CDT Graphene NOWNANO outreach returns

A model of a graphene lattice

In the last couple of months, researchers from the Graphene NOWNANO Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) took part in two large science festivals hosted on campus, namely the University of Manchester Community Festival (on main campus) and BlueDot Festival (at Jodrell Bank Observatory).

To celebrate the return of large public events dedicated to science outreach, our team of volunteers created new hands-on activities and demonstrators to showcase the research taking place at the National Graphene Institute. At the revamped stand, visitors could make their own graphene and also take part in an immersive exploration of the small scale of a real microscopic device made of atomically-thin layers. They could discover what it means to work in a clean room, where dust and airborne bugs are kept at bay to protect the research samples.

Projection on to the Lovell Telescope at the BlueDot Festival

While most visitors engaged with the activities at the stand, the youngest ones (and their not so young relatives) were busy demonstrating their creative minds and craftmanship with our molecular models, building up the largest graphene lattice or simply any of the related forms that the ‘carbon-carbon’ can create. At the end of the day, we ended up dusting off a lot of graphite, a bit of graphene, and many dinosaurs!     

Fantastic weekend at Bluedot! Making graphene and listening to captivating stories about the ever-growing universe

Visitor (anonymous tweet)

I spent my weekend at the Bluedot Festival where I had a wonderful time explaining what we do in the lab! It was amazing!

Hugo (year 2 PhD student)

It is great to be back and talk to people who are very keen to learn what we are doing being our shiny (NGI) walls. Taking part in outreach activities and talking about STEM topics to the public makes me understand how useful what I am doing in the lab every day could be for the future.

Anonymous student

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