Photo of Franklin STEAM Academy students, teachers, and MRL staff during a tour of the MRL cleanroom on February 8, 2023. [Photo: Virgil Ward]

“I can.”

That’s what Krisha, an 8th grader at Franklin STEAM Academy, said confidently when asked if she could see herself pursuing a college education in material sciences.

Krisha and 43 7th- and 8th-grade classmates from the Champaign middle school had completed a tour of the Material Research Laboratory (MRL) in early February. The tour was part of the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (I-MRSEC) Musical Magnetism program that included visits to a scanning electron microscope, B80: Optical profilometer, Dynamical Mechanical Analysis, a virtual reality classroom, X-ray and fluorescence labs, and the clean room.

Read more: