The Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering hosted a successful inaugural Friends and Family Day last month for more than 250 registered attendees.
Graduate student volunteers, undergraduate students from Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science and volunteers from John Overton High School conducted more than 15 hands-on nanoscale science demonstrations for attendees, including 3D printing, electroplating, graphene transfer, hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties, light diffraction and ferrofluids.
“The VINSE team was thrilled to have the opportunity to share our love and excitement for nanoscience with so many people,” said Sharon Weiss, VINSE director, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering and professor of electrical engineering, materials science and engineering and physics. “There was a buzz in the air that lasted for the duration of the event. We greatly appreciate all the volunteers who helped the VINSE team make this event a huge success.”
VINSE Friends and Family Day at Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Photos: Anne Rayner
In addition to demonstrations, participants also got tours of VINSE’s cleanroom, analytical lab and advanced imaging facilities. For those too young to fit into cleanroom suits, Jason Valentine, VINSE deputy director and associate professor of mechanical and electrical engineering, led a cleanroom window tour.
VINSE is a multidisciplinary institute that supports research, education and K-12 outreach across science, engineering and medicine. Housed in the Engineering and Science Building, VINSE facilities comprise a state-of-the-art cleanroom with hard and soft lithography, an imaging suite including a focused ion beam instrument and a characterization laboratory. VINSE is available to researchers from Vanderbilt, other external academic institutions and industry.
Other VINSE outreach activities include classroom visits, Nashville and area high school field trips to VINSE, National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates programs and laboratory modules for the Vanderbilt Summer Academy.