UCR Today
UCR Today

The University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) recently collaborated to host a STEM workshop for more than 60 middle school and high school students on Saturday, Sept. 10. The workshop, held at BCOE, centered around faculty-led discussions on how nanotechnology and biology are being increasingly integrated with one another when working to solve a plethora of issues in varying fields.

Students that attended the workshop included those from both California and Arizona who are a part of the CTY program. The program was founded in 1979 and enrolls academically gifted students within grades K-12 and works toward developing their abilities. The workshop was one part of the CTY’s one-day Science and Technology Series, which allows for students and parents to become familiarized with science and technology subjects through demonstrations, lectures and hands-on experiences.

The workshop also included an undergraduate research discussion panel and tours of UCR’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering Nanofabrication Facility and Central Facility for Advanced Microscopy and Microanalysis.

Masaru Rao, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at UCR, explained that CTY actively seeks partners at other institutions to co-host events like the this one. “They reached out to me after learning of a grant I received from the National Science Foundation in the area of bio-nanotechnology, which was a topic of great interest to them,” Rao explained. “Events like ours are part of CTY’s broader mission to be a national voice that supports and encourages academic talent and achievement.”

Rao hosted the workshop with the help of other BCOE professors including Professor of Bioengineering Victor Rodgers, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Elaine Haberer, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Hideaki Tsutsui, Assistant Professor of Mechanical, Chemical and Environmental Engineering Monica Wilhelmus, Director of Student Development and International Initiatives Jun Wang and Professional Development Officer Rosie Wang.

Rao spoke optimistically on the potential of holding future workshops, stating, “Our event was the first of its kind to be held on the UCR campus, and based on its success, we plan to make this an annual or biennial event. While the focus of our future events will likely remain in the area of bio-nanotechnology, I wouldn’t be surprised if others on campus are now considering the potential for hosting similar events focused on other compelling research topics.”