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Posted: January 21, 2009

High school students go to NanoCamp

(Nanowerk News) While most teenagers are at the beach this summer, 12 high school pupils from across the country are busy in the laboratory at the inaugural NanoCamp at Massey University's Manawatu campus in Palmerston North, New Zealand.
The week-long camp gives science-loving year 13 pupils the chance to spend their summer holiday immersed in experiments, says senior chemistry lecturer Dr Shane Telfer.
“We’re giving them an introduction to nano-science with a hands-on one-week course,” he says. “They get to carry out experiments in the labs here and learn from a number of Massey lecturers.”
Lana Veslogouzova, from Takapuna Grammar School, distills pyrrole
Lana Veslogouzova, from Takapuna Grammar School, distills pyrrole
The pupils are staying on campus at Matai Hall, with social events part of the schedule.
Dr Telfer says the 12 positions for this year’s camp were highly sought after.
“We had 250 applications for the 12 positions,” he says. “The week is free for the pupils as funding has been provided by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.”
In fact, the pupils have revisited one of the discoveries made by Alan MacDiarmid, who won the Nobel Prize in 2000.
“Earlier in the week they made conducting polymers – flexible plastics that can conduct electricity -– which were invented by Alan MacDiarmid,” Dr Telfer says. “They’ve also made organic light emitting diodes and will try their hands at atomic force microscopy later this week.”
Reporoa College pupil Morgan Vine, 17, says the camp is a great opportunity.
“It’s very good and I’ve learnt a lot so far,” he says. “Because there’s only a small number of us you get to ask a lot of questions and get good feedback. The labs are far more sophisticated than the ones at school as well.”
Source: Massey University