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UC Riverside Hosts Frontiers in Nanotechnology and Engineering Programs

News Media Contact:
  Name: Kris Lovekin
  Phone: (951) 827-2495

UC Riverside Hosts Frontiers in Nanotechnology and Engineering Programs
Summer Program Designed for Students and Teachers, Grades 8-12
(June 10, 2003)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. —— Twenty teachers and 50 students will meet at the University of California, Riverside to explore the big ideas behind the smallest things at the “Frontiers in Nanotechnology and Engineering” program, scheduled June 23 though July 4.

Nanotechnology, an emerging field representing the future frontier in miniaturization, is likely to have a profound effect on numerous areas such as manufacturing processes, medical devices and delivery of medications, and space exploration.

The first week will be for teachers from 17 schools instructing in grades 8 through 12 who will work in teams on experiments and develop project plans for their students. During the second week, teachers will team up with pre-selected students from 17 schools to put those plans into practice. Overall, 26 schools in Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties are represented.

The idea is to bring the concepts and practice of nanoscience and nanotechnology alive to students who already show an interest in pursuing science and technology careers, according to program director Linda O’Neill.

The prefix “nano-“ means one billionth, for instance, a nanometer is one billionth of a meter, or 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. The challenge of the program lies in making nanoscience — the science of making, studying and working with things one atom or molecule at a time — relevant and exciting. The program will focus on the potential of nanotechnology applications to science, engineering and medicine to spark the imaginations of the participants, O’Neill added. The activities should be fun, as well as interesting to learn.

“For instance, students will participate in hands-on projects, take tours of the laboratories and the campus, learn about life at the university, and create a poster presentation,” she said. “All in all, the students will have participated in ten hands-on projects.”

Lectures by UC Riverside faculty include:

• “How Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine are Changing our World,” by Robert Haddon and Vladimir Parpura.

• “Seeing at Nanoscale: Principles and Applications of Electron Microscopy,” by Kassimir N. Bozhilov, manager of the Central Facility for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis at UC Riverside.

• Moving Molecules Piece by Piece,” By Ludwig Bartels.

• “Engineering College Overview Focused on Electrical Engineering,” which covers nanotubes and electrostatic self-assembly, by Roger Lake.

• “Nanoscale Physics: Quantum Behavior of Matter in Small Structures,” by Roland Kawakami and Ward Beyermann.

• “The Mathematics Connection,” by Pamela Clute.

Student projects will include building nanotube structures from paper patterns, building a model of a nanoscale structure known as a buckeyball, taking liquid crystal display (LCD) watches apart, working with the Exploring the Nanoworld Kit to understand the basis of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), creating a device to test the elasticity of materials, and solving nanomath puzzles. Students will write stories applying what they have learned to a future nanoworld, they will tour laboratories and they will hear talks from the faculty. Students will also learn about getting into college and the various careers in nanotechnology.

The program is part of a larger thrust to bring the potential of nanotechnology to the Inland Empire through the efforts of Dr. Robert C. Haddon, distinguished professor of chemistry and chemical & environmental engineering.

“It is very encouraging to see UC Riverside taking the lead in disseminating information to schools throughout the Inland Empire, because our program seeks to catalyze the development of high technology in this area of California,” Haddon said.

UC Riverside hired Haddon in July 2000 to head the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). The CNSE at the Riverside campus is part of a collaborative with partners at UC campuses in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara known as the Center for Nanoscience Innovation for Defense (CNID). The collaborative is sponsored by two federal agencies: the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and Defense MicroElectronic Activity (DMEA), which will ultimately bring more than $20 million to the UC collaborative.

Related Links:
  • Nanoscience and Engineering at UC Riverside
  • Defense Advanced Project Agency
  • Defense MicroElectronic Activity
  • Additional Contacts:
  • Linda O'Neill
  • The University of California, Riverside offers undergraduate and graduate education to nearly 16,000 students and has a projected enrollment of 21,000 students by 2010. It is the fastest growing and most ethnically diverse campus of the preeminent ten-campus University of California system, the largest public research university system in the world. The picturesque 1,200-acre campus is located at the foot of the Box Springs Mountains near downtown Riverside in Southern California. More information about UC Riverside is available at or by calling 909-787-5185. For a listing of faculty experts on a variety of topics, please visit