Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training, and K-12 Resources  book cover
1st Edition

Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training, and K-12 Resources

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ISBN 9781420053944
Published December 21, 2010 by CRC Press
341 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The nanotech revolution waits for no man, woman…or child. To revitalize science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) performance, the U.S. educational system requires a practical strategy to better educate students about nanoscale science and engineering research. This is particularly important in grades K–12, the effective gestation point for future ideas and information.

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The first book of its kind, Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training, and K–12 Resources promotes nano-awareness in both the public and private sectors, presenting an overview of the current obstacles that must be overcome within the complex U.S. educational system before any reform is possible. It’s a race against time—and other countries—and the fear is that U.S. students could lag behind for decades, with ineffective teaching and learning methods handicapping their ability to compete globally.

Focusing on the application of new knowledge, this concise and highly readable book explores the transdisciplinary nature of nanoscience and its societal impact, also addressing workforce training and risk management. Illustrating the historical perspective of the complexity of K–12 education communities, it defines nanotechnology and evaluates pertinent global and national landscapes, presenting examples of successful change within them.

This book is composed of four sections:

Foundations—addresses the national educational matrix, exploring the scientific and social implications associated with the delay in adopting nanoscience education in public schools

Teaching Nanotechnology—discusses the critical process of teaching K–12 students the skills to understand and evaluate emerging technologies they will encounter

Nanoscience Resources and Programs—provides a wide overview of the resources offered by funded outreach programs from universities with nanoscience centers

Framework Applied—analyzes the structure of national government programs and skill level recommendations for nanoeducation from the National Nanotechnology Initiatives

This book offers plans of action and links to sustainable (largely free) development tools to help K–12 students acquire the skills to understand and evaluate emerging technologies. Promoting a holistic teaching approach that encompasses all aspects of science, the authors strive to help readers implement change so that decisions about resources and learning are no longer made "from the top down" by policymakers, but rather "from the bottom up" by teachers, parents, and students at the local level.


Akhlesh Lakhtakia, one of the contributors to this volume, was recently featured on CNN in a discussion on solar energy.

Table of Contents

Section I: Foundations

Introduction to Nanoscience, Technology, and Social Implications

Inclusion of Nanoscience Education in Schools Is Important for Students

Detailed Roadmap for the Twenty-First Century

Understanding the Size in Nanoscience Is a Prerequisite for Teachers

Official Definition of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Size Matters in Scientific Disciplines

Social Implications

Education Is a Complex System: History, Matrix, Politics, Solutions

The Complexity of Our Education System Is Not Easily Penetrated

Brief History of Our Education Matrix

Understanding the Stages of Commercialization for Nanotechnology

Students Are Shifting the Paradigm

Students Are Making a Difference in the Classrooms and the Workplace

How Did We Miss Preparing Management for This Talented Generation?

How Do These Young Professionals Fit into Our Establishment Now?

So How Do These Generational Changes Fit into a Collaborative Advantage for Education?

Teaching Nanotechnology in Grades 1 through 6 in Singapore Was Initiated by an 11-Year-Old Girl

Systems Thinking for Solutions in Education

Introducing Nanoscience through Art

Science, Art, and Writing (SAW): Breaking Down the Barriers between Art and Science

Students Are Digital Natives Who Are Now Teaching the Teachers

Study Shows Four-Year-Old Preschool Students Think Like Scientists

More Nursery School Children Going Online

Teaching the Art of Game Design As a Career Path Combines Art and Computer Science

First Nanoscience Educational Game for K–12 Developed in the United Kingdom

Essential Features, Content, and Pedagogical Strategies in Game Development

Role Playing as Experiential Learning

Nobel Laureates Are Role Models in Teaching Nanoscience

Richard P. Feynman (1918–1988)

Richard Errett Smalley (1943–2005)

Leon M. Lederman, 1922


Section II: Teaching Nanotechnology

What is Nanotechnological Literacy?

How Do We Teach Nanotechnology’s Identity?

What Is Nanotechnology?

Why Do We Use Nanotechnology?

Where Does Nanotechnology Come From?

How Does Nanotechnology Work?

How Do We Teach about Change in Nanotechnology?

How Does Nanotechnology Change?

How Does Nanotechnology Change Us?

How Do We Change Nanotechnology?

How Do We Teach Evaluation of Nanotechnology?

What Are Nanotechnology’s Costs and Benefits?

How Do We Evaluate Nanotechnology?

Section III: Nanoscience Resources and Programs

K–12 Outreach Programs


Nanoscience Education Outreach Programs from U.S. Universities and Nano Centers

The Institute for Chemical Education, Madison, Wisconsin

Materials World Modules at Northwestern University—Middle and High School

NCLT—National Center for Learning and Teaching Nanoscale Science and Engineering—Northwestern University

Ohio State University—Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymeric Biomedical Devices (CANPBD)

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) State University at Albany

Columbia University–MRSEC Center for Nanostructured Materials, New York City (NYC)

University of Pennsylvania MSREC

Lehigh University—Outreach K–12

Arizona State University’s Interactive NanoVisualization for Science and Engineering Education (IN-VSEE) Project Initiated in 1997

Georgia Institute of Technology–Nanotechnology Research Center

Purdue University–Nano-HUB

Harvard University–Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology—MIT Open Courseware Projects

Cornell University—Nanoscale Science and Technology Facility (CNF)

California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS)

University of California, Santa Barbara, Materials Research Laboratory

Rice University–Houston, TX—K–12 Outreach Programs

University of Virginia, Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering UVA Virtual Lab K–12

Colorado State University—NSF Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Engineering Research Center (ERC)

University of Colorado—Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, Boulder

NASA Nanotechnology Education Outreach

University of Illinois—Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing (Nano-CEMMS)

Stanford University and IBM—Center for Probing the Nanoscale

University of California—Berkeley—Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems (COINS)

Berkeley Nanotechnology Club (BNC)

Northeastern University (NEU)—Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN)

University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)

The University of Alabama—Center for Materials and Information Technology

University of Maryland (UMD)—Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)

Molecular Expressions—Exploring the World of Microscopy—Florida State University

The NIEHS Kids’ Pages

Overviews of Nanotechnology Workforce Programs

Industry Needs for Nanotechnology Education

Pennsylvania State University, Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization, and Nanofabrication Facility

The Nanotechnology Workforce Development Initiative (NWDI) Texas

Dakota County Technical College (DCTC), Rosemount, Minnesota, Deb Newberry MSc., Contributor

The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), State University at Albany

Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA—NSF Foothill College Nanotechnician Program, Professor Robert D. Cormia, Contributor

Nano-Safety: The One Issue That Is Missing from the Education Equation, Walt Trybula, Ph.D., Contributor

Lateral Diffusion of NanoEducation: Developing the New Workforce, Dr. Dominick Fazarro, Contributor

Informal Science Resources

A Catalog of Programs

Cornell University Informal Outreach

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Presents the Molecularium™

PBS DragonflyTV

The Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California–Berkeley

Lawrence Berkeley Labs—Nano*High Program

ChemSense—Visualizing Chemistry

NanoSense—The Basic Sense behind Nanoscience

"When Things Get Small"—UCSD TV

Understanding Science—University of California, Berkeley

Museum of Paleontology

NISE Network Videos, Audio, and Podcasts

NPR’s Science Friday

The Exploratorium—San Francisco, CA

Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM)

Boston Museum of Science—Partnership with NSEC Harvard

Rice University—Center for Biological and Environmental

Nanotechnology (CBEN)

What Is Cool Science?

Science News for Kids

UnderstandingNano Web Site Offers Lesson Plans for Educators

Overviews: Global Nanotechnology Initiatives and Resources

Growth of Nanotechnology Education and Initiatives Globally

Preparation for Nanotechnology in Developing Nations

New Courses for Aerospace and Aeronautics Engineering Professionals

Creating a Pipeline for Emerging Technologies

NASA MMO Game "Moonbase Alpha"

Nanotechnology Initiatives and Educational Resources around the World

Global Resources for Nanoscience Education

Free Software for Simulation


Section IV: Framework Applied

Assessing the Options for Action and Implementation

Where Do We Start?

Why Aren’t the Teachers Using the Resources?

Revised Science Standards Would Support President Obama’s Challenges to Educators

Stakeholders Gather to Discuss Nanoscience Education

President Obama Included Changes to No Child Left Behind in Proposed 2011 Budget

Preparing Students for Success in College and the Workforce

Raising the Rigor of Academic Standards

The Educate to Innovate Program Addresses Science and Technology—STEM Education

New Legislation That Addresses Workforce Training of Technicians in Nanotechnology

A Conceptual Framework to Develop New Science Education Standards for K–12

The Twenty-First Century Paradigm—Working Together

Where Do We Start?

Teachers and Students Can Explore the Curriculum and Resources Together

What About Physics, Chemistry, or Engineering?

New Programs to Support Teachers

Rethinking Education—Can We Succeed?

Inclusion of Students for Solutions

Re-Inventing Schools Coalition

Teachers Respected As Stakeholders

The First International Collaboration in the United States on K–12 Nanoscience Courses

The North Region K–12 Education Center for Nanotechnology

K–12 Nanotechnology Education Curriculum Project by Teachers

The Mid-North Region K–12 Education Center for Nanotechnology

The Mid-South Region K–12 Education Center for Nanotechnology

The South Region K–12 Education Center for Nanotechnology

East Region Nanotechnology K–12 Education and Development Center

Become a "Seed Teacher" and Start the Process in the United States

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Judith Light Feather is president of The NanoTechnology Group, Inc., which provides resources for every aspect of nanoscience education, from curriculum to development tools for teachers. The company’s News Division provides informal educational information and news for the public at www.NanoNEWS.TV presently serving on the Board of the NanoEthics Group, and multiple boards at Lifeboat Foundation.

Miguel F. Aznar serves as executive director of KnowledgeContext, director of education for Foresight Institute, and on the advisory boards of both the Nanoethics Group and the Acceleration Studies Foundation. He has presented at educational conferences, including Computer Using Educators (CUE), California Educational Research Association (CERA), and California League of Middle Schools (CLMS).


"There’s a stack of books on our desk and a cloud of PDFs on our desktop that focus on the social and ethical implications (SEI) of nanotech, but this 2011 collection by Judith Light Feather and Migeul F. Aznar will be among the few “go to” texts for our classes and research in coming years. With critical essays, lively pedagogical ideas and techniques, and a veritable database of resources that more than deliver on the title keyword, the book is a timely tool for growing the best of all plausible nanotechnological futures. ... The sheer variety of perspectives represented here helps the volume avoid the usual monotone voice of jargon that too often haunts such compilations. The result is a fresh and lucid take on the metaphorical roadmap to nanotechnology, with a welcome emphasis on bottom-up approaches to education and workforce training. There is much to like here—an impressive, sometimes dizzying array of resources and approaches for educators and administrators in time to make a difference in today’s classroom and hacklab."
-- U.S. Journal of Nanophotonics, Vol. 5, 2011