Judith Light Feather and The NanoTechnology Group members work together and contribute to books that support our advocacy for global nanoscience education and workforce training. This section provides Journal Reviews of our ongoing publications as they are released. We thank you for your support.
Hardcover: 365 pages
Dr. Ahmed S. Khan is a professor of Electronics and Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Information Sciences at DeVry University, Addison, Illinois. He has 30 years of experience in research, instruction, curricula design, development, evaluation, implementation and program accreditation, management, and supervision. Dr. Khan is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE). He is also member of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and has been listed in Who’s Who among America’s Teachers.
Contribution- Judith Light Feather, Chapter 13: What Are the Social Implications of Our Delay in Teaching Nanoscience Education to K–12 Students in the United States?
What are the ethical issues associated with education in general?
They are the foundation of developing an informed society capable of: making informed decisions, being competitive in a global economy, ensuring education is uniform in all aspects for the nation’s citizens
(including minorities), and fostering an accurate perspective of the role of the United States in global affairs.
How does science and engineering play a role in society?
The advancement of scientific research and engineering leads to innovation and new methods of commercialization, which stimulates our economic development and increases our standing as a global leader.
How important is nanoscience education for the future of our economic and global competitiveness? Nanoscience education introduces a size/ scale of inquiry that must be explored for our growth into the
Nanomanufacturing Age, as we apply technological discoveries in a competitive global market. If we are to develop this case study to determine the ethics and social implications of our actions as a country concerning the development and inclusion of nanoscience education, multiple issues within our complex educational matrix must be considered.
The goal of this chapter was to address these important questions and stimulate critical thinking about education goals and our future in a global economy. Respectfully, Judith Light Feather
Hardcover: 270 pages
Dr. Sherron Sparks has a doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and as such, studies the trends of business and technology, and where they are taking us in the future. She teaches I/O Psychology, Leadership and International Business at Penn State University, giving her the unique position to study industrial trends around the world. Her passion for nanotechnology and what it can do for the economies of the world gives her a keen outlook on the commercialization of nanotechnology.
Contribution: CASE STUDY: The NanoTechnology Group Inc., Chapter 10 - Support Organizations, Pages 160-168
It was an honor to have Dr. Sherron Sparks request our history as a Global Nanoscience Education Consortium to be included in her excellent book on Leadership and International Businesses for the Nanotechnology Commercialization era and the study on industrial trends globally. This important niche that our group has established encourages people to follow their passion without funding and understand that they can still create a global presence that affects the world. A special thanks to Sherron for her convincing arguments that our organization should be included in her book as a positive reinforcement that non-profit volunteer groups can make a difference globally through collaborative relationships.
Nanoscience and nanomaterials:
synthesis, manufacturing and
Wei-hong Zhong et al
2011 | 303pp | £97.71 (HB)
Reviewed by Karl Coleman
Nanoscience is an enormous field of research and is growing at a phenomenal rate. It is easy to believe that there is nothing that nanoscience can’t do and no problem exists that it can’t solve! This book is an intriguing
read with a focus clearly on nanomaterials and their synthesis.
The book describes the different methodologies that exist to manufacture materials and goes through chapter by chapter describing each one. It discusses methods from the ubiquitous chemical vapour deposition to the more exotic methods that involve biological systems (albeit a very short chapter!). The chapters on the methodology are perhaps not as comprehensive as a dedicated researcher in the field may want, but they give a give good overall description and are surprisingly easy to read.
The book is essentially in two parts, the first part devoted to synthesis methodology and the second part dedicated to issues that are important to commercial entities. It is the second part of the book that really makes it stand out. The authors give a really good insight into topics that concern industry such as quality
assurance, environmental issues, barriers to commercialisation and health and safety. They also discuss policy, education and training the workforce. Having this second part to the book really gives it the edge over the more
traditional nanomaterials or nanoscience books that seem to gloss over industrial aspects.
In summary, I think the book is very timely, easy to read and will appeal to a broad readership, in particular I would recommend companies (big or small) who are potentially interested in nano to give this book a read. It won’t quite save your life but I am sure you will be glad you read it!
Chapter 12 - Co-authors: Michael Richey, Boeing Corp., Judith Light Feather, The NanoTechnology Group Inc., Robert Cormia, Foothill College.
Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training,
and K-12 Resources
J. Light Feather and M. F. Aznar xxxi + 280 pages, ISBN 978-1-4200-5394-4, CRC Press, Boca
Raton, Florida, USA (2010), paperback.
Reviewed by Richard Doyle, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Science,Technology and Society, Nanofutures Working Group, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA, email@example.com; Alex Broudy, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, Nanofutures Working Group, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org; and David Saint John, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanofutures Working Group, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA, email@example.com
Just in time for teachers, students, parents, and researchers, Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training, and K-12 Resources offers a comprehensive and wide-ranging toolkit for integrating the transformative effects of nanotechnology into our schools and lives. There’s a stack of books on our desk and a cloud of PDFs on our desktop that focus on the social and ethical implications (SEI) of nanotech, but this 2011 collection by Judith Light Feather and Migeul F. Aznar will be among the few “go to” texts for our classes and research in coming years. With critical essays, lively pedagogical ideas and techniques, and a veritable database of resources that
more than deliver on the title keyword, the book is a timely tool for growing the best of all plausible nanotechnological futures.
More than technical breakthroughs will be necessary if we are to integrate already existing nanotech research and
applications into our planetary infrastructure and curricula. The potential of this new scale of engineering is no doubt well known to readers, with nanoscale solar and water filtration breakthroughs offering particular hope to a planet where many still lack electricity and clean drinking water. What may be less obvious is the role that nanoscale art, gaming, and do-ityourself nano may play in harnessing this potential through education, public outreach, and (sometimes open-source) innovation. We will get the nanotechnology that we imagine and foster, and Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training, and K-12 Resources offers tactics for transforming the “complex system” of history, politics, and educational policy that will shape any integration of nanoscience ideas and applications into our society from the local to the global level.
For teachers and researchers working in the context of K-12 budget cuts in many states in the U.S. and around the world, Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training, and K-12 Resources offers education on a new scale and in a new key. The sheer variety of perspectives represented here helps the volume avoid the usual monotone voice of jargon that too often haunts such compilations. The result is a fresh and lucid take on the metaphorical roadmap to nanotechnology, with a welcome emphasis on bottom-up approaches to education and workforce training.
There is much to like here—an impressive, sometimes dizzying array of resources and approaches for educators and administrators in time to make a difference in today’s classroom and hacklab.
The book is organized into four sections. Section 1 offers appropriately foundational chapters to provide a rationale and context for the volume. The section looks to systems thinking for a comprehensive approach to an essentially interdisciplinary topic and highlights some of the more remarkable figures in nanotech’s history (e.g., Feynman and Smalley) in ways that will both inspire us and remind us of nano’s historical context. Section 2, “Teaching Nanotechnology,” takes its lead from the observation in Section 1 that students are “shifting the paradigm” in the classroom and the workplace—a welcome change from the recent habit of educators to focus on top-down transformation. Chapter Six takes a particularly insightful approach to the teaching of “nanotechnology’s identity,” transforming the often fuzzy discussion around the definition of nanotechnology into an opportunity to rethink the range and implications of nanotechnology from the perspective of ten-year-old students. The results and diagrams of the latter may well make you unfashionably optimistic with great ambitions for this generation of budding scientists. An excellent chapter on the evaluation of nanotechnology is too short for the scope of the topic, but the six-fold heuristic (based on the psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs1) is promising and useful enough that readers will want to read and do more on this front. And one wonders at the possibilities in a society that systemically recognizes how “four year old children think like scientists.” Might an aptitude for biomimicry be worth cultivating alongside core literacy and math skills? Project-based flash mob courses taught by four-year-olds to aging researchers of a more mechanistic mindset might not be out of the
And such courses may well feature video gaming. Projects in the last ten years in pedagogical gaming combined with the collective intelligence approach of online massively multiplayer games—e.g., Collective Detective—might finally convince us of the strategic and pedagogical promise of gaming for the nanotechnological transformation of society described in Ahklesh Lakhtakia’s inspired introduction. He writes that “global problems. . . are so intense that every available mind must be harnessed to overcome their challenges to sustainable ecosystems in which humans continue to play major roles.” If we are to tap into and connect the six billion minds of our planet, we must hold their attention and offer participatory interaction in a way that allows us to link up across national, cultural, and generational boundaries while learning from and revering our differences. An excellent index allows you to track discussions of and resources for “learning to learn”2 gaming across sections.
Introspection has just as much of a future as gaming. Structured “reflections on the relevance of the project to the town, province, nation and world” are not just feel good or politically correct aspects of an otherwise technical project, but integral to the design and implementation of a successful technology. The book’s holistic approach offers plenty of ideas, techniques, and case studies for recognizing big picture aspects of nanoscience.
Section 4 does not shirk its obligation to think thoroughly about the implementation of the ideas and tools from the sometimes sprawling list of resources found in Section 3, which would have perhaps been better served by sharing it as a web resource with a Creative Commons license. Fortunately, a good chunk of this section, Chapter 9, is available as a download3 that will further stoke your enthusiasm for the rest of this excellent and practical volume. Download it now—our nano future will be the better for it.
1. A. H. Maslow, “A theory of human motivation,” Psychol. Rev. 50, 370–396, (1943).
2. G. Bateson, Steps to an Ecology ofMind, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1972).
3. J. L. Feather and M. F. Aznar, “K-12 outreach programs,” http://www.nanoscienceworks.
org/articles/Chapter%209%20from%2053949.pdf, Nanoscience Education, Workforce
Training, and K-12 Resources, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida (2010).
U.S. Journal of Nanophotonics 050203-2 Vol. 5, 2011
Copyright © 2010 American Scientific Publishers
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America
Vol. 2, 117–118, 2010
Getting Up to Speed on Nanotech Training,
Outreach and Informal Education Programs
Reviewed by Kurt Winkelmann
Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training, and K-12 Resources
Judith Light Feather and Miguel F. Aznar
Consider your responses to any of these questions.
I’m a high school teacher who wants to add nanotechnology
to my curriculum. What’s out there that
I can use? I don’t have time to reinvent the wheel.
My NSF nanotech research proposal needs a
broader impacts statement. I think my research field
could be adapted to be a lesson for a middle school
science class. Has anybody tried my idea before? I
need a teacher to collaborate with because I don’t
know anything about teaching young students.
My college wants to start providing an education for
future technicians in nanotechnology fields. I educate
students for graduate school. Do future technicians
need to learn different skills?
You may have said the same thing to yourself or a colleague at some point. I have. The response that I received
was, “I don’t know. Google it.” After an eighth of a second, my monitor screen is filled with four million query
results. Oh, never mind.
To gain an answer to the above questions and others, I recommend Judith Light Feather and Miguel Aznar’s
Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training, and K-12 Resources for your bookshelf. Some chapters are worth
reading in their entirety but about half of the book is devoted to synopses of current nanotechnology programs
focusing on informal education and outreach, curricula for students in kindergarten through high school and training programs at community and technical colleges. Programs within the United States receive the most attention but the book does describe programs in other countries. The authors provide ample citations and a detailed table of contents, listing the title of each program synopsis. It is up to date, easy to read and reasonably priced ($49.95 retail). Brief biographies of the authors describe their extensive experiences in national and international education efforts focusing on nanotechnology. Ten other scientists and educators contribute to various chapters.
The book is divided into five sections. The first section, Foundations, begins with a typical introduction describing
nanotechnology with a justification of why young students should learn about it. This material will be familiar to most nanotechnology educators. The second chapter was perhaps the most interesting to me because it focuses not just on nanotechnology education but the policy of U.S. education in general. The chapter’s first subheading describes the situation succinctly: “The complexity of our education system is not easily penetrated.” It describes the roles of different federal, state and local government agencies at the K-12 and university levels and education funding sources.
The authors clearly express the frustration that many educators feel when trying to introduce new ideas into the
educational system. The third chapter, “Students are Shifting the Paradigm,” is a mix of pedagogical studies involving today’s generation of students and a few summaries of existing K-12 programs around the world. The programs included in chapter 3 are noteworthy because students initiated them “from the bottom up,” so to speak. Faculty looking for ideas of nanotech education programs should look here as well as in later chapters. The final part of the Foundations section was a trio of biographies of Richard Feynman, Richard Smalley and Leon Lederman, each a Nobel Prize winner in physics, chemistry, and physics, respectively.
The authors highlight how the Nobel Laureates can serve as role models for students and teachers. The excerpts
from speeches and biographies illustrate that the scientists were very interested in sharing their knowledge and experiences to promote learning. The biographies are informative and provide details that were new to me. While all the information in the Foundations section is worth reading, its central theme was not clearly presented.
Section II, Teaching Nanotechnology, introduces the reader to a series of questions about technology know as
ICE-9 (Identity, Change and Evaluation). These are questions to ask students. Answering these questions requires knowledge of nanotechnology and encourages students to draw from their own experiences using all types of technology. In addition, students must think critically to arrive at their answers. To make chapters more interesting and show how the ICE-9 model can be applied, the authors use fictional microbivores, nanobots which target bacteria and viruses in the human body, as an effective example which kept my attention throughout the section. Games, group activities, writing assignments and pedagogical techniques are included to illustrate how teachers can implement the ICE-9 model. Although I have not used this approach myself, the questions students consider when working within the ICE-9 framework appear to be thought provoking and likely to keep them engaged. Questions include, “Where does nanotechnology come from?” and “What are its costs and benefits?”
All of section II is devoted to exploring each ICE-9 question.
The next section includes short overviews of K-12 outreach programs, including centers and networks which
provide informal learning to the public, teacher training programs, nanotechnology technician degrees and certifications, and a separate chapter devoted to these types of programs found outside the U.S. At 130 pages, this portion of the book provides the most value to readers interested in learning what other educators are developing. Reading these overviews can help spark ideas for new programs, provide ways for educators to collaborate with each other and publicize opportunities for educators to get involved in existing programs.
A few criticisms do not significantly diminish the usefulness of this section. An unavoidable drawback to such
an up-to-date listing of programs is that many citations reference web pages which can be transitory, especially if the grant for the program expires. It is unlikely that all the web links will be active in five years, making this text less useful over time. A few summaries are only one or two sentences long, leaving me wishing for more details. Even in those cases, citations are provided if I am inclined to learn more. Not all the outreach programs and curriculum projects are found in the book’s index. These omissions are somewhat ameliorated by the appearance of all programs and projects within the table of contents.
The final section, Framework Applied, is an excellent conclusion to this book. Having learned about existing workshops, online activities and networks of nanotechnology educators, what do you do next? For science teachers, the most immediate concern is how to include nanotechnology in class lessons while still meeting
the all-important state education guidelines and standards. The authors describe how nanotechnology activities
can address these requirements and they explain efforts underway to change the standards so that nanotechnology can be more easily integrated into K-12 curricula. This is followed by summaries of new policy initiatives and legislation introduced during the past year. These are less useful to readers since the rapidly changing U.S. political landscape will greatly change or eliminate much of the proposed legislative bills. The next chapter contains a few general ideas for helping teachers add nanotechnology to their classes, such as education-grade STM and AFM instruments, online seminars for teachers and education themed events such as National Lab Day. The last chapter provides stories to emphasize that promoting nanotechnology education do not only happen through major legislation (the “top down” approach) but also from the “bottom up”—teachers taking the initiative to create their own textbooks, communities improving their own schools and other local efforts that demonstrate effective curriculum reform and improvement. Examples are drawn from the United
States and Taiwan. JNE readers interested in learning “what’s out there” in the world of K-12, technical training certification and informal education will find this book to be a valuable resource. Individual chapters which explain the current state of education policy in the U.S. and how the current generation of students best learn (or don’t learn) science are informative as well.
Department of Chemistry
Florida Institute of Technology
Melbourne, FL 32901, USA
118 J. Nano Educ. 2, 117–118, 2010
Copyright © 2010 American Scientific Publishers
All rights reserved
Printed in the United States of America