UW-Platteville to hold second annual Nanocenter Summer Research Program for high school students

February 15, 2011

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PLATTEVILLE - James Hamilton, Wisconsin Distinguished Professor and University of Wisconsin-Platteville professor of chemistry and engineering physics, will be hosting the second annual Nanocenter Summer Research Program. This program is open to high school applicants who are interested in learning more about nanotechnology through experimentation in the UW-Platteville Nanotechnology Center for Collaborative Research and Development. Students interested in applying for the program can email Hamilton at hamiltoj@uwplatt.edu.

Last year, three high school students were selected as inaugural Nanocenter Summer 2010 Research Fellows. The Platteville High School alumni were hired for the summer at the NCCRD to experience cutting-edge research and development in science and engineering. The students, Tanner Beebe, Kutay Muslu and Robby Flaig, were hosted by Hamilton, who also the NCCRD/nanocenter director.

According to Hamilton, the students applied for the position and were selected to participate based on an application and also the recommendation of their chemistry teacher, Brian Molle. The idea germinated in discussions with Molle after Hamilton made a presentation to the PHS Advanced Chemistry class on nanotechnology.

"We want to use the Summer Research Fellows Program as an opportunity for high school students to get their feet wet in laboratory-based research and development," Hamilton said, "and this program gives students the opportunity to work with the world class instrumentation at UW-Platteville."

The students selected for the program started by touring the lab and spent the first month learning about the instruments they would be using. "I was very confused the first day," Flaig said. "Now I understand and have learned everything from how to solder to how to use a scanning electron microscope."

Each of the selected students was given a grant to perform research over the summer. "They were assigned a series of projects with increasing complexity culminating in a report on their research," Hamilton said. "The students did original, independent research just like they would in most graduate schools and they did an absolutely fantastic job."

The students were aided in their research by chemistry and engineering physics faculty and NCCRD staff, including Lester Lampert, Dr. Jasmine Erbs and Dr. Jorge Camacho. "They more than willingly took the time to train us and answer any questions we had in our data collection and interpretation," Beebe said. "They genuinely valued our research and created a positive team atmosphere throughout the eight weeks."

Flaig still works at the NCCRD and is a general engineering major at UW-Platteville. "I am excited to come to work every single day," Flaig said. "I am really overjoyed about this opportunity."

For more information regarding the Summer Research Fellows Program, the NCCRD, or UW-Platteville's April 2011 R&D Weekends, contact Hamilton at (608) 342-1670 or hamiltoj@uwplatt.edu.

Contact: Dr. James Hamilton, professor, UW-Platteville Department of Chemistry and Engineering Physics, NCCRD director, (608) 342-1670, hamiltoj@uwplatt.edu Written by: Kyle Scherwinski, UW-Platteville Public Relations, (608) 342-1194, scherwinskik@uwplatt.edu

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