Nanotechnology in STEM: Incorporating nanotechnology across the geoscience curriculum

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm TSU - Humphries: 118
Poster Session Part of Friday


Monica Bruckner, Carleton College
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
Michael Hochella Jr., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ
James Ranville, Colorado School of Mines
Kristin O'Connell, Carleton College
Kathryn Sheriff, Carleton College
Nanoscience is largely underrepresented in Geoscience research and is almost completely absent in the Geoscience curriculum. However, nanoparticles contribute substantially to energetics and mass balance in all parts of the Earth system, and physical and chemical properties (and processes) of materials are size dependent and are fundamentally different on the nanoscale compared to the mesoscale. The Teaching Nanotechnology Across the Undergraduate STEM Curriculum project introduces nanoscience as a 'new kind of science' that is applicable to all courses in the Geoscience curriculum. Nanotechnology is also a major economic driver with implications for societal, economic, human health, and environmental applications, and thus, it is important to teach about nanoscience to demonstrate potential career paths and to prepare students for the future workforce. Geoscience as a discipline cannot afford to not participate in the nanoscience revolution.

Three international workshops were convened to discover, aggregate, and organize information and resources about nanoscience to disseminate through the project website. This site provides information about the fundamental concepts of nanoscience, related advice on "what," "why," and "how" to teach about nanoscience, a "primer" on nanoscience methods, and ethical issues raised by nanoscience. An extensive collection of recommended references on topics in nanoscience has been developed that can be further developed into course materials and activities. In addition, as part of this project, a small working group of experts in nanoscience developed a review article for the journal Science on the occurrence and impact of nanomaterials within the Earth system, and this website is an educational companion to this article. Evaluation of the website is providing insight into how users utilize the resources and content provided. The authors seek additional feedback on how the website can be effectively integrated into Geoscience courses across the curriculum. Explore the site at: