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From 5th to 8th July, thirty 15/16 year old students were given a rare insight into the exciting and dynamic field of nanotechnology. During the four-day course organised by The Smallpeice Trust in partnership with the University of Leeds, students enjoyed a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about this revolutionary science.
Drawing from expertise across all the main science and engineering disciplines, nanotechnology uses the special properties of matter at molecular lengthscales to develop new products for high speed communications, energy storage, and treatment of chronic diseases. Based in the Centre for Molecular Nanoscience (CMNS), students enjoyed an exclusive view of the nanoworld through hands-on experiments - making nanoparticles and biosensors - visiting the nanotechnology clean rooms and using scanning probe microscopes to see atoms and molecules. They also attended masterclasses on subjects including carbon nanotubes and bionanotechnology.
The social aspect of the course included a quiz night, sports evening and a BBQ on the final night where students and supervisors socialised and shared their experiences of the week.
Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Claire Fisher commented, "Through this partnership we have been able to provide students with a chance to learn about the fascinating work carried out by internationally recognised engineers and scientists. With this support we are able to give students an insight into intriguing subjects, including the potential of nanotechnology which they have learnt about this week."
Dr Robert W Kelsall, Director of CMNS commented: "We were delighted by the students' enthusiasm for this course, and with their ability to engage in serious discussion about both scientific and policy issues. The UK has a pressing need for outstanding scientists and engineers, and the Smallpeice Trust courses are an excellent way of showing our most capable young people the attractions of a scientific career."
The Nanotechnology course is run by the independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, as part of an ongoing programme of heavily subsidised residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running residential courses and STEM enrichment days, The Trust has reached out to 15,630 students across the UK in the past year.
The new course timetable for 2011 will be launched in September. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To find out more, visit www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk, or telephone The Smallpeice Trust on 01926 333200.
About The Smallpeice Trust
The Smallpeice Trust is an independent charitable trust which promotes engineering as a career, primarily through the provision of residential courses for young people aged 13 to 18.
The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr Cosby Smallpeice, a pioneering engineer and inventor of the Smallpeice Lathe. Following the stock market flotation of his company Martonair, Dr Smallpeice invested his energy and part of his personal fortune to set up the Trust to ensure that British industry could continuously benefit from his proven design and engineering philosophies: “Simplicity in design, economy in production.”
The Trust is now governed by an eminent board of non-executive trustees and members from a diverse range of engineering, industry, educational and professional bodies. Over the past year, The Smallpeice Trust has reached out to around 16,000 young people through 32 different subsidised 4-day residential courses and 1-day in-school curriculum enrichment masterclasses.
For more information, visit www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk
About the Centre for Molecular Nanoscience
The Centre for Molecular Nanoscience is an interdisciplinary centre within the University of Leeds comprising approximately 40 academic staff who work on teaching and research in molecular nanoscience and nanotechnology. The Centre is the UK’s principal provider of nanotechnology higher education, offering a 3 year BSc Nanotechnology degree and four interrelated Masters degrees.
For further information please visit www.cmns.leeds.ac.uk
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The Smallpeice Trust
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