UCLA in the Community

Graduate students mentor high schoolers at CNSI Nanovation

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The UCLA California NanoSystems Institute held its annual Nanovation Competition on Friday, May 25. Leading up to the on-campus finals, UCLA graduate students spent three months mentoring teams from 11 Los Angeles-area high schools, who each developed and pitched their ideas for science-based product concepts. The entries were reviewed by a jury of Los Angeles venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, along with UCLA faculty members. 

The team from Westminster High School earned $2,000 worth of science classroom supplies for its winning proposal: dissolvable contact lenses that use pharmacosomes — molecules that act as a drug delivery system — for patients to use after Lasik surgery. Teams from John Marshall High School and Valencia High School finished second and third, earning $1,000 and $500 for school supplies. Prizes were provided by Environmental Research Advocates, a Los Angeles nonprofit that funds scientific research.

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