June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.414.1 - 13.414.13
An Interdisciplinary, Research-Intensive Minor in Nanotechnology Studies
At Stony Brook University, we have developed a multidisciplinary minor in Nanotechnology Studies unique in its ability to attract undergraduate students from a broad range of academic backgrounds, to integrate into existing majors and programs through mentored research, and to foster professional development through teamwork, communications and active learning. The Minor in Nanotechnology Studies (NTS) is an interdisciplinary, research-intensive program intended for students in majors from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences or the College of Arts and Sciences at who wish to learn about the emerging field of nanotechnology. The coursework in the Minor provides a broad background in the science, design, manufacture, and societal, health and environmental impacts of nanomaterials and nanoscale structures and their applications in engineering and health related areas. The inclusion of a minimum of two semesters of research in the students’ own major areas, as well as choice of technical electives, will allow for integration into current interests and disciplines, and will provide knowledge and skills valuable to students planning to seek employment or graduate studies in fields related to the engineering, business, policy or broader impact of nanotechnology.
a. Need for the minor
In both education and industry it has become clear that nanotechnology does not represent a “stand-alone” activity or field of study – it is an understanding of the impact of unique mechanisms, science and structures at the nanoscale on research and development in traditional fields, such as materials science, mechanical engineering, electronics, biomedical technology, environmental engineering and manufacturing. As such, nanotechnology cannot be taught as a “stand-alone” subject, isolated from its application in design of devices and systems – instead, it must be introduced in the context of research and problem solving in traditional as well as emerging engineering fields suited to student interest. Likewise, it is essential to provide a social, economic and ethical context to application of nanotechnology in manufacturing, medicine, and other contextual areas driving research and development. This provides a unique challenge and requires an approach which successfully integrates nanotechnology into current academic programs. Such an approach has the added benefit of enhancing student engagement and motivation. The result will be a better educated population of engineers, with an appreciation for the critical importance of nanoscale approaches to solving societal problems.
b. Value of active/problem-based approach
There are many references regarding the value of problem-based, active learning environments for improvement of student comprehension and engagement.1,2,3 Active-learning requires students to be involved in key activities of analysis, synthesis and evaluation. 4 For university
Halada, G., & Frame, M., & Korach, C., & Ferguson, D. (2008, June), Development Of A Research Intensive, Multidisciplinary Minor In Nanotechnology Studies (Nts) Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4095
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