The innovation engine for new materials

Keri Santos


Vista de las Cruces Elementary

Grade Level: 


Teaching Position: 

General Science


Ram Seshadri


Material Research Lab


Josh Kurzman

Research Project Year: 


Research Project Title: 

High-temperature Superconductor

Research Project Description: 

The goal of my research consisted of synthesizing a superconductor, creating a magnetic track, and a vessel for the superconductor to travel in. The purpose of this project is to create something that can be taken to local schools and inspire students about science.

The superconductor that we synthesized was YBa2Cu3O7, more commonly known as Y-123. We were able to make eight 1 gram pellets that were able to levitate approximately 7mm. The track that we created was composed of 158 rare earth magnets in the shape of California! The secret that we discovered was aligning the poles in the correct order to allow the superconductor to levitate at its critical temperature. The vehicle that the superconductors traveled in was composed of Styrofoam, to aide in insulating and has a mass of .25 grams.

Research Project Attachments: 

Curriculum Project Year: 


Curriculum Project Title: 

Atoms to Asteroids

Curriculum Project Description: 

After experiencing six weeks in the Material Research Lab at UCSB, I realized how exciting and fun it is to be a part of “Real Science Experience.” Being able to help synthesize a superconductor, build a magnetic track, and create a vehicle for the superconductor to travel in inspired the creation of my RET II project. My project focuses on bringing a variety of interactive activities to 8th grade chemistry students.

I gave my project the title “Atoms to Asteroids” because it begins by focusing on the smallest particle of an element and builds until we are focusing on some of the largest celestial bodies in our solar system. The project is evenly divided between computer lab and classroom activities. The lessons include a variety of hands-on activities, web quests, computer games, classroom games, and research projects. These activities are aimed to excite students about chemistry as well as teaching to the California State Standards. Each lesson includes a Teacher Guide that explains what state standards are covered, time needed for the lesson, answers to questions on student hand-outs, extension and trouble-shooting notes.

Curriculum Project Attachments: 

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