Inside Rensselaer
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Focus on: Commencement  2008
A group of high school teachers from around the Capital Region visited Rensselaer in mid-July to sharpen their science skills and learn about nanotechnology.

Rensselaer faculty and graduate students led the high school teachers through a week of interactive lessons and hands-on experiments. The workshops, part of the four-week Summer Nanotechnology Curriculum Development Institute, sought to give high school biology, chemistry, physics, and technology teachers the know-how and experience to infuse cutting-edge nanoscience concepts into their courses.

Created in response to area school districts seeking new ways to incorporate nanotechnology into science classrooms, the summer program was developed by Rensselaer’s National Science Foundation-funded Nanotechnology Science and Engineering Center for Directed Assembly of Nanostructures in partnership with the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex Board of Cooperative Educational Services network and the Workforce Consortium for Emerging Technologies. Eleven teachers from Ballston Spa, Corinth, Saratoga Springs, Shenendehowa, and Stillwater school districts are currently participating.

Following their week at Rensselaer, these high school teachers are working in teams at their home schools to develop new nanotechnology-themed instructional modules and teaching techniques that are tailored to New York state science curricula. In the final week of the program, they will reconvene as a group to present their new materials to fellow teachers and local education leaders.

At the end of the program, participating teachers and school districts will have a collection of new classroom-ready lesson plans, along with new assessment tools to test the learning of students.

“This partnership between the high school teachers and the Summer Nanotechnology Institute is creating curricula that will use nanotechnology examples to make science and technology exciting to learn,” said Linda Schadler, professor of materials science and engineering, who is helping to lead the program. “This is an important topic that is taking on an increasing emphasis in our region, for which we want all students to be prepared.”
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Send comments to:
Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 13, August 22, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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