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Science Journey: "From Pencil Lead to Skyscrapers: Building the Future with Carbon Nanomaterials"

Michael Mazza, Graduate Student Chemistry

This video premiered on on Friday, December 11, 2020.

What will the buildings and electronics of the future look like? How can some of the strongest materials ever made also be the lightest?

In this video, Michael Mazza explains how chemists and physicists around the world are harnessing carbon, the primary building block of life, to make new and interesting materials.

Some questions to wonder about:

  • How many nanometers are in a meter?
  • How does a pencil leave marks on paper?
  • Some companies already use graphene in their products. What are these products?

Maybe you have some questions of your own. If so you can...

Fill out my online form.

We'll send the submitted questions to Michael, and publish his answers on this page within three days after the event.

About the Speaker

Boy wearing white t-shirt standing in front of a stream
Michael Mazza as a child

Michael was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He got exposed to science at a young age through his grandfather, who would take him to various science and history museums across LA. Their favorite was the La Brea Tar Pits.

He went to Loyola High School where he had his first experience teaching and tutoring elementary school students. He attended Washington University in St. Louis, studying chemistry and starting a science education program in a local school in St. Louis. Michael is now at Caltech as a PhD student in Chemistry. He is a founding member of the Visiting Scientists Program at Caltech, which provides science education programs to PUSD schools, first Cleveland Elementary School and now at Madison Elementary School.

Michael loves photography, going to concerts, and the LA Dodgers.

About the Series

Science Journeys online programs are recommended for grades 8 and up, but everyone is welcome to attend. All events are held on Friday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

Programs are FREE through the generosity of the Friends of Beckman Auditorium, but reservations are required.

If you have questions, please email Mary Herrera at mhh@caltech.edu.


Michael Mazza
Michael Mazza

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