The Administration’s updated Strategy for American Innovation, released in October 2015, identifies nanotechnology as one of the emerging “general-purpose technologies”—a technology that, like the steam engine, electricity, and the Internet, will have a pervasive impact on our economy and our society, with the ability to create entirely new industries, create jobs, and increase productivity. To reap these benefits, we must train our Nation’s students for these high-tech jobs of the future. Fortunately, the multidisciplinary nature of nanotechnology and the unique and fascinating phenomena that occur at the nanoscale mean that nanotechnology is a perfect topic to inspire students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
A new video series being released today shows how it is possible to both educate and inspire students through nanotechnology. Nanotechnology: Super Small Science is a collection of videos, produced by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in partnership with NBC Learn, which describes six areas where nanotechnology has a significant impact, including advanced electronics, renewable energy, and human health. The content, intended for middle and high school students, was developed for classroom use in consultation with the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO). The videos will reach a potential audience of 9 million students across the country and highlights will be shared with the more than 200 NBC affiliate stations for use in news segments. The videos are now available on the NBC Learn website, as well as through NSF’s Science360 and Nano.gov.
The Nanotechnology: Super Small Science series is just the latest example of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI)’s efforts to educate and inspire our Nation’s students. Other examples include:
We in the Federal government look forward to working with colleagues from across the educational spectrum to promote STEM education and awareness of nanotechnology. If you’d like to share opportunities to advance nanoeducation, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Friedersdorf is Deputy Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office at the White House National Science and Technology Council.
Lloyd Whitman is Assistant Director for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.