Asee peer logo

Connecting Rural Teachers and Students to Nanoscale Science and Engineering through Teacher Professional Development

Download Paper |


2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.332.1 - 23.332.6



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Joyce Allen National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

visit author page

Joyce Palmer Allen is the assistant education coordinator for the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) and works at the Nanotechnology Research Center at Georgia Institute of Technology. Her job includes planning, developing and implementing educational outreach programs in nanotechnology and representing the NNIN Education and Outreach office at local and national conferences and meetings. She also helps to oversee programs such as the NNIN Research Experience for Teachers (RET) and Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) at Georgia Tech.
Before joining NNIN and Georgia Tech, Joyce was a National Board Certified Teacher who taught science in grades 9-12 for thirty years. During her years of teaching she served on many local and state committees and received numerous recognitions.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Connecting Rural Teachers and Students to Nanoscale Science and Engineering through Teacher Professional DevelopmentMuch research has shown that there is a shortage of qualified U.S. applicants to fill STEM jobsand a significant under-representation of minorities and candidates from low-income and ruralbackgrounds. Many students and teachers that live in metro areas are often exposed to high techjobs and 21st century technologies such as nanoscale science and engineering (NSE). Teachersand students in rural areas often do not have the same exposure as these areas often have fewhigh tech jobs or are long distances from research institutions. The National NanotechnologyInfrastructure Network (NNIN) is a National Science Foundation funded network of fourteenresearch institutions that has as one of its goals workforce development. To meet this goal, weprovide teachers with the tools and resources needed to educate the future US workforce in NSE.NNIN at the Georgia Institute of Technology has been conducting across the nation professionaldevelopment workshops for teachers. During these workshops, teachers from 46 states haveprovided feed-back. Some of their concerns have been: their lack of knowledge about NSE, howto incorporate it into their curriculum, and concern that their students do not have opportunitiesto learn about current NSE research. We have taken this information to develop workshops thatwe have been conducted with teachers in four different rural areas of Georgia. The goals ofthese workshops have been to help teacher understand how NSE fits into the standards-basedcurriculum (physical science, biology, chemistry, and physics) that they already teach insecondary classrooms. Additional components include why students should learn aboutnanoscale science and engineering, how it can be used to excite students about STEM careers,and how teachers can connect their classes with researchers at Georgia Tech. The purpose ofthis paper is to share the insights that we have learned in our professional developmentworkshops working with rural teachers and schools well as the evaluation results.

Allen, J. (2013, June), Connecting Rural Teachers and Students to Nanoscale Science and Engineering through Teacher Professional Development Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19346

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015