K-12 Outreach

The UC-CEIN has partnered with Science Buddies since 2012, with the aim of translating Center research to the K-12 population through science-fair projects.  Our first project was published in 2013, and it was Science Buddies’ first nanoscience-related project.  In the coming six months, UC-CEIN’s second project with Science Buddies, The effects of nanosilver on soybean plant growth and production of beans, which was inspired by the UC-CEIN publication Soybean susceptibility to manufactured nanomaterials with evidence for food quality and soil fertility interruption (Priester et al., 2012), will be completed and published on the Science Buddies website.  Learn more about both of these projects here:

Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria?

UC CEIN’s science-fair project Tiny Titans: Can Silver Nanoparticles Neutralize E. coli Bacteria? communicates basic nanoscience principles and gives the public a practical example of nanotechnology.  This experiment helps middle-school students explore the effects of nanosilver.  The objectives are for students determine whether silver nanoparticles can have a noticeable antibacterial effect and, if so, what concentration of silver nanoparticles is needed to achieve this effect.

Looking Downstream: Could Nanosilver in Consumer Products Affect Pond Life?

Many consumer products, such as sports clothes, cosmetics, and even food containers contain tiny silver particles. These nanoparticles are toxic to bacteria and fungi and therefore, are used to prevent them from growing on everyday items you use. This project Looking Downstream: Could Nanosilver in Consumer Products Affect Pond Life? explores what happens if silver nanoparticles get into water and if they affect freshwater organisms. The objective is to investigate the effects of different nanosilver concentrations on the aquatic organism Daphnia magna.

Which Filtration Material Leads to the Best Drinking Water?

Many commercials claim water filters make your drinking water cleaner and safer. The cleaning power comes from  filling material called activated carbon. It exists in all kind of forms: powder, granules, foams, and blocks. In Which Filtration Material Leads to the Best Drinking Water? activity, students will investigate whether larger or smaller particles of activated carbon work better for cleaning drinking water—with results you can see. The objective is to investigate how the particle size of activated carbon affects drinking water filtration efficiency.