May 29, 2020
Three chemistry & biochemistry graduate students demonstrate how biopolymers work in the first of CNSI’s Kitchen Science Experiment video series.
 
In the 58 minute video, Dayanni Bhagwandin (Rubin group), Liv Heidenreich (P. Weiss and Andrews groups), and Ty Karaba (Tolbert group) give demonstrations of three different types of biopolymer experiments that can be done at home with store-bought supplies, such as diapers, baking soda, and fruit juice powder. Over 200 school children attended the live webinar which was moderated by Dr. Rita Blaik, the California NanoSystem Institutes’ (CNSI) Director of Education.  The program was created by UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry faculty member Professor Sarah Tolbert who helped design the experiments and coordinated the graduate student volunteers.
 
The students are part of the CNSI Education Program which is directed by Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Sarah Tolbert. The program creates multidisciplinary education and training opportunities that supplement and enhance traditional degree programs and classroom curricula to prepare a new generation of science leaders who will apply science to emerging global challenges. For well over a decade, CNSI has collaborated with a dedicated group of UCLA researchers to create academic courses, workshops, professional development, and training opportunities that engage the educators of today and the students who will become the scientists of tomorrow. 
 
Chemistry & Biochemistry graduate students Dayanni Bhagwandin, Liv Heidenreich, and Ty Karaba demonstrating how biopolymers work.
 
Since the Safer-at-Home orders went into effect, a number of students from the group have been working to incorporate ideas of these courses and workshops into on-line demonstrations like this one. “It has been a pleasure to work with CNSI and our graduate students in developing this on-line science content to help educate students who have been impacted by Covid-19 related school closures,” says Tolbert. “They are among the many heroes of this crisis who are helping others.”
 
 
Watch the “Kitchen Science Experiment – Polymers” video here.