June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Computers in Education
22.1709.1 - 22.1709.14
Work-in-Progress: Virtual Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Nanotechnology (VREUN)AbstractNanotechnology, the ability to leverage and exploit fundamental processes at the nanometerlength scale, suggests the potential for a technological revolution. To sustain and propagatetechnologies at the nanoscale, continued efforts toward understanding the fundamental principlesgoverning nano-science must be coupled with a focus on nano-engineering to span the multiplelength scales necessary to realize nanoscience pheneomena in real-world devices. The USNational Nanotechnology Initiative recognizes the importance of the preparation of a diverse andeducated workforce with the necessary training and background required to meet this challenge.To partially address this challenge, in development are Virtual Research Experiences forUndergraduates in Nanotechnology (VREUN) modules to introduce undergraduate students(focusing on the freshmen year) to concepts of nanotechnology in the context of active research.These self-contained multimedia learning modules are based on video documentation ofundergraduate researchers contributing to the nanotechnology research currently underway in ourlabs. Each module presents the undergraduate research project being documented, the nanoscalephenomena being investigated, key research questions raised and how they are being addressedin the lab, and how this understanding is necessary for ultimate commercialization of thetechnology.Distinguishing characteristics of these modules include the use of current faculty research as thecenterpiece for the educational materials, and the use of a multimedia format to enable anengaging and dynamic view of academic nanotechnology research accessible to all studentswithin the curriculum. While these modules will be deployed within a new first year“Engineering Experiences” course being offered at our school, ultimate deployment of these self-contained modules in other academic settings is envisioned. The goals of this effort include: 1)invigorating the first year engineering curriculum with dynamic and engaging real-worldexamples of cutting edge research in the area of nanotechnology; 2) introducing undergraduatesat the earliest stages to the enthusiasm, creativity, and excitement of the academic researchenvironment; and 3) developing a methodology and mechanism with which faculty can utilizemultimedia technology to further integrate their research and teaching efforts. The initialmodules under development will form the basis of a sustainable and scalable library of materialsdocumenting undergraduate nanotechnology research and readily available to all students. It ishoped that exposure to academic research at the earliest stages of the curriculum will broaden thepool of undergraduates who participate in such research, and to encourage these students to do soearlier in their studies.
Fisher, F. T., & Man, H. (2011, June), Work in Progress: Virtual Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Nanotechnology (VREUN) Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18424
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