The Substance Of Science

The Substance Of Science - Featured Graphene People
Students in the REU program show Gardner Pilot academy third-graders how super-absorbent hydrogel polymers instantly convert liquids into solid particles. (Photo by Adam Zewe/SEAS Communications.)

With a few deft flicks of her wrist, the third-grader put the finishing touches on a Nobel Prize-winning science experiment.

The young scientist, a student at the Gardner Pilot Academy in Boston’s Allston neighborhood, was busy creating , a tiny carbon strand that is 200 times stronger than steel, yet can be produced by folding and peeling sticky tape over a piece of pencil graphite. University of Manchester researchers Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work with this material.

Antoine Vignon, a Howard University undergraduate working at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) this summer as part of the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, explained some of the material’s exceptional properties to the third-grader and her peers. Vignon joined several other REU students who visited the Gardner Pilot Academy on June 21 to conduct hands-on science demonstrations.

The full story is available below.

SourceHarvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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