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NanoInk, Inc., a global leader in nanotechnology, announced today the launch of the first curriculum-led nanotechnology project, the NanoProfessor Project, which will provide training to future nanotechnologists of the 21st century.
The NanoProfessor Project will develop practical resources for undergraduate education in precise technologies at the nanoscale level. Students will learn through hands-on experience, working with real equipment and integrated curriculum. The project will demonstrate a public-private partnership model to build a nanotechnology workforce in the coming years. The NanoProfessor Project will also make 21st century education and workforce development in nanotechnology accessible to smaller two and four year colleges.
"The NanoProfessor Project represents a giant step in the effort to educate the nanotechnologists of tomorrow," said Jim Hussey, chief executive officer of NanoInk. "With the growing demand for nanotechnologists, it is more important than ever that we take the initiative and demonstrate our dedication to bettering the industry and the people that are its future. The sooner we can provide them the tools they need to succeed, the sooner they can apply that knowledge to grow the industry and its applications."
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has estimated that the world will require two million trained nanotechnologists by 2015. Presently, there are approximately 20,000 nanotechnologists worldwide. (Source: National Nanotechnology Initiative, NNI). Over the last eight years, NanoInk has demonstrated the ability to develop new tools for bench-top nanofabrication, specifically their recently launched DPN 5000 and NLP 2000 nanofabrication systems. With the NanoProfessor Project, NanoInk hopes to take nanotechnology education to the next level.
With many companies using nanotech processes in manufacturing, these extremely precise technologies are shifting from experimental to practical applications, requiring a more broad-based nanotechnology workforce. Currently, the field is populated by Ph.D.'s with post-doctoral experience. The NanoProfessor Project will demonstrate that effective, hands-on training in nanotech applications can be delivered to students at a much earlier age.
Three elements define the NanoProfessor Project. The first component is an accessible machine that is simple enough for general students to operate at the nanoscale level. NanoInk has accomplished this necessity with its desktop nanofabrication system, the NLP 2000 system, which was launched at the Pittsburgh Conference and Exposition (Pittcon(r)) in March 2009. The second critical element is a worthwhile curriculum grounded in fundamental science and engineering concepts. An interdisciplinary curriculum will engage students in basic science learning through hands-on manufacturing and experiments with cutting-edge technology at the nanoscale level. The curriculum is being developed by a team of teachers, NanoInk professionals and experts in instructional design. Each unit and the overall course will be evaluated during development and throughout implementation. The third element is the active participation of educational institutions committed to the advancement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The educational partners will host the project, receive training for faculty members, and cooperate in the evaluation and dissemination of project outcomes.
The total package is ideally suited for the teaching environment. The NLP 2000 requires no special clean room or facilities and is controlled by easy to use software. These characteristics allow advanced high school students for the first time to operate hands-on nanolithography equipment. NanoInk will couple this instrument with other useful instruments, such as a fluorescence light microscope and an educational Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) with consumables to further the hands-on nanotechnology educational experience. The entire package of a thorough
nanoscience and engineering curriculum, and accessible hands-on nanofabrication instrumentation, results in a quality nanoscale level science and engineering education package.
The first NanoProfessor Project system will be installed for the 2009-2010 academic year at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minn., under the stewardship of Deb Newberry, the Director of the NanoScience Program and newly funded NSF Regional Center for Nanotechnology Education, Nano-Link.
NanoInk, Inc. is an emerging growth technology company specializing in nanometer-scale manufacturing and applications development for the life science and semiconductor industries. Using Dip Pen Nanolithography(r) (DPN(r)), a patented and proprietary nanofabrication technology, scientists are enabled to rapidly and easily create nanoscale structures from a wide variety of materials. This low cost, easy to use and scalable technique brings sophisticated nanofabrication to the laboratory desktop. Located in the new Illinois Science + Technology Park, north of Chicago, NanoInk currently has over 140 patents and applications filed worldwide and has licensing agreements with Northwestern University, Stanford University, University of Strathclyde, University of Liverpool, California Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For more information on products and services offered by NanoInk, Inc.
NanoInk, the NanoInk logo, Dip Pen Nanolithography and DPN are trademarks or registered trademarks of NanoInk, Inc.
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For information on the NanoProfessor Project:
Sarah Kosar Raup
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