With such rapid growth, it seems clear that nanoscience education is needed. I recently received information on the NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program (www.nanoprofessor.net), which is focused on educating students in the emerging field of nanoscience to prepare them for future careers in nanotechnology. Citing National Science Foundation numbers, NanoProfessor reports that as of 2008, there were an estimated 150,000 nanotech workers in the United States pioneering innovations and breakthroughs in many industries including biotechnology, electronics, energy and medicine; and that by 2020, six million trained nanotech workers will be needed globally (two million in the United States).
The NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program alternates between classroom lectures and hands-on lab work. The curriculum includes a textbook authored by leading nanotechnology experts, covering the topics of Nanotechnology Basics, Nanophysics, Nanochemistry, Nanobiology, and Environmental, Health, & Safety perspectives on nanotechnology. In conducting the hands-on lab experiments, students learn the fundamentals for building custom-engineered nanoscale structures while working with state-of-the-art equipment, including a Desktop Nanofabrication System, a student-friendly atomic force microscope, a best-of-class fluorescence microscope, an advanced nanoparticle characterization instrument, and various chemical and biological materials used today within current and emerging nanotechnology applications.
The NanoProfessor Program has already been integrated into curriculums at Forsyth Tech, North Carolina; Dakota County Technical College, Minnesota; College of the Canyons, California; North Central State College, Ohio; Indian River State College, Florida; the University of Calgary, Canada; Sami Shamoon College of Engineering, Israel; SENAI Institution, Brazil; and SENA TecnoParque and TecnoAcademia, Colombia.
As my kids enter college over the next decade, I just might suggest a career in nanoscience. It seems that the job market will be a strong one.
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