Despite the economic recession, the Russian Federation continues investing in nanoeducation. Unlike the Western countries, Russia provides the special governmental program "Nanoeducation" and finances those activities from the federal budget. The core point of the program is installation of special tools in educational establishments of different kind and organization of special training nanolaboratories.
The Federal Directed Program "Development of Nanotech Infrastructure in The Russian Federation", initiated by the president Vladimir Putin, was adopted in 2008 and will be active through 2010. The Nanoeducation is one of the important parts of this program which is governed by the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia.
According to the Program, the main activity in Nanoeducation for today is to equip the central universities and other educational establishments with training nanolaboratories. These are experimental classes fitted with special microscopes and connected computers, where students can do trainings under the auspices of professor or lead their scientific investigations.
Creation of nanolaboratories is the idea of the Minister of education and science Andrey Fursenko. After visiting one of the nanoeducational exhibitions and getting acquainted with simplified training nanocomplexes, he has come to the decision to establish such equipment in Russian universities. This idea had come to realization even before the educational standard in nanoscience was developed and widely spread in the country.
In 2008, 35 higher schools in Russia were equipped with special nanoeducational complexes. The universities, the first tried on the experiment, were chosen according to their specialization and rating and were situated all over the country.
Professors and students have already spoken the first favorable reports about the program. "For the first time the students, even on the earlier stages of education, received an opportunity to look at the nanoworld by their own eyes and to imagine the real picture. I am sure that this positive fact will make the educational process much more interesting and clear", - told the professor of one of the main Russian universities. It's important to mention, that the first student scientific works, done with the training nanocomplexes, have already appeared in Russia. Some of them are going to be presented as the PhD studies.
But it is not the end of the story. At the moment the nanoeducational complexes are being installed in 48 Russian secondary schools. Primarily, these are the schools specialized on Physics, situated in different parts of the Russian Federation. At the end of the last year the equipment has already been delivered and now most of the classes are ready to teaching.
It is worth mentioning, that down to date the Russian Government, equipping the classrooms, has worked with the same contractor NT-MDT Co. It is a global company, producing complex nanotech devices. For Russian schools and universities the company provides special training tools "NANOEDUCATOR". It is a scientific educational complex with a set of learning aids, accessories for introducing students to nanotechnology and giving them a basic understanding of how work with objects at nanoscale level. It's a student-oriented SPM developed for work by even first-time microscope users.