I was delighted to see some follow up information about the the USA Science and Engineering Festival (Oct. 10 – 24, 2010) which I last mentioned in my Oct. 12, 2010 posting. From the Nov. 24, 2010 news item on Nanowerk,
An estimated 500,000 people attended the two-day event, which featured 550 participating organizations and 1,500 hands-on activities. Those who stopped by INBT’s “Nano-Magic” booth learned about how atoms, molecules and materials have ways of building structures all by themselves.
Twelve graduate students affiliated with INBT training programs and a handful of friends of the Institute volunteered to help visitors understand the science. In addition, several of the research and news videos created by INBT’s Animation Studio were on display throughout the day.
An estimated 500 to 600 people came to the INBT booth and spent from 5 to 20 minutes discussing nanotechnology, Johns Hopkins research, and INBT’s training programs. This first-ever event was a major outreach opportunity for INBT and one of the first times the Institute has had a public display of this kind.
“Outreach serves an important purpose,” said Denis Wirtz, INBT’s associate director and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering who came out Saturday to assist with the demonstration. “It showcases the interdisciplinary nature of INBT’s work to a broad audience. But it also gives the students an opportunity to explain their research in an accessible way. These outreach activities are a requirement of their training program grants, but this skill will also help them in their future careers when explaining their work to funding sources.”
It’s not a full report but one so rarely sees anything after these types of events that this feels like a gift. I especially like the last line where Wirz notes that “explaining research in an accessible way” is a skill that will help students in their future careers.