Five men in a lab. The four on the right are being trained on research equipment by the man of the left.
Outreach and Workforce Development

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:

Two young girls participate in a science experiment during a school outreach program.

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.
Middle School science teachers attend a workshop to help them implement more STEM education in their classrooms.

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.
  • Tribal College Partnership

    EQUATE seeks to increase the visibility of the science programs at Nebraska's two tribal colleges — Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC) and Little Priest Tribal College (LPTC). EQUATE events at Nebraska’s tribal colleges include Citizen Science projects, science research infographic videos, mathematics preparedness mentoring, summer science activities, and tribal STEM career fairs.

    Students visiting a booth at a tribal college STEM career fair.
  • Post-Secondary Education, Training, and Mentoring Programs

    Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) Students. EQUATE partners with the UNL Office of Graduate Studies to host summer experiences for undergraduate students from smaller colleges and communities that may be underrepresented in STEM.

    Two students conducting research in a lab.
  • Faculty Development

    Early-Career Mentoring EQUATE promotes connections for its early-career participants to interact with more experienced faculty members. Also, Nebraska EPSCoR’s FIRST Award program helps early-career faculty pursue NSF’s CAREER Award.

    Siamak Nejati
  • Coming Soon

    Nanoscience/Quantum Class, Minicourses, and Training. EQUATE plans a one-credit semester course for graduate students to gain an introduction to nanoscience/quantum theory and various instrument technical capabilities. Minicourses will cover equipment, processes, and opportunities at UNL’s NNF with hands-on experiences. Topics include materials analysis and fabrication, electronic devices, structural components, and nanotechnology/quantum advances.

    Student Seminar Series. EQUATE’s graduate students will host a monthly meeting to help connect its undergraduate and graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers, with other institutions.

    Postdoctoral Scientist and Student Mentoring Program. EQUATE equips graduate and postdoctoral students with a structured program to help participants reach career goals.

    Industry scientists touring the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility during a workforce development training.