Nanotechnology Applications and
Career Knowledge Network
University Park, PA
NACK Network Assists Nanotech Program Development
NACK Network has assisted more than 300 postsecondary institutions in developing nanotechnology programs through guidance in planning and design, instruction at educator workshops, and distribution of adaptable curriculum materials.
More than 1,200 students have completed nanotechnology workforce education programs nationwide, many of whom are contributing their nanotechnology knowledge to companies across the US. According to 2013 and 2014 industry surveys by NACK, more than 200 companies nationwide are employing graduates from NACK partner institutions in microtechnology and nanotechnology-related positions. All of the surveyed companies plan to hire technicians with nano-scale fabrication skills by 2018.
ASTM Recognition Next for NACK’s Core Skills
A strong nanotechnology-based industry must have a workforce skilled in synthesis, fabrication, and characterization at the nanoscale. NACK is currently engaged with ASTM International to institutionalize NACK’s industry-approved core skills into ASTM standards. Nanotechnology workforce education standards have been approved and published. They are at ASTM’s website www.astm.org.
NACK Offers Nanofabrication Tools Professional Development
NACK piloted the Remotely Accessible Instruments for Nanotechnology (RAIN) network to provide secondary schools and community colleges with web access to state-of-the-art, nano characterization and nanofabrication tools. A survey of 30 educators participating in the pilot remote access (RA) sessions showed that 90% would recommend RA to their colleagues; and 87% of the 600 students participating in this survey found remote access more engaging than traditional textbooks.
NACK also offers professional development workshops and webinars for educators to help them develop a deeper understanding of nanotechnology and what is necessary to teach it in a meaningful way. To date, 1,360 educators have attended these workshops. More than 5,600 individuals have registered for NACK’s webinars, accessed archived webinars at nano4me.org, or watched them on YouTube.