Outreach

Being a part of the community

We reach out young students and general public to make polymer science more inclusive to everyone.

Beckman Open House 2024

We led crystal-making activities at the Beckman Institute Open House. Visitors greatly enjoyed 3D-printed chocolates with different polymorphs and learned the science behind shape memory material.

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Engineering Open House 2024

Austin and Priyotosh led and assisted with Strawberry DNA extraction and Marangoni effect demonstrations for the Engineering Open House! Visitors learned about DNA in living things, mass transport, and surface tension!

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CURIE Summer Camp 2023

Siqing, Kavin, Changhyun, Priyotosh and Yen-Chi led a activity for  high school students at the CURIE summer camp 2023. Students made different polymophs of chocolates and learned the science behind shape memory alloys through a hands-on experiment. You can find out more about the CURIE Summer Camp here

Beckman Open House 2023

We led crystal-making activities at the Beckman Institute Open House. Visitors greatly enjoyed 3D-printed chocolates with different polymorphs and learned the science behind shape memory material.

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Cena y Ciencias (Supper and Science) 2023

Tiara led a Recycling Workshop for Cena y Ciencias (Supper and Science) at the Urbana Middle School catered to students from ages 4-11. Students learned about the real value of upcycling by making robots out of recycled materials. They also saw a demonstration of upcycling plastics, using shredded polyethylene and a plastic molding machine customized for this activity. 

CURIE Summer Camp 2022

Tiara, Siqing, Kavin and Changhyun led a activity for 20 high school students at the CURIE summer camp 2021. Students made different polymophs of chocolates and learned the science behind shape memory alloys through a hands-on experiment. You can find out more about the CURIE Summer Camp here.

Cena y Ciencias(Supper and Science) 2021

Gonzalo led a workshop called “Taller de Insectos” (Spanish for “Insects workshop”), in this activity at Meadowbrook Park, he taught K-12 children how to catch and identify common regional insects using visual aids and Google Lens. He also promoted another activity called “Biologos por un dia” (Spanish for “Biologists for a day”) and used the same tools to teach children regional flowers housed at Anita Purves Nature Center and Busey Woods. In both occasions, epidemiologists from UIUC were brought to supplement lessons with the importance of vaccination and safety during COVID-19.

CURIE Summer Camp 2021

Azzaya led a virtual activity for 25 high school students at the CURIE summer camp 2021. Students made different polymophs of chocolates and learned the science behind shape memory alloys through a hands-on experiment. You can find out more about the CURIE Summer Camp here.

Cena y Ciencias(Supper and Science) 2020

Gonzalo led a workshop called “Crystals hidden in your kitchen” in Cena y Ciencias(Spanish for “Supper and Science”) to engage with the Hispanic/Latino bilingual community in the Urbana Public School District. Gonzalo taught them the ice-cream making process. Read more at Illinois I-STEM News.

Coronavirus Aid 2020

Our group is 3D printing facemasks for donation to local and Chicago hospitals. Thanks to Bijal Patel for leading this project and for creating the initiative of Champaign Community COVID Relief (CCCR)! Many of our group members contributed; thanks in particular to Daniel Davies, Prapti Kafle, Zhuang Xu who volunteered for the production effort. We are grateful for the financial support of our department to make this happen. Check out the CCCR website and ChBE website for more details.

ChBE Women-Focused Camp 2019

We led crystal making activities for ChBE Women-Focused Camp! High school girls greatly enjoyed 3D printed chocolates, hot ice making, playing with shape memory materials and liquid crystal drawing board!

Cena y Ciencias(Supper and Science) 2018

Prapti designed and led polymer activities in Cena y Ciencias(Spanish for “Supper and Science”) at Dr. Preston Williams Elementary School in Urbana, organized by Illinois MRSEC. Read more at Illinois I-STEM News.

Games 2017

We had a great time with the girls from all over US talking about hot ice, memory wire, crystal blending, and liquid crystals!

Games 2015

We had a great time with the girls from all over US talking about hot ice, chocolate writing, and the cool sciences beyond crystallization!

Diao Research Group

164 Davenport Hall

607 S. Mathews Ave., 

Urbana, IL 61801

prof. Ying Diao

213 ROGER ADAMS LABORATORY

600 S. MATHEWS AVE.,

URBANA, IL 61801

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