Universities Offer Nanotechnology Youth Programs

To motivate students to explore careers in nanotechnology, many colleges and universities have presented a variety of programs for middle school and high school students. These schools offer nanotechnology camps, school outreach programs, field trips, and nanotechnology career days for students from city, suburban, and private schools. Some of these universities and colleges include Georgia Institute of Technology, Penn State, University of California, Santa Barbara, Cornell, University

Students interact with the LEGO*® nanotechnology exhibit that is one of several displays in the "Nanotechnology: The Science of Making Things Smaller" project. The project is directed by Purdue University's Department of Physics and its School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in conjunction with the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (Courtesy Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

of New Mexico, Stanford, Howard University, Michigan State, University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Harvard, and the University of Albany.

Let's look at one example of a university's nanotechnology program for young people. The mission at the Northwestern University-Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center is to teach people of all ages about the nanoworld. In one of their workshops, 37 fifth graders came to Northwestern to participate in "NanoDay," a half-day of activities designed to spark student interest in nanoscience and technology.

Besides the universities, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) also provides a variety of school programs. Even museums such as the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Lawrence Hall of Science in California, and the Museum of Science in Boston have had nanotechnology exhibits. Purdue University and Cornell University

The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network provides a variety of school programs. In one of their programs, students from an elementary school are learning about self-assembly through an activity demonstrated by Richard Kirk CEO of Claro Chemicals. (Courtesy National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network)

have sponsored on-the-road nanoexhibits to spark public interest in nanotechnology.

Several high schools also have special nanotechnology programs. The Future is NEAR (Nanotechnology Education and Research) program at North Penn High School in Lansdale, Pennsylvania offers its students an opportunity to gain 21st-century skills that will help prepare them to become successful leaders in the new, technological global society.

In Albany, New York, eligible students at the Albany High School will have the opportunity to participate in nanotechnology education via a pilot program with the University of Albany, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Under its pilot phase, NanoHigh will focus on school-to-work activities designed to train AHS students in creative nanoscience and nanoengineering concepts, and help equip them with the skill set necessary to pursue advanced educational opportunities in the field that is "leading to the next industrial revolution." See Chapter 10 to learn more about how schools, universities, colleges, and other organizations are encouraging young people to explore nanotechnology.

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