In addition to scientific research on Emergent Quantum Materials and Technologies, EQUATE’s National Science Foundation EPSCoR funding will provide activities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to improve education, outreach and workforce development opportunities across Nebraska.
EQUATE offerings for students and teachers are led by:
- Nebraska EPSCoR’s Young Nebraska Scientists (YNS) programs – to enhance science literacy, engage students in STEM fields, and promote STEM careers.
- Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (NCMN)– with traveling museum exhibits that serve as a focal point for remotely accessible state-of-the-art equipment and further resources.
Secondary Education: Student Programs
- YNS Summer Camps. The YNS flagship residential summer science camp portfolio for middle (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) introduces youth to STEM concepts. Students interact with scientists, visit laboratories, take field trips, and attend recreational activities.
- YNS High School Researchers Program. Each summer, highly qualified and motivated incoming grade 11 and 12 students will be selected to work for eight weeks in an EQUATE investigator’s laboratory and become an integral part of ongoing research projects. Students are paid and interact with faculty, postdoctoral scientists, and graduate students, and present the results of their research in summer poster sessions, such as UNL’s Summer Research Program Symposium.
- Remotely Accessible Instrument Program. EQUATE, in collaboration with Nebraska 4-H, will engage students throughout the state. Following curriculum developed for grades 4-8, youth will connect and interact with an EQUATE scientist using the RAIN platform and examine materials using the X-ray fluorescence (XRF) characterization equipment. Following the XRF analysis, the material compositions will be discussed through a virtual classroom experience.
Secondary Education: Teacher Programs
- Research Experience for Teachers (RET). EQUATE will support five participants each year in a six-week summer research experience, with follow-up support during the school year. Targeted participants are high school science teachers (grades 9-12) and community college faculty within commuting distance of Lincoln.
- Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers (SIMST). EQUATE will host workshops for middle school teachers by adding quantum science content to an established program focused on nanoscience (NanoSIMST). Teachers from across Nebraska can learn about quantum, nanoscience, and engineering through lectures, hands-on activities, tours, and guest speakers. Each teacher will also develop their own lesson plans to bring back to their classrooms.
- Teacher Resources. EQUATE will support the continuation and development of teacher resources –such as Mobile Lab kits. EQUATE aims to expand teacher resources to include STEM/Quantum Kits that contain reusable, hands-on activities to support a variety of science concepts at the middle school level, connecting with national science standards in education.