Under a National Science Foundation grant that supports research on activated nanoparticles in polymers (“Science and Technology Center for Layered Polymeric Systems” under PI Benny Freeman), monthly science club meetings continued during 2013 for high school students at the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD). TSD staff member Theresa Johnson and high school science teacher Michelle Halvorsen worked with TMI staff member Risa Hartman to recruit club members. In 2013, areas of exploration included nanoscience, acids/bases, polymers, sustainable energy, and the electric grid.
With the help of an American Sign Language Interpretor, graduate students introduced the high school students to the exciting world of nanoscience through experiments with magic sand, ferrofluids and alka-seltzer. Another graduate student, Arturo Gutierrez, led the group in a discussion about sustainable energy, after which the students created their very own hydro-electric turbine. The students also enjoyed putting together a straw rocket, making electric circuits, and experimenting with pH testing kits.