During the four-day residential course organised by The Smallpeice Trust in partnership with the University of Leeds, Lewis joined twenty-eight other students, aged 16 and 17, and enjoyed a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about this revolutionary science.
Drawing from expertise across all the main science and engineering disciplines, nanotechnology uses the special properties of matter at molecular lengthscales to develop new products for high speed communications, energy storage, and treatment of chronic diseases. Based in the Faculty of Engineering, Lewis and his fellow students enjoyed an exclusive view of the nanoworld through hands-on experiments – making nanoparticles and biosensors, visiting the university’s nanotechnology clean rooms, and using scanning probe microscopes to see atoms and molecules. Working in a team, Lewis took part in the ‘nanotechnology challenge’: formulating their own proposals on how nanotechnology could best be used in society.
The social aspect of the course included a film night, a sports night and a formal course dinner on the final night where students and supervisors socialised and shared their experiences of the week.
Dr Kerry Baker, Education Liason Officer for Engineering at the University of Leeds commented: “In the UK there is an ever increasing need for engineers and engineering skills. We are therefore delighted that at the University of Leeds we have been able to work with The Smallpeice Trust to engage a group of enthusiastic and talented young people in activities and discussions concerning Nanotechnology and related engineering and scientific disciplines. These young people may be our engineers of the future and it has been a wonderful opportunity for us to nurture their interest in engineering while they were here.”
Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Lucy Kelly commented, “This course has provided students with a fantastic opportunity to learn about the fascinating work carried out by internationally recognised engineers and scientists from the University of Leeds. Not only have students left the course with a better understanding of this intriguing subject but also with a greater insight into the future potential of nanotechnology.”
The Nanotechnology course is run by the independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, as part of an ongoing programme of subsidised residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running residential courses and STEM enrichment days, The Trust has reached out to 20,353 students across the UK in the past year.
The new course timetable for 2014 will be launched later this term. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To find out more, visit www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk, or telephone The Smallpeice Trust on 01926 333200.
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