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NSYSU organizes Camp for high school students to nurture female aerosol scientists

NSYSU organizes Camp for high school students to nurture female aerosol scientists

     Aerosol Science Research Center (ASRC) at NSYSU, Kaohsiung Girls' Senior High School, and Taiwan International Ports Corporation jointly organized the Female Aerosol Scientists’ Training Camp. More than 50 female high school students participated in the Camp, and under the guidance of the interdisciplinary team of ASRC professors, they made a visit to the laboratories of aerosol science research, played board games related to the issues of air quality management and green ports, listened to lectures, and took a ferry trip to observe the Port of Kaohsiung, where the cargos are loaded and unloaded, and discovered the relation of the Port to air pollution and the related anti-air pollution measures. The participants gained a more comprehensive knowledge of aerosol science, and were inspired to learn more, and pursue a career in aerosol science research.

     The Camp started with a speech by Shiow-Fon Tsay, Professor of the Department of Physics and Senior Vice President of the University. Professor Tsay said that the Camp’s purpose was to nurture future female scientists by encouraging high school girls to study engineering programs or science and technology-related courses and enter the field of science after graduation to contribute to Taiwan’s scientific research and environmental protection. The camp gathered professors of aerosol science, high school science teachers, government agencies and local communities to promote comprehensive knowledge of aerosol science and environmental education on air quality.

     Chia C. Wang, Director of ASRC and Associate Professor of the Department of Chemistry, said that at the core of the Camp was fundamental scientific research and interdisciplinary fields of aerosol science. The events, such as authentic science research contexts, hands-on activities, and thematic research design presented the contemporary aerosol science research in a meaningful way to the participants. Director Wang shared her personal experience as a scientist, talking about her development of research interests from chemical kinetics and dynamics, interstellar aerosols in the outer space, and to Earth aerosol science after she returned to Taiwan to teach. Associate Professor Wang also encouraged the participants to pursue research or career related to aerosol science.

     To help students build a connection between aerosols and daily life, Director Wang, Professor Jing-Ru Weng of the Department of Marine Biotechnology and Resources, and Professor Li-Lian Liu of the Department of Oceanography gave lectures on virus transmission via aerosols and its prevention, pollution and health, and the influence of aerosols on the marine ecosystem. Student visited aerosol science-related laboratories and saw automatic air quality monitoring device – the first in Taiwan that is closest to the port, Director’s Wang laboratory for aerosol and biomedical sciences, Raman optical tweezers and lidar remote sensing device – the only of such kind in Taiwan, developed by Assistant Professor Yuan-Pin Chang of the Department of Chemistry, and high-resolution infrared spectrophotometer developed by Assistant Professor Chao-Yu Chung of the Department of Chemistry. The professors demonstrated the use of these instruments for the students to better understand their practical operation.

     Under the guidance of Professor Paichi Pat Shein of the Institute of Education and Director of the Education Promotion Division of ASRC and Associate Professor Shiau-Yun Lu of the Department of Marine Environment and Engineering, the students, divided into groups, played two board games: “Protecting Gaia: A Battle for Better Air Quality” and “Green Port” to understand the threat air pollution poses to the environment, and how important it is to take immediate action to improve people’s living environment. The Camp included outdoor educational activities; the students and teachers took a ferry around the Kaohsiung Port. It was the first time for the students to observe the operations of the Port on site and get to know the practical measures taken to safeguard air quality. The trip let the students have a grasp on the issues of air pollution prevention and air quality maintenance.

     Chien-Hung Chen, the Earth Science teacher at Kaohsiung Girls' Senior High School, said that aerosol science is a novel and important element of the new high school curriculum and that the Camp was not only a way to introduce laboratories conducting scientific research at the University to the participants, but also to spur an interest in aerosol sciences in them. Chia-Yu Kuo, the student of the Kaohsiung Girls' Senior High School, said that the atmospheric observer at their school participates in research on carbon dioxide and that the lectures of NSYSU professors of the field of aerosol sciences and the visit to the laboratories broadened her knowledge on different aspects of life, such as aerosols application in medicine and biomedical sciences. After class she studies environmental protection issues on her own; the Camp spurred her enthusiasm for aerosol science research.









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