Building on the highly popular event that introduces elementary, middle- and high-school students to nanotechnology, more than 300 students received an up-close look at nanobioscience and nanomedicine while attending NanoCareer Day today at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering ("CNSE") of the University at Albany.
Nine schools in eight counties, as well as a group of home-schooled students, took part in NanoCareer Day - another event in CNSE's community and educational outreach initiative known as NANOvember - designed to lead the effort to prepare students for a growing number of nanotechnology-related career opportunities in the Capital Region and New York State and to address the national need to stimulate an interest in math and science among younger Americans.
The event gave students unique insight into the applications of nanotechnology in the health care field. Students had the opportunity to see biosensors and biochips being developed at the UAlbany NanoCollege to monitor glucose and lactate concentrations in the body, and to try out several commercially available sensors that are currently on the market. Students also learned about the potential of nanotechnology to treat Parkinson's disease, diabetes and cancer, saw a live demonstration of cell encapsulation under a microscope, and made polymer hydrogels.
"The UAlbany NanoCollege is pleased to provide students with this gateway into the exciting world of nanotechnology, a field that offers a multitude of exciting and high-paying career opportunities," said Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros, Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of CNSE. "As the nanotechnology sector in the Capital Region and New York State continues to grow, a result of the extraordinary leadership and investment of Governor Paterson and Assembly Speaker Silver, programs like NanoCareer Day play a critical role in ensuring development of a skilled workforce that is necessary to advance New York's nanotechnology economy and vital to strengthening U.S. competitiveness in an increasingly global marketplace."
NanoCareer Day gave students unprecedented access to CNSE, ranked in May 2007 by Small Times magazine as the world's number one college for nanotechnology and microtechnology, and home of the $4.5 billion, world-class Albany NanoTech Complex, the most advanced research and development enterprise on a university campus anywhere in the world.
The National Science Foundation projects the need for 2 million nanotechnology-savvy workers by 2014, with 20 percent expected to be scientists and the remaining 80 percent consisting of highly skilled engineers, technicians, business leaders, economists and others, with expertise ranging from two-year associate degrees to doctoral degrees.
Participating schools, and their counties, included: Knickerbacker Middle School, Lansingburgh (Rensselaer), Home School Group (grades 7-11), Hudson Falls Central School (Washington), Queensbury Middle School (Warren), Marie Curie Institute, Greater Amsterdam School District (Montgomery), Menands Middle School (Albany), Niskayuna High School (Schenectady), Northville Central School (Fulton), Saratoga Springs High School (Saratoga) and Watervliet Middle School (Albany).