Outreach and Global Engagement
International Education and Mentorship:
The goal of our global outreach activities is to educate and expose young African scholars to frontier topics in nanotechnology, particularly the field of nanophotonics. Through funding from multiple Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowships, our Lab collaborates with the Institute of International Education (IIE) to promote the mentorship of students in West Africa. We envision that these activities in the long term would help increase the number of young African scholars who move on to obtain advanced degrees at the Masters and Ph.D. level in STEM-focused fields. Our international education activities are further elucidated below:
- Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (International Education and Outreach):
- Lectures and experimental demonstrations on optofluidic chip fabrication and dielectrophoretic trapping of biological cells to 42 undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
- Lecture modules to expose students to the field of optical trapping and nanoscale optics.
• Increased understanding of nanophotonic concepts by students and researchers in West-Africa
• Inspire and sustain the curiosity of students and researchers
• Integration of computational nanophotonics into the curriculum of Universities in West-Africa
• Increased research activities in the field of nanophotonics by researchers in West-Africa
Summer Research Experience for High School Students:
Our Lab has demonstrated a strong commitment to providing research experiences to high school students, having mentored two high school students through the Research Experience for High School Students (REHSS) program and conducted outreach activities for over 30 high school students. Studies have shown that in the short term, pre-college students who participate in the extracurricular programs are likely to enroll in challenging STEM courses and show statistically significant gains in academic achievement and social-emotional learning when compared to students who did not have access to these same out of school opportunities. High School students have used our Optical Trapping System to perform optical trapping experiments.