Summer Fun with Materials Science 2!

In the summer of 2019 Conner, Rachel, and Renske spent a day volunteering for the "Middle School Girls Learning About Materials Science" (midGLAM) workshop. With exciting and interactive demos like thermochromic slime, flame tests, and anodizing titanium, the girls learned all about how the properties of a material affects the color we see! 

Summer Fun with Materials Science

In the summer of 2018 Conner, Eric, and Renske spent a day volunteering for the "Middle School Girls Learning About Materials Science" (midGLAM) workshop. With exciting and interactive demos like thermochromic slime, flame tests, and anodizing titanium, the girls learned all about how the properties of a material affects the color we see! 

Vacuum Demonstrations at Local Schools

The van der Veen Lab has begun a series of demos targeted towards local (low-income) middle schools in Champaign County. Our goal is for children to gain interactive and hands-on experience at an early stage, which has been shown to make a significant impact on how children view and grasp the subject, and increases the chance that they continue a STEM-related career at a later stage.

We have begun collaborations so far with teachers from Next Generation School and Franklin Middle School. This outreach project is funded as part of our lab's NSF CAREER Grant.

For their first set of demonstrations, Tyler and Ryan visited the Next Generation School STEAM Studio to do vacuum demonstrations for their Wacky Weather Week.

See our featured article!

Disseminating Synchrotron Research

In the spring of 2018, Cecilia took the CHEM 590X students on a field trip to the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron  at Argonne National Lab - one of the world’s brightest sources of  X-rays. We received a rare "behind the scenes" tour of the APS including the linac, PAR, booster and storage ring itself during the APS shutdown period.  We also got a tour of the Center for Nanomaterials at Argonne National Lab.

This was the first step in the development of a more extensive synchrotron boot camp in the coming years.  We aim to provide an intensive 3-day course for first year graduate students and junior/senior undergraduates on the basic techniques of scattering and spectroscopy at synchrotron facilities.  The boot camp will take place at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) in Chicago.

In pursuit of enhancing the future STEM workforce, our lab would like to increase the awareness of research at National Laboratories among undergraduate and graduate students.  The 17 American National Labs offer attractive career paths with secure and diverse job opportunities and exciting interdisciplinary research. 

The ultimate goals of our "3-Day Synchrotron Boot Camp” are to show-case the capabilities of bright X-ray sources, to demonstrate the joy of interdisciplinary team work at large-scale facilities, and to make an ever-lasting impression, and provide an important steppingstone, in the students’ professional careers. Stay Tuned! 

This outreach project was funded as part of our lab's NSF CAREER Grant.