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Nanotechnology Summer Program Puts Young Students in the Lab

UCR’s ‘Frontiers in Nanotechnology and Engineering’ Programs Put Young Students in the Laboratory

The two popular summer programs are open to middle and high school students.

(April 29, 2005)

Middle and high school students will have the opportunity to tour state-of-the-art labs, meet professors, work side-by-side with college students and participate in daily hands-on nanotechnology projects as part of a unique summer program sponsored by UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering (COE). The middle school program is for students currently enrolled in seventh and eighth grade and the high school program is for ninth graders through graduating seniors.

Participants of COE’s Frontiers in Nanotechnology and Engineering summer program will learn about nanoelectronics, nanomedicine, nano robots, and super computers, among other things.

The program draws on the basic sciences to teach students about engineering and its applications for nanotechnology. It is designed to bring the concepts and practice of nanoscience alive for students who have an interest in pursuing science and technology careers, said Linda O’Neill, program director.

It is predicted that Nanotechnology, an emerging field representing the future frontier in miniaturization, will have an effect on numerous areas such as manufacturing processes, medical devices, homeland security, alternative transportation, computers and communication, and space exploration.

The no cost programs are open to seventh- through 12th-grade students with a grade point average of 2.7 or above from Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Participants are required to submit a recommendation from a teacher. The high school student program will run June 27 through July 1. The middle school program will run July 11 through15. The deadline to apply is May 7. High school students can stay in the UCR residence halls for $47 per night. An application for the program is available online at

Frontiers in Nanotechnology and Engineering is part of an effort t to bring the potential of nanotechnology to the Inland Empire through the efforts of Dr. Robert C. Haddon, distinguished professor of chemistry, and chemical and 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.

It also helps students make important educational and career decisions.

Before attending the program last year, Farzana Ansari, a student at North High School, said she didn’t know whether she wanted to major in mechanical engineering or go to medical school. But after working five weeks in Professor Mechanical Engineering Akula Venkatram’s lab preparing air samplers that charted how gas and particulate matter are transported in the atmosphere, she was leaning on toward the former.

“This has been an unforgettable experience,” Ansari said after completing the program last year.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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