Interactive Science Afterschool Program (ISAP®) “Nanoscience: Big World of Very Small Things!”

A program proposed to the NSF—part of our NSF Early Career Research Grant Proposal—that aims to

integrate fundamental research into educational outreach

ISAP is a partnership of the Eisele Research Group, the Bey Scholars, Inc. & The CCNY’s The City Tutors.

The development of ISAP® is driven by the Eisele Group’s passion for educational outreach and the desire to promote science beyond academia. This program has been developed in partnership with the local, non-profit organization Bey Scholars, Inc. and CCNY’s The City Tutors. The project will engage middle-, high-school and CCNY undergraduate students as well as CCNY faculty in experiments performed in the Eisele Group’s nanoscience laboratory ranging from every-day experience to sophisticated nanoscopy training (nano-imaging via NSOM; leveraging prior NSF funding). Specifically, ISAP will focus on children from minority groups living in the CCNY/Harlem community.

Our long-term goals are to (1) contribute to increase the number of students, especially from underrepresented and minority groups, who choose careers in natural sciences & engineering and to help (2) educating the general public regarding the importance of fundamental research for today’s society. We aim to establish the proposed outreach activities of the Eisele Group as a permanent educational outreach program at CCNY. The project will both leverage and sustainably enhance CCNY’s mission as one of America’s most diverse, minority-serving, public institutions with public purpose.

Our project will engage CCNY undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty members who will serve as active role models. We are involving a hand-picked spectrum of expertise for creating the integration of our proposed research and educational project by utilizing research, volunteering tutoring, science media, and community organization for our project. Specifically, this project will focus on the importance of Fundamental Research related to Nanoscience for Solar Energy Harvesting.

Pilot Program for Gaining Experience & Preliminary Results. For the ISAP project, the ISAP Summer Pilot Program did take place over the course of two weeks, specifically 07/31 – 08/04, 2017 & 08/07 – 08/11, 2017 at the Eisele group’s laboratories. This pilot program focused on Nanoscience for Sun Protection. The program operated 5 days a week, Mon. through Fri. Each session lasted shall last one hour (2:00 – 3:00pm), with the exception on Fridays, which lasted three hours (12:00 – 3:00pm). The maximum enrollment was 20 participants, who did receive on-site interactive instructions and lab experience at the Eisele Group wet-labs. Volunteering undergraduates from The City Tutors as CCNY were trained by the PI during the Pilot Program to become instructors for the ISAP project. The pilot program was video-recorded by Bey Scholars, Inc., and the video shall be used in and for the interest and promotion of education.