I walked outside the 840 building here at the PHF Research Park this morning and saw about two dozen high school-aged teen-agers piling off of a pair of Cameron University buses. They all wore colorful T-shirts, which made me want to know what was up.
So, I walked over to the group and asked.
Turns out they were taking part in a high school summer science academy at Cameron called “NanoExplorers.” In fact, their T-Shirts said “NanoExplorers” on the front and Cameron University on the back.
One of the students told me the field trip to Oklahoma City involved a visit with a doctor at the Research Park, whom I assume is involved in some area of nanotechnology research. But I didn’t get any clarification because NanoExplorers group leaders quickly rounded them up and herded them into the building.
Still it was exciting to see a group of high school students who are obviously interested enough in science to spend 10 days at nanocamp.
Later, I did an Internet search to find out a bit more about the NanoExplorers camp. Friday concluded the first week of a 10-day residential camp at Cameron University that ends June 21. It is underwritten by a grant from the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education and is free to any Oklahoma resident.
Here is a description from the NanoExplorers website:
“Students will engage in hands-on activities designed to introduce the concepts of nanotechnology and related careers in both chemistry and physics.
“Some of the activities in the academy include:
- Construction of a solar cell
- Construction of a super conductor train
- Determination of the crystal structure of a chemical compound
- Construction of a conductivity device
- Amusement park physics which will include a trip to Frontier City in Oklahoma City.”
NanoExplorers science academy appears to be opening a giant window of possibilities to participants. I’m sure that some day one or more of those students will wear a lab coat at work and conduct actual research on a campus like ours at the Research Park.
I’m glad I stumbled on to them as they unloaded from the buses. It brightened the day.