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Education: K-12 Programs: NanoTeach

SNF is again partnering with Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) and Aspen Associates on an NSF grant (after the successful NanoLeap program), along with our NNIN partners at Gerogia Tech. In this program we will develop NanoTeach, a combination of face-to-face and online professional development experiences for high school science teachers who teach physical science topics. NanoTeach will increase teachers’ nanoscale science and technology content knowledge and their repertoire of content-specific instructional strategies. NanoTeach will build upon a previous successful NSF-funded project, A NanoLeap into New Science, using what we learned about the development process itself and incorporating NanoLeap instructional materials. NanoTeach will use instructional materials and professional development findings from other NSF-funded nanoscale science and technology (NS&T) projects, and staff from these projects will serve on the NanoTeach advisory board.

The primary goal of NanoTeach is to prepare teachers to use an instructional design framework to integrate NS&T content into their curriculum in significant ways. To achieve this goal, we will develop and test a professional development model that combines: (1) an instructional design framework (Designing Effective Science Lessons), a three part instructional design framework [C-U-E] that helps teachers address content (C), student understanding (U), and learning environments (E), (2) nanoscale science content (from NanoLeap, NanoSense, and the NCLT), and (3) multiple delivery methods (face-to-face meetings, asynchronous online assignments, and synchronous sessions with cutting-edge instructor controlled online video technology). Teachers engaged in NanoTeach will learn to design and implement lesson plans and assessments using the Designing Effective Science Lessons [C-U-E] framework. Teacher learning goals are to learn to: (1) integrate NS&T content, (2) use instructional strategies that have a high correlation to student understanding, and (3) create learning environments that help students conducting scientific inquiries.

One of the SNF team's main responsibilities on the project is content expertise. As content experts, the Stanford team advises on concepts to include in the curriculum and checks curriculum materials for scientific accuracy.


Members of SNF NanoTeach Team

The SNF NanoTeach Team

Members of SNF NanoTeach Team


The other main contribution that SNF is making to the project is remote access capabilities. High-resolution web-cameras are used to give live webcast tours of the SNF and Georgia Tech cleanrooms. In addition, we will provide a virtual lab demonstration, showing how carbon nanotubes are produced, analyzed, and imaged in one of our labs. Finally, discussions with nanoscience researchers, technicians, and educators will be offered live over the web with our workshop participants.