Teaching Nanotechnology Across the Undergraduate STEM Curriculum

Nanotechnology is an exciting emerging field of research with applications in all STEM disciplines including the physical, chemical, life, Earth and environmental sciences and allied disciplines in materials science and engineering. Nanotechnology provides unprecedented opportunities for frontier research at the interfaces between these STEM disciplines by studying the properties of materials on the nanoscale (~1 billionth of a meter!).

This website serves as an on-ramp to providing the fundamental concepts of nanotechnology education across the STEM curriculum, primarily developed for undergraduate instructors.

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National Nanotechnology/Science Initiatives

  • National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure--The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports 16 user facility sites, their affiliated partners, and a coordinating office as the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI). The NNCI sites provide researchers from academia, small and large companies, and government with access to university user facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation, and expertise within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering and technology. Explore their Sites, Tools (over 2000 characterization and fabrication tools are available for use through the NNCI network), Experts (find colleagues for collaboration), Resources), and Learn More about Education and Outreach and Nano and Society resources.
  • The Montana Nanotechnology Facility at Montana State University (MONT) is one of 16 sites in the NNCI. See the listing of MONT Activities (webinars and annual All MONT Users' Meetings) that are available to the public.
  • The National NanoTechnology Initiative-- ".... is a U.S. Government research and development (R&D) initiative involving 20 departments and independent agencies working together toward the shared vision of "a future in which the ability to understand and control matter at the nanoscale leads to a revolution in technology and industry that benefits society." See the 2016 NNI Strategic Plan to learn more about national research priorities related to nanotechnology/science.
Recently published: Review articles on nanoscience in the Earth and Environmental Sciences by Hochella, M. F., Mogk, D. W., Ranville, J., Allen, I. C., Luther, G. W., Marr, L. C., McGrail, B. P., Murayama, M., Qafoku, N. P., Rosso, K. M., Sahai, N., Schroeder, P. A., Vikesland, P., Westerhoff, P., and Yang, Y., 2019, Natural, incidental, and engineered nanomaterials and their impacts on the Earth system: Science, v. 363, no. 6434, p. eaau8299. DOI: 10.1126/science.aau8299. 
This is the most comprehensive, up-to-date review of the many occurrences of nanoparticles in the Earth system, and the impacts they have on Earth processes and environmental and human health.

See also: Hochella, M. F., Lower, S. K., Maurice, P. A., Penn, R. L., Sahai, N., Sparks, D. L., and Twining, B. S., 2008, Nanominerals, mineral nanoparticles, and earth systems: Science, v. 319, no. 5870, p. 1631-1635.

Get Involved

  • Contribute Materials: We encourage faculty to contribute course descriptions, teaching activities, and references to continue to build our collections.
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  • Join the TeachNano email list to take part in discussions with colleagues who teach about nanoscience. If you subscribe to the lists, you can also access past emails using the list archives.

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