June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1192.1 - 14.1192.18
Development and Implementation of a Nanotechnology Module into a Large Freshman Engineering Course
The development and implementation of a nanotechnology learning module into a freshman engineering course in Virginia Tech’s large engineering program is discussed. This module, a part of a spiral theory based nanotechnology option that will be implemented in the curriculum of the Engineering Science Mechanics (ESM) department at Virginia Tech, was piloted with ~180 freshmen in Spring ’08. The pilot included a prior knowledge survey, a 40-minute in-class presentation on nanotechnology, a hands-on module involving analysis of nanoscale images, plotting of force functions at atomic scale using LABVIEW, and a post-module survey. Students’ misconceptions, observed through the prior knowledge survey, were addressed in the in-class presentation and hands-on activities. In order to make the in-class presentation interactive, students’ responses to a series of questions were collected in real time using Tablet PC and DyKnow technologies. Lessons learned in the Spring ’08 pilot were incorporated to modify the module which was successfully implemented in the entire freshman engineering class of ~1500 in Fall ’08. Questions administered as part of a course exit survey indicated that about 15% students expressed interest in pursuing a nanotechnology option and about 65% students thought that nanotechnology was relevant in their intended field of engineering. Additionally, the survey revealed that a significant number of students were not clear about the role of gravitational forces at the nanoscale. Students also indicated interest in observing an actual nanotechnology experiment in a lab. Our experience indicates that LABVIEW provides a good environment to implement hands-on activities on nanotechnology concepts. However, caution should be exercised in developing LABVIEW based nanotechnology activities and more emphasis should be placed on nanotechnology concepts as compared to LABVIEW concepts. A series of nanotechnology learning experiences at the higher levels of learning are under development for creating the nanotechnology option within the ESM using the concept of spiral curriculum. This work is supported by the NSF’s nanotechnology in undergraduate education (NUE) in engineering program.
Lohani, V., & Balasubramanian, G., & Puri, I., & Case, S., & Mahajan, R. (2009, June), The Development And Implementation Of A Nanotechnology Module Into A Large, Freshman Engineering Course Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5130
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