Reprinted with permission from The Eufaula Tribune
Article by Anastasia Harbuck
Sparks flew Tuesday at Admiral Moorer Middle School when Martin Bakker, Ph.D. visited the school fo r demonstrations in nanoscience.
Bakker, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Alabama, showed students in Brenda O’Neal’s 6th grade class how to create sparks by rubbing a metal striker along a length of sandpaper and make iron dust glow brilliantly when sprinkled on a hot plate.
But the kids weren’t just learning about nanoscience – they were learning how much fun science can be. That is a major goal of Bakker’s and his program, which is co-funded by the University of Alabama and the National Science Foundation.
“Our job is to train the next generation of scientists,” said Bakker. “(And) the best way to get kids excited about science is to actually let them do science.”
But the program has a third part as well: to spark new ideas for the university faculty taking part in the experiments.