Center for Nanotechnology Education
Principal Investigator (PI)
Nano-Link Builds Nano & STEM Career Pipelines
To create a pipeline of students interested in nanotechnology and science in general, Nano-Link reaches out to high school educators. Its 60 workshops and seminars have been attended by 1,200 educators. More than 450 of these teachers report reaching 65,000 students by using Nano-Link materials, activities, and experiments. The teachers have used these Nano-Link resources in physics, chemistry, biology, career education, math, and English classes.
Of the 831 high school students surveyed since 2014, 73% agreed or strongly agreed that use of Nano-Link educational content increased their interest in learning about nanotechnology, and 72% agreed or strongly agreed they had increased interest in learning about science-related careers.
Nano-Link Builds Science Knowledge to Address Future Nano Workforce Needs
Nano-Link is an alliance made up of 14 high schools, two-year colleges, and universities. It focuses on faculty, students, and the public to increase awareness of nanotechnology and the multitude of career options available.
Acknowledging the multi-disciplinary aspect of nanotechnology, the alliance also develops and defines the competencies required for a career in nanotechnology. As a result, Nano-Link partner colleges prepare students to meet the needs of employers in diverse industries such as energy, material science, biotechnology, food industry, agriculture, electronics, and medical device manufacturing.
Program graduates are employed at more than 35 companies nationwide. They serve as research assistants, lab managers, instrument operators, test technicians, customer service representatives, quality control technicians and manufacturing technicians. Some work independently, performing multiple jobs at companies that range in size from very small to large. Others are on research teams working with scientists and engineers.
Nano-Link facilitates student success and lifelong learning: 60% of 120 graduates between June 2006 and June 2014 continued their education after attaining a two-year degree. Many of these individuals have attended courses while working full time.