Research Findings on Nanotechnology Education

Published on March 17, 2010 at 2:59 AM

NanoProfessor, a division of NanoInk, Inc. focused on nanotechnology education, is pleased to announce the findings of its nanotechnology education research study, which evaluated the impact nanotechnology-focused curriculum has in influencing students' selection of a community college or technical institute.

NanoProfessor commissioned market research firm Synovate to survey more than 500 high school seniors and adults returning to school from across the U.S. who had an interest in a science-related curriculum and were considering attending a community college or technical school. Study participants surveyed had to live within 25 miles of two community colleges or technical institutes.

The key finding of the study revealed that approximately one-third of high school seniors and one-quarter of adults would be positively influenced in their school selection if a nanotechnology education curriculum was available. Those percentages rose to approximately 45 percent for both students and adults who saw the NanoProfessor Program as a unique offering.

"This study supports that there is a significant level of awareness and interest among high school students and adults on the benefits of a nanotechnology education," said Dean Hart, executive vice president for NanoProfessor. "Students are even more excited by curriculum that consists of actually building nanoscale structures and will choose those schools that can provide them with that hands-on training. The NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program provides community colleges, technical schools, and undergraduate university programs with a new resource to use in capturing this student demand, while preparing students for rewarding nanotech positions in a myriad of emerging high-tech industries."

Other key findings from the study include:

  • When survey participants were asked how nanotechnology would impact their career, the top 3 responses were: "Helpful/Beneficial"; "Broaden Knowledge"; and "Offer More Opportunities/Open More Doors."
  • Price, curriculum offered, and expertise of professors are the top 3 factors influencing consideration of a community college and/or technical institute.
  • A school's Web site is the most popular resource used by high school seniors and adults to gather information about prospective schools. However, high school seniors are also likely to seek out recommendations from other sources or references as part of their decision-making process.

The NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program aims to expand hands-on nanotechnology education from the cleanrooms of research-based universities to the classrooms of undergraduate programs and is especially well-suited to educational initiatives at the community college, technical school, and undergraduate university level. The program alternates between classroom lectures and hands-on lab work and includes a timely 300-page textbook covering the topics of Nanotechnology Basics, NanoPhysics, NanoChemistry, NanoBiology, and Environmental, Health, and Safety perspectives on nanotechnology.

In the hands-on lab experiments, students learn the fundamentals for building custom-engineered, nanoscale structures while working with state-of-the-art instruments including NanoInk's NLP 2000 Desktop NanoFabrication System, a student-friendly atomic force microscope (AFM), an advanced fluorescence microscope, and various chemical and biological materials used today by nanotechnology experts.


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