Nanotechnology & Society: Ideas for Education and Public Engagement
General Module Overview and Approach
A set of 13 teaching modules have been created on topics related to nanotechnology and society. Three introductory modules (Introduction to Nanotechnology, Introduction to Science and Society, and Introduction to Risk Analysis) are intended to lay foundational knowledge on nanotechnology and the interface of science and society, develop key analytical skills and establish a learning community that allows for rich discussion. In addition to the introductory units, 10 additional modules have been developed. These modules span a variety of topics (e.g. introduction to nanotechnology, nanotechnology in science fiction, and federal funding of nanotechnology) and can cover an entire semester when used together.
While it is best to start with the introductory modules, instructors should feel free to order the modules in a way that best fits with their expertise and their students’ interests. The modules are intended for use at the undergraduate level, although instructors could use the module framework to adapt content and expectations for the graduate or high school levels. Modules are often provided in multiple-day segments (assuming 50 minute class period).
All modules incorporate active learning aspects and discussion-based teaching. Resources for encouraging discussion in college classrooms and on establishing a learning community that encourages students to take risks and explore different opinions have been provided.
Each module is comprised of the following:
Instructor notes, which include suggested readings, general outlines for content to be covered in class and instructions for in-class activities;
Power Point slides for in-class presentation;
Pre- and post- class/module assignments (and suggested rubrics for grading when appropriate);
pdfs of some suggested readings (when allowed by copyright law).
All materials are provided in an editable format and instructors are strongly encouraged to modify individual modules based on the time available, background of students, and personal interest/expertise.
Following the use of the modules, instructors are encouraged to submit feedback to the developers. To do so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under a nanotechnology Undergraduate Education Grant (No. EEC-0938517). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.”
Nanotechnology & Society
For more information on this topic please visit our friends at the links below.
Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology
Scientists from University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, and the Pacific Northwest National Laborotary
The NISE Net is a national community of researchers and informal science educators dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.
Come visit the UW Madison campus or invite members of UW Madison science outreach to your communities to experience science as exploring the unknown! Connect with the people, places and programs of UW-Madison dedicated to sharing science with learners of all ages.
University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1984 began this program aimed at generating interest in physics among people of all ages and backgrounds. The heart of the program is a fast-paced presentation of physics demonstrations carefully chosen to be entertaining as well as educational.
Fusion Science Theater
Fusion Science Theater creates outreach shows that combine all three to inspire and engage kids 4-14 years in science learning. Each show investigates an intriguing science question through demonstrations, guided-inquiry, and dramatizations that bring kids to the stage to model the science concept. Kids learn best when they get into the act!
Communicating Science—that’s what ICE is all about. We are a national center for science educators to develop and disseminate ideas. Our efforts are evident in kits and publications, in programs for students and for teachers, and in research in chemical education.