Teen Scientists to Present Research from UT Dallas
Aug. 4, 2011
Thirty-five high school students have spent their summer in UT Dallas labs, where they have been encouraged to come up with research questions and learn the skills necessary to test their ideas and play with new concepts.
Michael Trinh is part of the NanoExplorers group at UT Dallas this summer.
They’ll be sharing what they’ve learned at “Meet a Teen Scientist,” from 2 to 4:45 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 6, at Parr Library in Plano. The Contact Science event is a collaboration between UT Dallas’ Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC) and the Plano Public Library System.
“The Contact Science program aims to foster an understanding and appreciation of science,” said Dr. Koshi Dhingra, assistant director of the SEEC. “The ‘Meet a Teen Scientist’ event gives teen scientists already on the UT Dallas campus a chance to share their research experience in creative and interactive ways.”
Eight student participants from the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute’s George A. Jeffrey NanoExplorers Program will give interactive presentations on their summer research work with faculty mentors.
This is the second year that Contact Science programs have reached children and families through a partnership between the University and local public libraries.
“Contact Science brings hands-on science to our youth right in their own community, at a place they feel very comfortable—their local library,” said Cathy Ziegler, director of libraries for the Plano Public Library System. “Both our future scientists and the just plain curious have had great fun.”
Presenting science in the setting of a public library, Dhingra said, is a good way to cut across socio-economic lines, age groups and abilities in order to promote informal science learning and develop communities of science.
“We’ve spent our summer conducting exciting research, and now we have the opportunity to serve as role models for others and show them how science can be fun and interesting,” said Jamie Stone, an entering senior at J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson.
The University's Contact Science program is designed to give pre-college students hands-on involvement with science.
The SEEC was formed by Physics Nobel Laureate Dr. Russell Hulse, a regental professor and associate vice president for strategic initiatives at UT Dallas, in 2009.
SEEC’s Contact Science program creates and supports hands-on science and engineering exhibits and activity programs in public libraries. Contact Science takes advantage of public libraries as a unique venue for bringing ongoing engagement with science to children and their families.
The UT Dallas Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute was launched in September 2001 and is directed by Dr. Ray Baughman, the Robert A. Welch Distinguished Chair in Chemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Baughman founded the George A. Jeffrey NanoExplorers Program in 2002.