Wang Helps with Hands On Fun at InnoWorks


Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering  (ChBE) associate professor Nam Sun Wang recently spent time at an InnoWorks workshop, showing kids how ordinary household items can be used to have fun while learning about science.

Organized by the nonprofit United InnoWorks Academy, the free program is designed and run "by students, for students." Its goal is to give middle school students from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to learn how scientists and engineers affect the world around us, get excited about science using hands-on lessons, and build teamwork and problem-solving skills. The University of Maryland is the home of one of over a dozen InnoWorks chapters around the country, and has hosted ten workshops to date. The program is sponsored by corporations including GlaxoSmithKline and Cisco Systems, and by businesses, nonprofit organizations, and colleges in the United States and abroad.

InnoWorks projects cover a spectrum of scientific concepts and may include experiments with light, sound, polymers, biology, physics, and energy. They are modular, scalable, and portable, which allows organizers to adapt the material for their attendees and schedule. The program includes all materials, transportation, food and awards.

Wang, a frequent participant in K-12 outreach activities, has served as the faculty advisor for the University of Maryland chapter of InnoWorks for several years. In the 2014 workshop, he led students through demonstrations that covered concepts including surface tension, magnetism, and persistence of vision.

Published November 4, 2014