RET: Nanofabrication Training and Research Experience for Virginia Teachers

Project: Research project

Project Details



To meet the expanding need for nanotechnology workers, new nanotechnology education

programs, courses, and course modules must be developed and delivered to students at all

levels. There is a particular need for secondary science teachers to receive hands-on

nanotechnology training and research experience so that they are equipped to incorporate

nanotechnology principles and concepts into science curriculum. This proposed

Research Experience for Teachers (RET) project will provide a three-day hands-

nanotechnology training and research experience to 20 high school science teachers from

Virginia at the Penn State Nanofabrication Facility during late March or early April 2003.

This project will build upon prior investments by the state of Pennsylvania and the NSF

in nanotechnology education in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania NMT (Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology) Partnership was

initiated in 1998 by the state of Pennsylvania. It involves more than 30 colleges and

universities, secondary schools including vocational-technical schools, and private

industry. The NMT Partnership leverages the $26 million Penn State Nanofabrication

Facility, part of the NSF National Nanofabrication Users Network (NNUN), to provide

semester-long, hands-on nanofabrication education to students enrolled in associate

degree programs in nanofabrication at community colleges and other institutions across

Pennsylvania. The NMT Partnership also provides professional development workshops

for educators and industry personnel, and summer iunano campsln secondary school

students. The NMT Partnership is also a NSF Advanced Technology Education Center.

The NMT Partnership first began offering professional development workshops for

educators at the Penn State Nanofabrication Facility in 1999. To date, 169 educators and

industry personnel have attended these workshops. This proposed project builds upon

and expands the components of the Pennsylvania NMT Partnership associated with

professional development of educators, and will take the NMT Partnership beyond the

boundaries of Pennsylvania through an alliance with the Initiative for Nanotechnology in

Virginia (INanoVA). INanoVA is a statewide initiative involving higher education,

national laboraties, state and local education and economic development organization,

and private industry. INanoVA aims to promote collaborative nanotechnology research,

commercialization, and workforce education. The University of Virginia provides

leadership for InanoVA.

The University of Virginia will coordinate recruitment of 20 secondary science teachers

from Virginia for the proposed RET workshop, ensuring balanced geographic

representation across the state. Penn State will deliver the three-day nanotechnology

training and research experience at the Penn State Nanofabrication Facility. The project

will be managed by Penn State. The project has clear intellectual merit, as evidenced by

the role of the PI in leading the Penn State site of the NSF NNUN, the NSF Center for

Nanofabrication Manufacturing Education, the September 11-12, 2002 NSF Workshop

on Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE), and other nanotechnology research

and education activities. The project is expected to have broad impact on the science and

engineering workforce of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the nation.

Effective start/end date6/1/035/31/06


  • National Science Foundation: $30,000.00


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