Chemical engineering hosts Y.E.S. nanotechnology camp for girls

Published: Jul 18, 2008 8:32:57 AM
Media Contact: Sally Credille,, 334.844.3447

Ashley Gethers measures out a solution

Lee Scott Academy student Ashley Gethers measures out a solution during an experiment in Davis' lab at Y.E.S. Camp

Virginia A. Davis, assistant professor in Auburn University's Department of Chemical Engineering, recently hosted a new Youth Experiences in Science (Y.E.S.) Camp entitled, "The NanoWorld is Big." It was the first nanotechnology-related outreach camp hosted by Auburn and was part of the first all-girls Y.E.S. Camp. Activities included an experiment in silver nanorod synthesis and the science behind mood rings.

Shanthi Murali, Savanah Stewart, Cate Resco

(Left to right) Graduate student Shanthi Murali helps Y.E.S. campers Savanah Stewart and Cate Resco work on an experiment in silver nanorod synthesis.

"It is exciting to watch the girls interact and experience new things at such a young age," said Davis. "They can be engaged in small projects or experiments while at camp, but it stays with them and inspires them to explore science and the unknown in practical ways once they're back at home."

Y.E.S. is sponsored by the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) for rising first- through ninth-grade students. It is designed to provide quality science and math activities and instruction with mini-courses offered in ecology, chemistry, microbiology, forensics, physics and genetics. Classes are taught by university faculty as well as public and private school teachers with significant experience in K-12 outreach programs.

"I've learned that ways to use nanotechnology are everywhere," said Ashley Gethers, a fourth-year Y.E.S camper and student at Lee Scott Academy. "I didn't realize how many things in life can be a part of nanoscience and how it can be used."