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NanoProfessor®, the global leader in hands-on undergraduate nanotechnology education, announced today that it has accepted an invitation to join Innovation Plaza, a partnership between academia and several science and engineering-based industry organizations with a goal of increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in Latin America.
Innovation Plaza, which was formally announced at the recent World Engineering Education Forum held in Buenos Aries, Argentina, is an initiative developed by the University of New Mexico's School of Engineering (SOE) and led by the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, the Ibero American Science and Technology Education Consortium (ISTEC), the Student Platform for Engineering Education Development (SPEED), and the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES). Innovation Plaza will ultimately consist of open, globally connected, interdisciplinary labs for experiential learning and collaboration. After establishing a successful pilot at the University of New Mexico, the group will expand Innovation Plaza into targeted Latin America countries to enhance experiential STEM education for students throughout the region. Plans are underway to expand to other regions of the world as well.
"Through Innovation Plaza, students from high school to university undergraduate and graduate programs have the opportunity to actively interact and collaborate with industry and research institutions, and ultimately produce world-class, functioning projects," said Ramiro Jordan, ECE Associate Chair, Undergraduate Programs, and Associate Dean of Engineering, International Programs ECE Department at the University of New Mexico; and Executive Vice President and Founder of ISTEC. "We are thrilled to partner with the NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program as it has a proven track record of training students around the world for careers in nanotechnology, one of the fastest growing science-based industries."
"There is a global shortage of individuals trained in STEM-based fields and this necessitates the development of new approaches to prepare students to fill this global gap in workforce resources. We are extremely excited to work with the University of New Mexico's ECE Department, ISTEC, and our industry partners in meeting this need as we expand STEM education throughout Latin America," said Dean Hart, Chief Commercial Officer of NanoProfessor.
"ISTEC is committed to driving STEM initiatives within Latin America to help support the incredible industrial growth potential that exists in this part of the world," said Dulce Garcia, President of ISTEC. "Innovation Plaza and its industry contributors such as NanoProfessor will not only provide students with desirable and competitive high-tech skills but it will also serve as a growth engine for economic development with our member countries as industry quickly realizes that Latin America possess a growing pool of STEM-trained human capital."
In just over 24 months, the NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program has been chosen to serve as the foundation for hands-on undergraduate nanotechnology education by over 20 institutions in five countries. The NanoProfessor Program alternates between classroom lectures and engaging, hands-on nanoscale lab work. The NanoProfessor curriculum includes a textbook authored by leading nanotechnology experts, covering the topics of Nanotechnology Instrumentation, Imaging and Nanofabrication Techniques, Nanophysics, Nanochemistry, Nanobiology, and Perspectives on Environmental, Health, and Safety within Nanotechnology. In conducting the hands-on lab experiments, students work with state-of-the-art, nano-centric instrumentation including NanoInk's NLP 2000 Desktop NanoFabrication System, the first desktop nanofabrication system allowing students to quickly and easily build custom-engineered nanoscale structures with a wide variety of materials from biomolecules to metal nanoparticles using NanoInk's proprietary Dip Pen Nanolithography® (DPN®).
Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at dimensions between approximately one and 100 nanometers (nm), where unique phenomena enable novel applications which are not feasible when working with bulk materials. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Encompassing nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, nanotechnology involves imaging, measuring, modeling, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. A study funded by the National Science Foundation projects that 6 million nanotechnology workers will be needed worldwide by 2020, with 2 million of those jobs in the United States. However, as of 2008, there were only 400,000 estimated workers worldwide in the field of nanotechnology, with an estimated 150,000 of those in the United States.
The NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program aims to advance undergraduate nanotechnology education and address the growing need for a skilled, nano-savvy workforce. The NanoProfessor Program, including state-of-the-art, nano-centric instruments, an expert-driven curriculum, and student/teacher support materials, is available for high schools, community colleges, technical institutes, and universities worldwide. More information is available at www.NanoProfessor.net or (847)679-NANO (6266). You can also like NanoProfessor on Facebook® at www.facebook.com/NanoProfessor1 and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nanoprofessor1.
NanoInk, NanoProfessor, Dip Pen Nanolithography, DPN, and the NanoProfessor logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NanoInk, Inc.
About the Ibero-American Science & Technology Education Consortium
Founded in 1990, ISTEC seeks to foster socio-economic and educational change in Ibero-America by creating prosperity and improving the quality of life in the region. ISTEC provides programs focused on: advancing the state of higher education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), generating and disseminating knowledge and information, establishing cost-effective vehicles for technology transfer, encouraging joint international research and development, fostering an environment for entrepreneurship and collaboration and promoting leadership models that adhere to the principles of responsibility and accountability. More information is available at www.istec.org.
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