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Education: K-12 Programs: A Nanoleap into New Science (Completed 9/2008)

NEW!!!! In the final year of the program we conducted three remote access activities with physical science and chemistry classes at three high schools in Colorado and Minnesota, and involved three NNIN sites: Stanford, University of Minnesota, and Georgia Tech. To read about this and see a video of it, go to the Nanoleap Remote-Access page and download the Nanoleap Remote Access Video file.

SNF is partnering with Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) and Aspen Associates on an NSF grant to develop and evaluate a set of nanoscale science instructional materials for use at the high school level. Combining educational expertise with emerging science, the project will develop two high school curriculum modules (one for physical science and one for chemistry) entitled A NANOLEAP INTO NEW SCIENCE. These 1-3 week curriculum modules will address nanoscale science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) standards as well as accompanying resources and professional development for educators to facilitate implementation of the modules.

One of the SNF team's main responsibilities on the project is content expertise. SNF hosted the kick-off meeting in Oct. 2004 for the project. Personnel from McREL and Aspen Associates attended and one of the goals of the meeting was to introduce the key concepts of nanoscale science to the project members. Research staff from SNF as well as faculty at Stanford working in nanoscience gave talks and tours of SNF to the participants. (agenda)

Five members of SNF McREL Team.

The SNF McREL Team

Prof. Chris Chidsey speaking to the Nanoleap team. SNF staff member taking out a silicon wafer during an SNF cleanroom tour. Prof. David Goldhaber-Gordon.

As content experts, the Stanford team advises on concepts to include in the curriculum and checks curriculum materials for scientific accuracy. In addition to the curriculum development, we also work on the professional development. For example, in the initial meeting in Nov. 2005 of the team of high school master teachers working on the project (at McREL in Colorado), the Stanford team participated remotely and answered questions from the teachers during a Q&A session. As the materials become more complete, additional NNIN sites will be assisting the the materials review as well.

The other main contribution that SNF is making to the project is remote access capabilities. High-resolution web-cameras are used to give live demonstrations of nanotechnology processing and characterization equipment, such as the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) as well as live virtual tours of the SNF cleanroom. An initial demonstration of a virtual tour and access to the AFM was done at the inital kickoff meeting. A subsequent demonstration was conducted during the master teachers meeting.


Mike Deal showing camera, computer and mobile cart used during remote demonstrations. Computer screen showing Stanford team members in cleanroom. Teachers in Colorado looking at remote demo by SNF team.

When it is decided how the remote access will be used (professional development, part of the curriculum, both) in the project, other NNIN sites with remote capabilities will be included such as lab webcams at other sites and remotely-accessed SEMs currently being developed at other NNIN sites.

Computer screen showing remote AFM. Computer screen showing AFM image remotely. Computer screen showing researcher working and equipment in one aisle of SNF cleanroom during remote tour.

NEW!!!! Recently we conducted three remote access activities with physical science and chemistry classes at three high schools in Colorado and Minnesota, and involved three NNIN sites: Stanford, University of Minnesota, and Georgia Tech. To read about this and see a video of it, go to the Nanoleap Remote-Access page and download the Nanoleap Remote Access Video file.