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Rice UniversityCBEN
Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology

K-12 Student Enrichment

Nanochemistry Academy 2007

Nanochemistry Academy participants 2007

CBEN has created 2 summer enrichment programs to encourage high school students with varied social and economic backgrounds to study science, and to provide them with an impetus to move toward S&E majors and careers in nanotechnology. The JPMorgan Chase Career and Knowledge Institute and the Schlumberger Nanochemistry Academy are partnerships between CBEN and Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams ) and recruit from Yates, Wheatley, Sam Houston, Davis, and Reagan High Schools.


 JPMorgan Chase Logo HISD Logo   Project Grad Logo

JPMorgan Chase Career and Knowledge Institute

Career Academy Electricity 

Career and Knowledge Institute student learns about electricity.

Generously sponsored by JP Morgan Case and Project GRAD, CBEN created a program to engage rising 9th graders in science and engineering (S&E) careers and to inform them about precollege coursework and college opportunities. We enrolled 85 rising high school students from the Project GRAD feeder schools in engaging S&E activities such as a bioengineering physiology lab taught by Dr. Maria Oden and Dr. Ann Saterbak where students used electrocardiograms and learned about the heart conduction as well as a laser lecture and lab tour by Dr. Dan Mittleman. Students also explored job opportunities through a Kuder career assessment held in the Symmonds II computer lab in Duncan hall and were shown pathways to college through curriculum taught by high school teachers and guest speakers from industry.

Schlumberger Nanochemistry Academy

Liquid Nitrogen

Nanochemistry Academy students make liquid nitrogen ice cream.

With the generous support of the Schlumberger Foundation, CBEN offers a three-week hands-on laboratory course to prepare students for high school chemistry. Students are exposed to fun and exciting experiments that prepare them for success in high school science, and are able to envision themselves as college students by working in a college chemistry laboratory with college faculty. This program is taught by 2 HISD teachers along with Dr. McHale and guest lectures from many Rice University faculty and graduate students. In 2008, the enrollment was expanded to 80 students from 30 in 2007 because of underwriting from Schlumberger.

This partnership is a unique opportunity to provide science enrichment to students who have demonstrated academic talent and achievement, but who might not otherwise make it to college or take interest in and prepare themselves for careers in science and nanotechnology. As a federally recognized organization, Project GRAD is actively engaged in mentoring economically disadvantaged students in a dozen U.S. cities and has provided more than $12 million in scholarships to more than 3000 inner-city students to attend college. Project GRAD has a 10-yr track record that demonstrates that they not only improve high school graduation rates, but also double college graduation rates for this population of students.