The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) posted a blog item on January 25, 2016, on “Educating and Inspiring Students through Nanotechnology.” The blog item states that to reap the benefits of nanotechnology, “we must train our Nation’s students for these high-tech jobs of the future.” The blog item announces that a new six-part video series, “Nanotechnology: Super Small Science,” shows how to educate and inspire students though nanotechnology. The blog lists the other following examples of the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s (NNI) efforts “to educate and inspire our Nation’s students”:
- The Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes contest, hosted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NNI, challenges high school students to design nanotechnology-enabled gear for an original superhero. Submissions are due February 2, 2016.
- The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology collaborated with Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia to develop the middle school video series Innovation Workshop: Nanotechnology, which was recently distributed nationwide. Students at Western Carolina University, with guidance from the NNCO, have created educational animations about nanotechnology that are featured on Science Matters, Community Idea Stations. These videos and animations are also available through nano.gov.
- NNCO is expanding the teacher resources on nano.gov and working with nanoHUB to develop a searchable database for nanoeducation. The blog notes that this portal “addresses a critical challenge identified at the NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Education (NSEE) Workshop: the difficulty educators face in finding appropriate lesson plans, laboratories, and other resources for teaching nanoscience and engineering in their classrooms.”
- NNCO is coordinating a growing, national Nano & Emerging Technologies Student Network. The network consists of student-run clubs at colleges and that are focused on raising awareness of current and potential applications of emerging technologies, as well as promoting opportunities for student research and internships. The network will convene for the first time in summer 2016 at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo at the National Harbor in Maryland.