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Research Experience For Undergraduates In Nanotechnology: Analysis Of Participants 1997 2007

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

STEM Pipeline: Pre-College to Post-Baccalaureate

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1038.1 - 13.1038.14



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Paper Authors


Nancy Healy Georgia Institute of Technology

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Nancy Healy is the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. Her office is located at Georgia Institute of Technology. She has a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of South Carolina.

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Lynn Rathbun Cornell University

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Lynn Rathbun is the Program Manager for the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network which is an integratd partnership of 13 universities. His office is located at Cornell University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Ohio State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Research Experience for Undergraduates in Nanotechnology: Analysis of Participants 1997-2007 Abstract Nanotechnology is considered by many to be the next “industrial revolution.” The National Science Foundation (NSF) estimates that by 2015 nanoscale science and engineering will be $1.5 – 2.0 trillion industry with the U.S. needing approximately 1 million workers. Workforce development programs are needed to excite undergraduates about possible education and career opportunities to ensure that the U.S. maintains its competitive edge in this fast-growing field. The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) is an integrated geographically- diverse partnership of 13 university-based laboratories supported by the NSF. The NNIN also has extensive education outreach programs for the K-gray population. One such program is our NNIN Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). NNIN has a strong commitment to the broader mission of nanotechnology education, knowledge transfer, and outreach for the nation. Since 1997, NNIN (and its predecessor NNUN) has conducted a network wide, multi-site REU program. Between 40 and 80 students participate annually in the NNIN REU and over 500 undergraduates having completed this summer research program. We have several years’ worth of evaluation results from annual surveys which we use to modify the program and to measure the impact of our program on career choices. The later objective is challenging because it plays out over the course of 10 years after the REU experience. Because of its size and long history, the NNUN/NNUN program has had the opportunity to generate statistically meaningful, long- term outcome data on its participants. We have a continuing investigation of the career paths and educational impact of our program on the approximately 250 participants in the first seven years of the program (1997-2003). To date, we have contacted ~100 of the 250 participants. Seventy percent of the respondents indicated that the program significantly or very significantly influenced their career path. We are continuing this time-intensive longitudinal study in locating past participants by means of mailings, internet searches, and links on our website. However, we believe that such efforts will provide information specifically on the impact of our program and REU programs in general.

Introduction The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program which supports nanoscience researchers by providing state-of-the-art nanotechnology facilities, support, and resources. The NNIN is a consortium of thirteen universities (12 member sites and one affiliated site) across the United States ( NNIN’s mission is to support nanotechnology research and development needs of academic, industrial, and governmental users by providing tools, training, and process knowledge. In addition to researcher support, the NNIN has a large and integrated education and outreach program. The focus of the program is to develop a workforce ready for the demands of the rapidly developing field of nanotechnology as well as Figure 1 Distribution of NNIN sites develop a nano-literate public. Our Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is one part of the education mission to excite and

Healy, N., & Rathbun, L. (2008, June), Research Experience For Undergraduates In Nanotechnology: Analysis Of Participants 1997 2007 Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4447

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