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The SCENE-LSRCE will leverage the unique qualities of core members and partners to implement a strategic set of activities. Our goals will be to: (a) support student engagement, retention and progress towards STEM baccalaureate degree completion; (b) increase access to high quality STEM undergraduate and graduate research experiences; (c) provide high quality materials for education and training in nanofabrication and nanotechnology applications; and (d) facilitate broad dissemination of resources to support nanotechnology research and education.

To attain these goals, three specific aims have been identified: 1) Adopt and implement  effective education and training tools to support preparation for careers in nanoscience and engineering; 2) Networking and partnership with local and remote institutions to provide advanced research experiences, access to role models, and career awareness; and 3) Disseminating information and promoting outreach activities to underserved communities.

Nanotechnology Education and Training at the SCENE

The interdisciplinary nature of nanotechnology offers a great potential to enhance STEM education across multiple STEM fields, including biology, chemistry, math, physics, and multiple engineering disciplines. The SCENE will adapt multiple existing products to support the participation of STEM students and faculty. The SCENE will also explore avenues for participation by in-service professionals.

Instructional Modules and Multimedia: A broad range of on/off-line learning modules for community college and undergraduate students will form the core of our initial efforts in the nano-education component. Over the past ten years, CNEU has developed an excellent library of nano-informed modules and videos. The SCENE will build upon this infrastructure to adapt, update, and integrate more information in collaboration with CNEU personnel. As a goal, the modules will be implemented in on/off-line formats, and will feature material surveying multiple dimensions of nanoscience and fabrication. Beyond the conventional technical topics, modules will also address topics such as the origins of nanotechnology, why it is unique, how it applies in modern society, and what is its potential. Preparation of the materials for delivery via digital platforms will be prioritized from the start of the project. Planned module titles are listed below.

Teaching Modules

  • Nanotechnology and our environment, health, and safety
  • Nanotechnology equipment and cleanroom facility
  • Top-down fabrication processes and equipment: lithography, etching and deposition
  • Bottom-up fabrication processes and equipment: nanomaterials synthesis and assembly
  • Nanotechnology characterization: optical, scanning and transmission electron microscopy
  • Electrical and optical characterization of nano-materials and devices
  • Societal impacts and ethics

Summer Internship Program

The SCENE will feature summer research and mentoring programs to increase students’ knowledge and skills, and to motivate their interest in pursuing nanoscience and engineering. A proposed seven-week experience will feature extensive training in cleanroom operation, as well as a short-term applied activity or project with a paired faculty or partner institute researcher.  Student interns will complete a full training regimen in the NSU Micro and Nano-technology Center (MiNaC), a 6,000 square foot clean-room facility which enables the fabrication of nano-scale optical and electronic devices.

The training will be followed by a research activity or project at NSU or a partnering research institute, including NASA-LaRC, JLab-ARC, PSU, EVMS, and others. The intern experience will also feature a limited number of professional development activities such as invited talks by active researchers, presentations on graduate school preparation, or lab tours at regional facilities. The SCENE will support student participation by offering travel support and housing, as well as a stipend for student participation.  Special efforts to secure detailed and pre-determined project descriptions from participating institutes will be made in an effort to ensure a quality experience for the students.

The Education Coordinator will be responsible for convening a team to: 1) implement an application and selection protocol; 2) gather and review the project descriptions; 3) implement pre-internship communications; 4) match students with project mentors; 5) implement appropriate training protocols for mentors; and 6) employ assessment products as required