As part of its outreach mission, BioPACIFIC MIP sponsored a ‘Biopolymers Elementary Workshop’ for elementary and middle school teachers, hosted by the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA. The workshop meets Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards criteria and can be used in public school classrooms. On November 13th, 15 teachers spent a fun-filled morning learning hands-on about the science behind the building blocks of life: polymers! Teachers were presented with a critical question related to gels and their mechanical properties. The teachers then learned the experiment and the concepts behind it during a hands-on lab and through discussion with their peers and with graduate students and postdoctoral scholar volunteers. Each teacher was also offered a full kit that will allow them to run the experiment in their classrooms to introduce their students to the concepts of bio-derived polymer networks.
Unique Features of BioPACIFIC MIP that Enabled this Achievement
This workshop was organized by Dr. Rita Blaik at UCLA, a BioPACIFIC MIP team member, and included about a dozen graduate student volunteers, three of whom were BioPACIFIC MIP Fellows from UC Santa Barbara.