Sixth-grade students visit Wayne State Planetarium and the Department of Physics and Astronomy
6th graders from Anna Kamitses' class at Rudolph Steiner school in Ann Arbor visited the Planetarium, where guided by Dr. Megan M. McCullen, they learned about circumpolar constellation identification, why constellations are visible year-round and others are not, and how similar and different Earth and Mars seasons are, among other topics.
The students also toured the labs of Prof. Zhixian Zhou and Prof. Boris Nadgorny in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Prof. Zhou and graduate student Mohan De Silva showed the young visitors the detailed structure of an insect under a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and how to use an atomic force microscope (AFM) to “visualize” two-dimensional materials.
The young visitors learned about magnetism and superconductivity during their visit to Prof. Boris Nadgorny’s lab. Prof. Nadgorny and graduate student Shiva Pokhrel described magnetic materials characterization techniques, showed several instruments including a SQUID magnetometer from Quantum Design, and ran a ferromagnetic sample in real time to demonstrate hysteresis.
Using liquid nitrogen, Prof. Nadgorny showed how the mechanical properties of a rose, a banana, and a rubber tube change at low temperatures. The visitors also observed demos on the Meissner effect and quantum levitation/locking.