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Modification of Nanoscience Educational Content to Reach a Greater Number of Educators

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1165.1 - 26.1165.4



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Paper Authors


Deborah Newberry DCTC/Nano-Link

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Deb Newberry is the director of the Nanoscience Technology program at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, MN where she created 8 college level nano specific courses and the 2 year, AAS degree Nanoscience Technologist program. Deb also is the Director and Principle Investigator of Nano-Link, Center for Nanotechnology Education which spans 38 states and 4 countries in Europe (NSF funded).
After 23 years of experience as a researcher and executive in the corporate world, she became a nanotechnology consultant and writer, coauthoring, The Next Big Thing is Really Small, a bestselling book on nanotechnology and is also the author of ten chapters in nanotechnology and educational books. Deb has spoken to multiple organizations, including the U.S. Senate, IEEE, ASME, BIO, ATMAE, NCPN and others. A member of the editorial board of the Journal of Nano Education, she has published a number of articles in business magazines and professional journals.

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Modification of Nanoscience Educational Content to Reach a Greater Number of EducatorsThe focus of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technology Educational (ATE) Divisionis to create technician level employees to meet the needs of today’s workforce.Acknowledging that students often make career decisions before entering college, ATE programs includean aspect of career path development and outreach to students in grades 8 through 12 as a portion of theprogram. Nano-Link has chosen to focus on educators in these grade levels as the conduit to the studentpopulation. For use by educators, since 2008 Nano-Link has created modularized content for the infusionof nanoscale science, applications, technology and career options into traditional curriculum. From 2010to 2012 modifications were made to the modularized approach as well as the educator training thatpositively impacted the use of the modules by educators. This modification in approach has resulted inmodule use by over 300 educators in 38 states and 4 countries – with a reach to over 25,000 students.The above numbers, however, only represent the proverbial “drop in the bucket” of potential educatorsand students that could be impacted by exposure to nanoscience content and career options. And it ispossible that the current module users are the “early innovators” or risk takers of the educator community.Introduction of new or emerging technology content can pose a challenge or even a threat to someeducators. In order to expand the reach of these modules beyond our current levels Nano-Link isevaluating additional modifications to the educational content. These modifications include directcorrelation to the Next Generation Science Standards and/or Common Core Science Standards as well asenhancement of the current applications and technology portions of the module. It is proposed that thesemodifications will provide the information correlation and the “real world” connection that someeducators require or appreciate in educational content.This poster will outline the previous approach and modifications, the results of those modifications interms of use and impact, the proposed additional modifications to reach a broader audience and the resultsfrom the initial distribution and implementation of these newly modified modules.

Newberry, D. (2015, June), Modification of Nanoscience Educational Content to Reach a Greater Number of Educators Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24502

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