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Nanoscience Vlog – a New Way to Communicate P-SPINS Research

During the summer of 2015, Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) participant
Courtney Matulka of Millard Public Schools together with Seed Project leader
Krista Adams and Professor-Student Pairs participant Sharmin Sikich of Doane
College developed a video blog, or “vlog,” to highlight the cutting-edge
research happening in the nanosciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
(UNL). Working with Nebraska MRSEC Education/Outreach Director Axel Enders,
Matulka interviewed and filmed Nebraska MRSEC faculty and Professor-Student
Pairs collaborators, creating a series of short videos which aims to educate,
excite, and engage secondary students (grades 6-12) in the nanosciences. Each one
of the two- to three-minute vlog entries features the work of a Nebraska MRSEC
research group, discussing the scientific background, instruments used,
material outcomes, and implications of the research for future technological

A UNL P-SPINS YouTube channel has been created to
share this nanoscience vlog with teachers and students, as well as with the
interested public: vlog is designed to function as a standalone resource
for teachers, but teachers are also encouraged to use specific vlog entries in
conjunction with related nanoscience kits created by the National Informal
Science Education (NISE) Network.

Following its summer 2015 launch, the vlog project will be maintained and expanded by Nebraska MRSEC Education/Outreach
Coordinator Jocelyn Bosley. It is expected that the UNL P-SPINS vlog will serve
as a useful model for other MRSECs nationally, and for other departments on the
University of Nebraska campus, to communicate their research to a broad
audience in a way that is dynamic, compelling, and contemporary.


Nebraska MRSEC Vlog


Courtney Matulka of Millard Public Schools (left) filming Sharmin Sikich (right) working at the scanning electron microscope.