Skip to main content

Field Trip of Mansfield Frontier STEM Academy from Texas

Posted by on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 in Events, News.

On Friday, March 1 VINSE hosted students from Mansfield Frontier STEM Academy from Mansfield Texas to learn about nanoscience and nanotechnology during a day visit. Outreach experiences are tailored to fit into a variety of science courses.

For the graphene work and the gowning session, student made their own 2D material, graphene – carbon that is only a single atom thick – using the same method that won the 2010 Nobel prize in physics. The students imaged their graphene with an optical microscope to identify where their materials were an atom thick and where they were thicker based on color differences. They examined the conductive properties of graphite and graphene using pencil lead, and gowned in the cleanroom suits that researchers using when doing nanoscience in the cleanroom.

Apart from hands-on activities, students also learned about Analytical lab capabilities for samples characterization – mostly optical spectroscopy techniques. Dr. Dmitry Koktysh stressed the understanding of light itself and its properties. The students were shown Raman microscope, FTIR spectrometer, absorption spectrophotometer. They also took a closer look at the demonstrated samples including ferrofluids, quantum dots, gold nanoparticles, diamonds to have a more vivid understanding.

In the Advanced Imaging Lab, students learned about the Zeiss Merlin Scanning Electron Microscope and each one tried to drive the SEM and image lily pollen. They also saw a honeybee in the SEM highlighting the different structural features of its hairs and the details of the compound eyes and mouthparts.

Texas 1

The group enjoyed their experience and now quite enthusiastic about a STEM career. We are honored to support k-12 students’ growth and would love to welcome more visits from Nashville area and beyond. Our dedicated NanoGuides are trained undergraduate and graduate students to support young kids in hands-on learning. If your school is interested in this opportunity, please contact for more information.