San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.721.1 - 25.721.12
IMPACTING UNDERGRADUATE NANOSCIENCE AND NANOENGINEERING EDUCATION AT NORTH CAROLINA A & T STATE UNIVERSITY In this paper, we report our three-pronged efforts toward enhancing undergraduatenanoscience and engineering education with an emphasis on devices and systems. We are usingthe practical approach of direct engagement of the students in ongoing research in our advancedmaterials laboratories. These efforts have been primarily supported by two successive NSF NanoUndergraduate Education (NUE) projects at North Carolina A & T State University. Our firstactivity for enhancing nanoscience and nanoengineering education was to introduce simpleconcepts of nanoscience and technology into existing required undergraduate engineeringcourses. These modules covered the core concepts of nanomaterials and unique phenomena atthe nanoscale. Introducing the concepts of nanoscience and engineering at this early stage ofundergraduate education was found to positively impact student interest in registering for atechnical elective nanotechnology course that we developed as our second initiative.An interdisciplinary 3-credit nanotechnology course (Nanotechnology I) with a significanthands-on laboratory component was developed as a tech elective course for seniorundergraduates and has attracted enrollments of 20-30, primarily from our graduating class sizeof approximately 50 mechanical engineers per year. The course offers a fundamental perspectiverelated to the structure, stability and functional characteristics of nanoscale materials andsystems, and also trains students in the application of available theoretical models in theinterpretation of results. Under our third initiative, a limited number of undergraduates well-imbued with this foundational perspective were recruited and financially supported to engage ina semester-long research project related to nanotechnology. The course (Nanotechnology- II)was classified as “Independent Study” course under the department’s existing curriculum.Students were assigned to work for the entire semester with individual faculty members drawnfrom the Senior Personnel for the NUE project. The students of this class (Nanotechnology -II)were required to submit a final written report and make one mid-semester and one end-of-semester power point presentation. The students’ performance was evaluated by a panel ofexaminers consisting of all the NUE PIs. In brief, our three-pronged approach appears to haveenabled and empowered the students more effectively with the knowledge of the fundamentalsof nanoscience and engineering and proficiency to conduct research and developeconomically-viable nano-devices with innovative applications.
Kumar, D., & Pai, D. M., & Mensah-Darkwa, K., & Liles, R. G., & Faruque, M. K., & Lambeth, C. (2012, June), Impacting Undergraduate Nanoscience and Nanoengineering Education at North Carolina A&T State University Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21478
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