Training / Education
The main goals of NNF’s education and outreach programs and communications are to increase awareness of nanoscience to students, teachers, businesses and the general public and to increase the number of students entering nanoscience fields, especially among underrepresented groups.
NNF offers comprehensive training and support to our users.
The Nebraska Nanoscale Facility, part of the Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure, invites faculty/student pairs from regional four-year colleges and universities to participate in NNF’s Professor/Pair Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program each summer in Lincoln, Nebraska. The goal is to provide research experiences which will benefit both the participants and NNF projects. A summer stipend for the professional member is provided for up to two months of full-time commitment to a NNF project. The student receives a weekly salary plus free room/board for up to 10 weeks of commitment to the project. Please refer to the student application and professor application or contact Jenna Huttenmaier at email@example.com, our Education and Outreach Coordinator, for more information.
Nanotech Facilities Workshops
These workshops include tours and activities taught by NNF faculty, postdocs, and specialists to increase the understanding, knowledge and actual experience with resources available at NNF for future users from industry, universities, and government entities.
Nanotech Facilities Minicourses
NNF hosts annual Minicourses for new users, both local and external, taught by NNF’s Facility Specialists and faculty. Visiting students, postdocs, and industry representatives learn more in depth information about the NNF structure, research thrusts, and operational procedures. These courses offer information about the equipment, processes and opportunities at NNF along with actual hands-on experiences.
K-8 Students: After-School Program
Faculty members, students and staff provide regular programming during the school year for Nanoscience After School Programs. One hour presentations are given to students who have limited knowledge of nanoscience. Information includes videos, hands-on activities, giveaways and discussions of nano applications which provides a broad overview of nanoscience/nanotechnology as a field with many career opportunities. Students gain a more comprehensive understanding through activities that introduce them to the unique properties at the nanoscale. Professors presenting will be from the Chemistry, Engineering, and Physics departments with help from NCMN Undergraduate Outreach Fellows and NNF staff.
K-8 Students: Summer STEM Camp
Each summer NNF provides summer Nano/STEM class at local middle schools involving hundreds of students! Information includes videos, hands-on activities, giveaways, and discussions of science applications which provide a broad overview of Nano/STEM fields with many career opportunities. Students gain a more comprehensive understanding through activities that introduce them to STEM concepts.
High School: NNF Nanoscience Camp Partnership
Tenth grade students from Grand Island and Omaha high schools participated in a summer Nanoscience Camp sponsored by Epscor held on the UNL campus. Part of the camp included tours of nano related research in faculty labs and facility tours of NNF equipment. Students are part of the Nebraska College Prep Academy, a science/math focus program that encourages high school graduation and pursuit of a post-secondary degree.
High School: Upward Bound High School Camp
NNF will partner with the Upward Bound program to bring a summer NanoPhysics camp to 10th & 11th grade students from Lincoln high schools. The camp will include tours of nano related research in NNF facilities and hands-on activities about the ever growing area of Nanoscience during the 3-day event.
Undergraduates: Research Experiences for Undergraduates
A 10-week summer research fellowship provided undergraduate students with an opportunity for interdisciplinary research in a nanoscale science or engineering laboratory on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. Faculty mentors from the following university departments were: Physics, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering and Chemical Engineering. The fellowships carried a $6,000 stipend for ten weeks of research. For more information please visit http://www.unl.edu/summerprogram/nanotech.
Nebraska Teacher Conferences
• Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Engineering Conference
NCMN and NNF partnered with the College of Engineering at the PLTW Engineering Conference to provide nanoscience information and hands-on activities to over 150 teachers, school administrators, industry reps, government officials, and university faculty, staff & students. The PLTW curriculum, cited by the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a "model for 21st century career and technical education," is founded in fundamental problem-solving and critical-thinking skills taught in traditional career and technical education (CTE), while integrating national academic and technical learning standards and STEM principles. Nanoscience is a very relevant part of these project-based engineering courses for elementary, middle, and high school students.
The Nebraska Nanoscale Facility fostered public awareness of nanoscience and nanoengineering through Lincoln’s annual NanoDays event at Gateway Shopping Center. This event is also sponsored by the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (NCMN), Nebraska EPSCoR, and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).
Community: Traveling Nano Exhibit
“Nano” is an exciting new exhibition to communicate about the extremely small scale of nanoscience and how interactions of materials at this tiny level shape our world in powerful ways. This 400 sq. ft exhibit is scheduled for travel to six museums across Nebraska. The exhibit was created by NISE Net—the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network and sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (NCMN) and Nebraska EPSCoR.