M2 TechCast interviews LTU’s Collins on ‘vibranium’ from Black Panther

ROYAL OAK — The M2 TechCast podcast, hosted by Mike Brennan and Matt Roush, interviewed Sibrina Collins, director of Lawrence Technological University’s Marburger STEM Center, about an academic paper she co-authored with LTU senior chemistry lecturer LaVetta Appleby.

Academic papers can be pretty dry, but not this one — Collins and Appleby asked a group of undergraduate chemistry students about the fictional element vibranium from the movie Black Panther. Where, they asked, would the students place it on the Periodic Table of the Elements, and why? What symbol would they give it? And what would its atomic structure look like?

The question gave students a fun way to look at the periodic table, chemistry, and science in general. And the paper Collins and Appleby produced has gotten widespread attention in scientific publications. Collins and Appleby also praised the movie for showing women and people of color in a positive light when it comes to high tech.

Read more about the paper, and listen to the podcast, at this link.

The M2 TechCast airs at 2 p.m. Eastern time Mondays at PodcastDetroit.com. Brennan is owner and publisher of MITechNews.com, a Michigan-focused technology media company that’s been online since 1999. He’s covered technology issues since the 1980s. Roush is director of media relations at Lawrence Tech. Prior to joining LTU, he had a 35-year career in Michigan journalism, the last 15 years covering technology-based economic development.

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