York State’s nano industry is growing so fast that it was ranked second in the country for nano research.

Participating students received an introduction to the fascinating world of nanotechnology that included a tour of SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex cleanroom facilities and hands-on, engaging activities that taught concepts in nanoscale science and engineering and inspired innovation.

Students learned about the properties of electricity by creating magnetic, closed circuits that lit up; experimented with polymers; explored solar energy by making a solar robot grasshopper; and investigated hydrophobic coatings with magic sand that remained dry, even when it was splashed with water.

Participating schools and counties included: Walter B. Howard School 5th grade class, New Lebanon Central School District (Columbia); Malta Avenue Elementary School 4th and 5th grade classes, Ballston Spa Central School District (Saratoga); Division Street Elementary School kindergarten class, Saratoga Springs City School District (Saratoga); and Joseph Henry Elementary School 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, Galway Central School District (Saratoga).

Equipment Evaluation and Support Specialist, Steve Stewart, leads 5th grade students from New Lebanon Central School District through a close-up gowning and cleanroom activity

    Written by SUNY Poly

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