From fuel cells and solar panels to hydrogen-powered vehicles and sustainable building design, more than 300 students from across New York saw firsthand the power of nanotechnology to enable new advances in clean energy and environmental technologies during NanoCareer Day held today at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany.
Building on the highly popular event that introduces middle- and high-school students to nanotechnology, NanoCareer Day utilized a theme of "New Energy, Clean Environment, Bright Future" in helping to address the national need to stimulate an interest in math and science among America's younger generation. NanoCareer Day is also intended to offer insight on the growing number of career opportunities related to nanotechnology, amid projections by the National Science Foundation ("NSF") that the U.S. will need over two million nanotechnology-savvy workers by 2014.
Students from 10 schools participated in a host of hands-on educational activities during the event. Teams of students built working photovoltaic panels, and then used them to power small electronic items such as calculators, fans and radios; learned about the development and use of fuel cell energy by conducting races with model fuel-cell cars; explored sustainable and environmentally friendly building design with a model and presentation from Einhorn Yaffee Prescott ("EYP") Architecture & Engineering of Albany; and, viewed a Honda FCX hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicle from the New York State Office of General Services.
"It is always a pleasure to welcome hundreds of students and teachers to the UAlbany NanoCollege for NanoCareer Day, which offers an unparalleled look at the exciting science of nanotechnology and the career opportunities it is providing," said Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of CNSE. "We are especially delighted to continue this highly successful tradition by demonstrating how nanotechnology will positively impact the critical areas of clean energy and environmentally friendly technologies, both of which are vital to the future of our children and our nation."
Schools in seven New York counties attended the daylong program, including: Robert C. Parker School (Rensselaer), Schenectady High School (Schenectady), Arbor Hill Middle School (Albany), Whitesboro and Parkway Middle Schools (Oneida), Northville Central School (Fulton), Monticello High School (Sullivan), Broadalbin Perth Intermediate School (Fulton), Albany Prep Charter School (Albany), Amsterdam High School (Montgomery), and Farnsworth Middle School (Albany).
NanoCareer Day also featured presentations by CNSE faculty on the emerging science of nanotechnology and the career opportunities it offers - including a growing number at the UAlbany NanoCollege and across New York State - and tours of CNSE's $4.2 billion Albany NanoTech complex, with tools and facilities that are unmatched in the university setting.