Science of Small

Nanotechnology After School Program

The Science of Small Things (SOST) is a nanotechnology after school program for 7th and 8th grade students at the Robinson and Wang middle schools, and is funded by the National Science Foundation. SOST is a partnership between Citizen Schools (CS) and the UML Center for Family, Work and Community. CS is a national, volunteer driven after school program, and CS Lowell has one of the highest retention rates in the country and played a large role in the awarding of our funding. SOST will run through the CS "Apprenticeship" program.

Program Description

SOST is a three year program that requires each student to participate in two consecutive years of program.  The first year will serve 7th and 8th grade students, the second year will serve 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students, and the third year

will serve 8th and 9th grade students.

SOST participants will attend two hours of nano-related activities per week, with additional time spent on visits and field trips to industrial and educational sites. There is also a summer component. The program is 100% voluntary and students will also be exposed to career presentations and demonstrations from industry professionals.  SOST's goal is to get students excited about this developing science in hopes that they will acquire a liking to STEM fields.

What will they learn?

Students will engage in hands-on activities about nano-topics such as Size and Scale, Targeted Drug Delivery Systems, Molecular Recognition, and Lithography.

UML professors and students have agreed to visit the program, providing students with the latest and most exciting nano based activities, some created and tested by UML graduate students. Students also will experience tours of UML nanotechnology facilities to view powerful equipment such as atomic force microscopes. Program activities will focus on making connections between nanotechnology and the real world by introducing consumer goods produced with nanotechnology in clothing, lotions, and cosmetics.

How to get involved?

SOST is always looking for nanotech experts and industry partners in order to provide outstanding programs for our students. This is a great way to get involved in community outreach efforts and to spread the knowledge of nanotechnology to our future college students and scientists.  Please contact Shawn Barry at the UMass Lowell Center for Family, Work and Community (978) 934-4779 for more information.