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The faculty and staff within VINSE in collaboration with the Tennessee Solar Conversion and Storage using Outreach, Research and Education (TN-SCORE) eagerly participate in many areas of K-12 outreach. 

Opportunities include:

  • in classroom classroom demonstrations, focus on middle school students (5th-8th grade)
  • on site field trips to tour VINSE facilities, focus on high school students (9th-12th grade)
  • on site job shadowing for rising seniors
  • participation in the Vanderbilt Summer Science Academy, a program for talented 8th-9th graders
  • community education out research opportunities partnering with the Nashville Library and the Adventure Science Center

to inquire about outreach opportunities for your students, please contact Sarah Satterwhite,


Previous outreach activities include:

  • CHOMP! at the Adventure Science Center
    At the Adventure Science Center, an event that incorporates food and science was held in which families and students of all ages were invited to learn about soil chemistry, coffee and chocolate processing, "super tasters," edible bugs, and molecular gastronomy. Local food vendors also participated in the event.

  • World of Possibilities Career Fair
    VINSE, in partnership with BioTN, hosted a booth at the Williamson County Career Fair "World of Possibilities with a booth on careers in Science and Engineering. Interdisciplinary Materials Science graduate students, Robert Marvel, Kelsey Beavers and Dean Pierce organized and supervised the hands on demonstrations for approximately 550 8th grade students from Williamson County. The booth won "Best in Show". For more information on BioTN visit:

  • AVS Science Educators Workshop
    VINSE hosted 24 science educators from the AVS Science Educators Workshop. The science teachers, who hailed from high schools and colleges across the country, learned about vacuum theory through their workshop. Then, VINSE staff member Ben Schmidt and graduate student Bobby Harl gave hands-on tours of a Class 10,000 clean room, a Pelletron particle accelerator, and an x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) facility to see complex vacuum systems in action.

  • High School Field Trip - Donelson Christian Academy
    Donelson Christian Academy participated in the first VINSE field trip. Selected students from grades 9-12 performed an experiment module "Constrcuting a Solar Cell from Fruit Pigment" during which the students fabricate and test a nano-structured solar cell, and operate an electron microscope to examine the structure on the nano-scale.

  • Hands-On Smart Materials, 2011
    TN-SCORE students also completed 3 days of Hands-on Smart Materials Science days at the Nashville Library and the Adventure Science Center reaching over 100 students. In conjunction with the PBS television show Nova: Making Stuff, smart materials including fortune-telling fish, memory wire, and temperature-dependent polymers were demonstrated to high school students (Nashville library) and a wide range of students at the Adventure Science Center. Other materials presented corresponded to the show's other themes: smaller, stronger, cleaner.

  • Nano Days - The Biggest Event for the Smallest Science
    IGERT Fellows Jonathan Gosnell, Randy Scherer, Blake Branson, Peter Cieselski, Travis Wade, and Saad Hasan along with some felow science and engineering graduate students and some undergraduate students from Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science (VSVS) teamed with the Adventure Science Center, children's science museum in Nashville, to host a NanoDays. The event was part of a national NanoDays week with over 200 other institutions across the U.S. participating.

  • Vanderbilt Summer Academy: Nanotechnology and Engineering
    Instructor: Greg Walker The Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (VINSE) offered a two week course on nanoscale technology to 8th and 9th graders as part of the Vanderbilt Summer Academy (VSA). VSA is one of the activities of the Program for Talented Youth (PTY) and is designed to involve academically advanced pre-college youth in college level discovery and learning. VINSE’s participation in this outreach included tours of 14 research labs each accompanied by a short lecture and hands-on laboratory demonstration.

Vanderbilt University