The Goldwater Scholarship Program, one of the oldest and most prestigious national scholarships in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States, seeks to identify and support college sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise of becoming this Nation’s next generation of research leaders in these fields.
According to the 2022 Scholars Press Release, from an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors, 1,242 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 433 academic institutions to compete for the 2022 Goldwater scholarships. Of students who reported, 175 of the Scholars are men, 234 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their highest degree objective. Forty-five Scholars are mathematics and computer science majors, 308 are majoring in the natural sciences, and 64 are majoring in engineering. Many of the Scholars have published their research in leading professional journals and have presented their work at professional society conferences.
2022 Goldwater Scholars Announced
Janet Teng, Pasadena City College Student, is one of 417 college students from across the United States to be selected for this highly respected scholarship.
“My research project is based on work performed at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The project specifically probes surface chemical reactivity between iron metal and oxygen gas using the novel Operando Atom Probe Tomography analytical technique. This new approach to correlating the spatial signal with reaction time reveals the surface reaction kinetics and the crystal structure relationship of a material. Thus, mapping the progression of reactive gas penetration into metal surfaces to form metal oxides (i.e. corrosion) is made possible.”
— Janet Teng, PCC Student and Undergraduate Researcher
Ms. Teng also expressed appreciation for all the support and guidance she received from her research mentors Dr. Jared Ashcroft, Dr. Tanya Faltens, Dr. Daniel Perea, Dr. Chiara Daraio, Dr. Sten Lambeets, Mr. Mark Wirth, and Dr. Yu-Chung Chang-Hou. Ms. Teng’s research and presentation is highlighted also in last fall’s Think Small post:
Rick Vaughn at Rio Salado College is encouraging Arizona residents to think small. Small as in nanotechnology size small. Smaller than you can see with the naked eye. Thanks to recent NSF (National Science Foundation) funding, the school is offering scholarships that will cover half the cost for a nanotechnology certificate.
With an above-average national median salary of $40,500, Nanotechnology and semiconductor technicians are in demand, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are an Arizona resident, these scholarships are aimed at you.
If you are not an Arizona resident, visit the Nanotechnology Jobs – A Resource Guide that includes links to a variety of programs and statistics: “According to CareerExplorer.com, “there are currently an estimated 132,500 nanotechnology engineers in the United States. The nanotechnology engineer job market is expected to grow by 6.4% between 2016 and 2026.” The top states for Nanotechnology Engineer jobs are also listed in the post.
Read more about the Rio Salado College Nanotechnology Scholarships below:
“Nanotechnology embodies everything that has to do with engineering, chemistry, biology and science, and then puts them together with technology to form something that’s new and different,” said Dr. Rick Vaughn, Rio Salado College Faculty Chair for STEM initiatives.
According to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, nanotechnology touches many of us through a variety of consumer products such as eyeglasses, computer screens, cosmetics, clothes, digital storage, tires, paint, lasers and airplane coatings.
Rio Salado recently received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to train 30 students and help increase the employee pool for the nanotechnology industry. Rio Salado is offering five $780 scholarships that will cover half the cost of the 6-course nanotechnology certificate program.
Whether you are a student, the parent of one, an educator, or an interested citizen scientist, the Micro Nano Technology Education Center (MNT-EC) YouTube channel is a place where you can learn more about microtechnology, nanotechnology, photonics, military veteran programs, and even what NASA is doing in its education and outreach efforts.
Active Duty service members Working with Transition Assistance Programs with Kate Alcott:
Future post coming on U.S. Military and Veteran certificate and degree program efforts leading to great jobs in Nanotechnology and Microtechnology across the country.
Nano Health and Safety Workshop
MNT-EC and Mentor-Connect
Kendrick Davis – State of STEM education
Neda Habibi – Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Technology
Bob Ehrman & Ozgar Cakmak – Penn State CNEU – It’s NACK plus more
Peter Kazarinoff – MNT-EC Podcast and Journal
Kate Alcott – Active Duty service members Working with Transition Assistance Programs.
Rick Vaughn – Distance Education
Greg Kepner and Frank Reed – Photonics Professional Development Opportunities
State of STEM Education with Kendrick Davis:
The MNT-EC YouTube channel is striving to provide as many resources to students and parents as they explore the micro- and nanotechnology field. Parents might find the two videos listed on the Micro Nano Technology Parent page to be informative. Scroll down for these two:
–X/Nano: The Enabling Potential of a Career in Nanoscience
–Careers in Nanotechnology: Opportunities for STEM Students
If you are interested in a Nanotechnology or Microtechnology degree and the many inter-related fields where a degree or certificate can open doors, keep visiting MNT-EC pages here and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Come grow and learn with us as we continue to build and expand our content.
Nanotechnology is a fast-moving field revolutionizing major areas such as medicine, engineering, food science (agriculture and consumer products), aerospace, defense, materials science, and energy, to name just a few. The job market in nanotech, as it is also called, is growing to keep up.
Nanotechnologists work in a wide range of fields. For those interested in a nanotechnology job, consider searching terms, such as, nanomedicine, nanoelectronics, biomaterials, nanomaterials. Here are a few sample ideas, but read on for more resources, links, and ideas on a career in nanotechnology.
Medical scientists – they design new diagnostic devices, develop cancer treatments (see the NanoBio mAB video from an award-winning student project at PCC) and find ways to repair damage at the cellular level.
As a food scientist, they increase food production, finding methods to detect contaminants and disease, for instance.
As engineers, they might develop computer hardware (think semiconductors) or super-strong materials (materials scientists is one of the high growth nanotechnology jobs). Of course, the worldwide interest in clean energy demands everything from better batteries to lightweight wind turbines and tiny sensors in all of it (again materials science is a big part of nano).
First stop: Visit the Micro Nano Technology Education Center page on Nanotechnology Jobs and Career Opportunities. Click the plus-sign (+) on the far right of the nanotechnology job titles listed and it will open to show you a range of details to help you decide if it sounds like a job for you.
For example, Materials Scientists, is a growth area in the state of California as you can see in this image below. Similar job titles include: Micro Electrical/Mechanical Systems Device Scientist (MEMS Device Scientist), Polymer Materials Consultant, Research and Development Scientist (R and D Scientist), Research Scientist, Senior Materials Scientist, Staff Research Scientist, Staff Scientist.
Dental Laboratory Technicians is another growth occupation that currently employs 1,510 people in the region (Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division). In the next ten years, employment for this occupation in the United States is expected to increase by 14.40 percent.
Similar job titles include: Crown and Bridge Dental Lab Technician, Dental Ceramist, Dental Laboratory Technician (Dental Lab Technician), Dental Technician (Dental Tech), Denture Technician, Metal Finisher, Model and Dye Person, Orthodontic Laboratory Technician (Orthodontic Lab Technician), Porcelain Technician, Waxer.
To search out specific details around educational requirements and skills needed for nanotechnology jobs, the well-known O*NET OnLine jobs site offers useful summary reports on almost every Nano job (and almost every other job under the sun). Sample of nano job titles: Engineering Technician, Laboratory Technician (Lab Technician), Nanofabrication Specialist, Process Engineering Technician, Research Associate, Research Scientist, Research Specialist, Research Technician, Scientific Research Associate, Technical Research Scientist.
Dr. Matt Hull of Virginia Tech presented his talk, X/Nano: The Enabling Potential of a Career in Nanoscience, during the Atlanta Public Schools’ Gifted Synergy Symposium on November 5, 2020.
Dr. Jim Marti of the Minnesota Nano Center, University of Minnesota, presented his talk, Careers in Nanotechnology: Opportunities for STEM Students, to high school and community college educators during an information session on the Research Experiences for Teachers across the NNCI program.
If you are looking to get an on-the-ground level perspective from a working technician, Dr. Peter Kazarinoff’s Talking Technicians Podcast is a must-listen. The podcast interviews micro and nano technicians and their stories of how they chose the field and what they do on a daily basis.
According to CareerExplorer.com, “there are currently an estimated 132,500 nanotechnology engineers in the United States. The nanotechnology engineer job market is expected to grow by 6.4% between 2016 and 2026.” The top states for Nanotechnology Engineer jobs include:
Considering the enormous nanotechnology opportunity at the national level, it is important to point out that MNT-EC is a national center based at Pasadena City College in California, but its partners and affiliates in micro- and nanotechnology span the entire USA. There are many nanotech programs that can prepare you for a job in nanotechnology, here are a few partner details that can help you explore:
Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC)
Housed at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, NY: the Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC) mission is to attract and train a technician workforce for the semiconductor/advanced manufacturing industries. Read more about Associate Director Kate Williams Alcott’s work to recruit veterans and transitioning military members who are interested in nanotechnology training and jobs. If you are a veteran or active duty military member in transition, check out this upcoming program that still has seats available (at publication) – the flyer has all the info for the January workshop including info on the companies that are interested to hire.
Dr. Matthias Pleil is well known in the Micro Nano world as the Principal Investigator for two NSF funded centers, the Southwest Center for Microsystems Education (2004-2018) and the Support Center for Microsystems Education (2017) housed at the University of New Mexico. Read his full bio here.
The SCME is packed with microsystems education resources including a popular YouTube channel filled with micro and nano videos. To go even deeper in the opportunities in microtechnology and nanotechnology for jobs, internships, and general networking, consider joining the MNT Special Interest Group and be part of the Micro Nano Education community.
Two additional resources that list out nanotechnology job info and salaries are also affiliates or partners here at MNT-EC. One of our National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program partners is the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI is an NSF-supported initiative). It provides researchers from academia, small and large companies, and government with access to university user facilities with leading-edge fabrication and characterization tools, instrumentation, and expertise within all disciplines of nanoscale science, engineering and technology. NNCI has a terrific overview of careers in nanotechnology.
NNCI cites Recruiter.com data that can give you an idea of what a nano future holds in regards to expected nanotechnology salaries:
Two Year Associate’s – $35,000 – $52,000
Four Year Bachelor’s – $40,000 – $65,000
Six Year Master’s – $60,000 – $80,000
Eight Year Doctorate – $75,000 – $150,000
U.S. salaries for nanotechnology engineering range from $52,000 to $150,000 with the average $95,000 according to Recruiter.com.
The National Nanotechnology Initiative, better known as Nano.gov, has a dedicated page to Associate Degrees, Certificates, & Job Opportunities in Nanotechnology for technician level work (good paying, too) requiring a 2-year degree, including links to many of the top schools that can help you get a certificate or degree on your path to a nano job. If you are after a 4-year or graduate opportunity, then check this page.
As you can see, the growth in nanotechnology jobs is on an upward trend. Keep up with the news and resources by bookmarking this page as we will continue to update it to help you find that dream nanotechnology job.
Did you know there is a National Nanotechnology Day?
On Saturday, October 9th, the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), celebrates National Nanotechnology Day. The 16-member network in locations around the nation began hosting an annual Plenty of Beauty at the Bottom image contest in 2019. This date, 10/9, pays homage to the nanometer scale, 10–9 meters, in case you were wondering how October 9 was picked.
If you have wondered how today’s youth, in the USA and around the world, are learning and growing despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, take a look at the many STEM events, competitions, and programs hosted by educational institutions, government agencies, and international organizations.
In today’s post, we are celebrating the annual Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) event Ignite Off! competitionwinner Janet Teng, Sophomore at Pasadena City College (PCC). “The Ignite Off! event showcases the talents of interns from participating federal agencies and offices as they share their research through Ignite Talks. Each competitor has five minutes to present their project, using 20 picture-centric slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. Contestants have access to a professional development course that teaches the process for developing an Ignite talk,” according to the ORISE program page.
Janet Teng is an intern at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and has plans for graduate school to explore how engineering and physical sciences intersect and how she can better the lives of others.
From her technical abstract submitted to the ORISE competition: “As corrosion, the natural occurring chemical process of a material degrading over time, continues to result in menacing safety and economic consequences, there is an increased urgency to develop corrosion-resistant materials…” In five brief and intense minutes, she outlined her research and analysis to explain how she used “Atom Probe Microscopy (APM) suite of techniques while coupled with a novel operando mode of analysis developed at PNNL, to map out spatial and temporal chemical reactions with atomic resolution.” Ultimately, by drilling down to the atomic scale, she looked at “the impacts a material’s crystal structure has on surface reaction kinetics which can eventually allow us to bridge the knowledge gap needed to better engineer corrosion-resistant materials for real-world applications.”
Ms. Teng participated in the Community College Internship (CCI) program under the Department of Energy. Her research was at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with mentors Daniel E. Perea, Sten Lambeets, and Mark Wirth. Her mentor at PCC is Dr. Jared Ashcroft. You can view other ORISE Ignite Off! 2021 finalists and their presentations here.
Supported by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) program, the High Impact Technology Exchange Conference (HI-TEC) is a national conference on advanced technological education where secondary and postsecondary educators, counselors, industry professionals, trade organizations, and technicians can update their knowledge and skills.
Each year, the HI-TEC conference pulls together hundreds of educators and researchers to share the latest methods to help students learn. Although this year’s event, like 2020, was virtual and asynchronous, it brought people and ideas together.
The Micro Nano Technology Education Center (MNT-EC) contributed several recorded sessions for attendees, as well as downloadable materials to be used in classrooms and projects. Here is a list of them, with links and YouTube videos, where available. Don’t miss the two excellent Keynote talks, listed at the end of this post, with Stanley Black and Decker (yes, the toolmaker) and on Day 2, Jessica Gomez, Founder and CEO of Rogue Valley Microdevices.
Working Technicians Tell Their Stories
This session provided an opportunity for working technicians to share their experiences in attending community and technical college programs that prepare them for their positions. Technicians speak from a virtual setting and discuss their journey from pre-college to career. Topics include the role of math and science in their work; the key knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for success; what worked well or not so well in their technician education; what they wished they had learned in college; and barriers to success and strategies for overcoming them. The working technicians interviewed by Greg are recent graduates of ATE programs. A second video is here.
Marilyn Barger, Director, Florida Advanced Technological Education Center, FloridaMakes, Tampa, FL;
Shirley Dobbins, Professor, Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL
Journal of Micro Nano Technology Education (JMNT-Ed)
The ATE Micro Nano Technology Education Center has just launched theJournal of Micro Nano Technology Education (Powerpoint presentation download). This journal will serve as a communication platform for people interested in teaching the micro nano technology workforce. This includes two-year college faculty members, STEM instructors for middle school through graduate school, and scientists. The journal will publish articles on topics relevant to teaching and learning micro nano technologies at all levels, including manuscripts that demonstrate new educational micro nano activities and lab experiments that can be adopted in micro nano curriculum at all levels, especially undergraduate.
Neda Habibi, Assistant Professor, Micro Nano Technology Education Center, Northwest Vista College, San Antonio, TX;
Atilla Ozgur Cakmak, Assistant Teaching Professor, Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge Resource Center, Center for Nanotechnology Education ad Utilization (CNEU), Engineering Science and Mechanics, College of Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, West University Park, PA;
Peter Kazarinoff, Assistant Professor, The Micro Nano Technology Education Center, Portland Community College, Portland, OR
Micro Nano Fabrication Research Experience: It’s About Technician Students!
The Micro Nano Technician Research Experience (PDF download) is provided by the Support Center for Microsystems Education (SCME) at the University of New Mexico under NSF Grant 1700678. This project gives technician students an opportunity to research, learn, problem solve, and apply microfabrication principles under the mentorship of subject matter experts and graduate students. An overview of the preparatory online methods and hands-on cleanroom experience is provided. Several students present their work and impressions of their experience. Students are encouraged to document their work through presentations, posters, and paper submissions to the Journal of Micro Nano Technology Education (JMNT-Ed).
Matthias Pleil, Research Professor, Support Center for Microsystems Education (SCME), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM;
Jared Ashcroft, Professor of Chemistry, Micro Nano Technology Education Center, Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA.
Student presenters are Sophia Barber, Alfonzo Meraz, and O’Neail Duglin, all from Pasadena City College.
nanoHUB’s Open-Access Cloud-Computing Resources for Nanomanufacturing, Nanobio, and Data Science
This presentation introduces educational resources in nanoHUB that faculty and students can use to learn about cloud manufacturing, simulating biological systems, and data science techniques. Established in 2002 and funded by the National Science Foundation, nanoHUB is the premiere place for computational nanotechnology research, education, and collaboration. nanoHUB hosts a rapidly growing collection of simulation programs for nanoscale phenomena that run in the cloud and are accessible through a web browser. In addition to simulation devices, nanoHUB provides online presentations, courses, teaching materials, and more.
Tanya Faltens, Educational Content Creation Manager, MNT-EC, Network for Computational Nanotechnology, West Lafayette, IN
Simulation and Visualization Tools for Nanotechnology Curricula
Visualization and simulation (PDF download) promote students’ understanding of phenomena at nanoscale. This presentation explores the application of online visualization and simulation tools for teaching nanotechnology curricula. Utilization of online tools enhances students’ learning of complex concepts at nanoscale without acquiring expensive equipment. These tools include 26 RAIN (Remotely Accessible Instruments in Nanotechnology) nodes for accessing visualization instruments and 500+ simulation tools at nanoHUB; and CompuCell3D, a flexible modeling platform that allows simulations for biology, tissue engineering, and viruses such as COVID-19. Simulation experiences at Penn State University with X-ray characterization by XPS and XRD are also presented.
Ahmed Khan, Fulbright Specialist Scholar, Fulbright/World Learning Inc, Oak Brook, IL;
Sala Qazi, Professor Emeritus, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Utica, NY;
Atilla Ozgur Cakmak, Professor, Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Penn State University, University Park, PA
The July 2021 event has over 80 sessions available on the HI-TEC On-Demand Sessions page on a wide range of topics: Advanced Manufacturing, Biotechnology, Cybersecurity, Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion, Employer Engagement, Energy And Environmental Technologies, Engineering Technologies, Future Of Work, Grant Funding, Information Technology, Internet Of Things, Learning, Evaluation, And Research, and Micro Nanotechnologies.
As mentioned above, these two keynote presentations are excellent:
Day 1: Mark Maybury, Chief Technology Officer, Stanley Black & Decker
Day 2: Jessica Gomez, Founder, President and CEO, Rogue Valley Microdevices
Here is the full list of titles and the On-Demand Session link above is where all the presentations and YouTube links are available.
Hands-On Workshops in a Virtual World
Scaling Advanced Manufacturing Technician Education to K-12
SEMI Works Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Certification Model
Smart Manufacturing Education and Training Modules
Amazing Team Effort to Create Career Pathways to the Bioscience and Healthcare Industries
Biotech-Careers.org: A Model Career Website for the Skilled Technical Workforce
Biotechnology Bench Beyond Mask: Building Communities
InnovATEBIO.org: A Model for ATE National Center Websites and Education Databases
Prescience for Distance: The Bioscience Technician Expansion Project
Creation of an Apprenticeship Program in Cybersecurity Education with Industry
Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management: Threats and Mitigation Strategies
Developing and Hosting Your Own Cybersecurity Competition
Development of an Automotive Cybersecurity Course
Engaging Students with Hands-On Cybersecurity Projects During COVID
Final Year – Cyber Up! Digital Forensics and Incident Response
Implementing a Virtual, Low-Cost Industrial Control Cybersecurity Training Environment
Integrating Project-based Technical and Workplace Skills into Your Virtual Cybersecurity Curriculum
Adapting to Create Meaningful Connections to Industry
Best Practices for Building a Diverse Pipeline of Cloud-Ready Talent
Creating Talent Pipelines for Targeted High-Tech Industries
Eliminating Denial of Service: One College’s Approach to Increasing Minority Representation in Cyber
Empowering Students to Recognize and Foster More Inclusive Workplaces
Exploring Connections with Active Military and Veterans for Technology Programs
Female Students’ Perceptions of Problem-Solving Through Peer Learning in Introductory Engineering
Information and Strategies for Guiding Culturally Responsive Education
Offering Advanced Software Training for Secondary School Students
Strategies for Innovative K-12 Outreach
Top Ten Tips for Teaching Student Veterans from the Classroom to Online
Transforming the Optics Program at Monroe Community College into a National Model
Common Barriers to Successfully Engaging Employers and How to Overcome Them
SCADA Modularized Curriculum, Hands-On Labs, and Job Task Analysis for Renewable Energy
Will Wide-Bandgap (WBG) Semiconductors Replace Silicon? Learn About This Cutting-Edge Technology
Interdisciplinary Education of 3D Technologies
Manufacturing PPE During a Pandemic: Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Workforce Readiness
Microcredentials/Badging for Engineering Technology in Healthcare
Promoting Your Center/Project to More Than 105,000 Industrial Professionals for Free
Virtual Reality for MEMS Material in Second Life Using Blender and Solidworks
Augmented and Virtual Reality and Workforce Training: Promises and Pitfalls
Learning from Industry: The Future of Work for Technicians
Preparing Technicians for the Future of Work: Implementing the Cross-Disciplinary STEM Core
Adviser, Role Model, Friend? Giving Back by Becoming a Mentor-Fellow
College Collaboration to Create a Grants Program and Portfolio
Cultivating Employer-Led Innovation Strategies to Fuel Competitive NSF ATE Proposals
Data-Informed NSF ATE Proposals: Exploring and Using the New ATE Survey Data Dashboard
Increase Your Funding Success with No-Cost Mentoring for Prospective NSF ATE Grantees
The Connected Coast Initiative
Convergence Technology Students Present New Perspectives and Share Projects
Enhancing Associate Degrees for IT Technicians
The Evolution of Training for Supply Chain Automation Technicians
Faculty-Advisor Relationship Impact on Student Decisions on Academic and Career Paths
Leverage Employer-Led Skill Standards to Strengthen Your IT Program
Time Sensitive Network Application in Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Systems
From Hands-on to Virtual: Shifting the Training Demands for IoT and Sensors
Internet of Things Education Project
Internet of Things: Preparing the Future Technical Workforce
The Wild World of Wireless in the 2020s: What Should We Teach?
Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) Programs’ Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Preliminary Results
Begin With the End in Mind: Formative Assessment and Evaluation in Professional Development
Coding a Flexible Apprenticeship: Faculty Perspective and Support Relationships
Creating Career Pathways and Learning Communities
Cross Collaboration Between ATE Projects and Centers in Developing Interactive Student Activities
Developing Photonics Education for Secondary Schools: UPDATE to Include Overcoming COVID
Effective Remote Learning: Virtual PLC and Multi-Technology Simulations and Virtual Machines
Engaging STEM Students During a Pandemic
Global Virtual Exchange in Technical Courses
MNT-EC’s Talking Technicians Podcast
NC3-Festo National Certification Program: Lessons Learned
Productivity Toolkit: Three Free Resources for Scheduling, Design, and Project Management
Silver Linings: How COVID-19 Jump-Started Holistic Student and Employer Engagement
Software Development Evaluation and Grading Strategies
Transition From Traditional, Didactic Instructional Delivery to Competency-Based Education Modality
Transitioning Orientation from Traditional to Digital: Approach, Practice, and Reflection
Using Alternative Methods to Support Hands-on-Learning (labs)
Using Virtual Citizen Science Activities to Introduce Students to Careers as Research Technicians
Working Technicians Tell Their Stories
Journal of Micro Nano Technology Education (JMNT-Ed)
The Center for Aviation and Automotive Technological Education Using Virtual E-Schools (CA2VES) recently announced that Dr. Paul Weber, Utah Valley University, received the 2021 Coordination Network Innovation Award.
Dr. Weber is the lead investigator on an NSF ATE grant: Integrating Environmentally Improved Photolithography Technology and Virtual Reality Games into Advanced Nanotechnology Education. He has developed VR simulations using a Scanning Electron Microscope and Photolithography that prepare students to operate equipment more effectively and safely.
Recently, Dr. Weber provided a workshop on using VR in technical education programs. His dedication to providing nanotechnology students unique learning environments in the virtual world will lead to growth in the use of VR in technical education. Presentations and videos of his work at UVU are here:
Paul will receive a $500 prize and free registration at the 2021 HI-TEC Virtual Conference! He was nominated by Dr. Jared Ashcroft of Pasadena City College, principal investigator for the Micro Nano Technology Education Center (team bios).
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are interested in attending the HI-TEC Virtual Conference, there is still time to register and attend the July 21 and July 22 event. The annual MNTeSIG runs right before HI-TEC and more info can be found here on the MNT-EC Calendar (also loaded with many other useful nanotechnology workshops and webinars).
Led by AACC and NSF, the competition seeks to create STEM solutions to real-world challenges that benefit society
Pasadena City College placed first out of the 12 finalist teams that participated in the final phase of the Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC), an annual national competition, powered by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in partnership with the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). CCIC seeks to advance student impact through STEM solutions to real-world challenges that foster the development of students’ innovation, research, and entrepreneurial skills.
Teams for the CCIC consist of two to four students and a faculty or administrator mentor. The challenge requires teams to assess their innovation’s potential impact, identify its scientific and market feasibility and determine its societal relevance.
The Pasadena City College team consists of the following students and faculty:
Dr. Jared Ashcroft (Mentor)
Working together, oftentimes remotely due to COVID-19, the team was able to develop an innovative, effective means to use targeted photo immunotherapy against specific cancer cells while also combating the symbiotic relationship between cancer and bacteria that promotes cancer proliferation. . Their “NanoBio mAB: A Nanoparticle-Antibody Cancer Therapeutic” project abstract explains it well:
“Cancer is one of the leading causes of death all over the world, with nearly ten million children and adults worldwide dying every year. By 2040, the number of new cancer cases per year is expected to rise to 29.5 million and the number of cancer-related deaths is expected to rise to 16.4 million. Antibody conjugated nanoparticles have a multitude of uses in cancer and infectious disease identification and treatment at the cellular level. Gold nanoparticles are commonly used in photothermal nano therapies due to their stable, non-toxic, and non-immunogenic nature. Silver nanoparticles have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties, and anticancer properties. The NanoBio mAB is a gold@silver nanoparticle hybrid that capitalizes on the ideal properties of both the gold and silver nanoparticles so that together they maximize efficacy in treating cancer. Conjugation to cell specific monoclonal antibodies (mABs) will provide an effective means for targeted photo immunotherapy to specific cancer cells while also combating the symbiotic relationship between cancer and bacteria that promotes cancer proliferation. Overall, the NanoBio mAB will revolutionize cancer therapies, providing a multifaceted approach in the treatment of cancer.”
On June 14, twelve finalist teams entered a week-long virtual innovation boot camp, learning from industry experts on how to understand the marketability of their innovation, how to communicate effectively about their work, and participated in mock interviews and elevator pitches to hone their message and presentation skills. Teams presented their innovations in a Student Innovation Showcase engaging with STEM leaders and Congressional stakeholders and led 5-minute pitch presentations in front of a panel of industry professionals for a cash prize.
Statistic analysis is not always easy to understand, especially studying it remotely in the midst of a pandemic. Five undergraduate students at Pasadena City College designed and implemented a program to help their fellow students understand it better.
Initially, “Jupyter notebooks,” built by Project Jupyter, a non-profit, open-source project created in 2014, were to be introduced and used in chemistry lab courses. COVID-19 made it more difficult to use those lab notebooks so the project shifted, with a “new goal to provide students with the statistical analysis skills they would otherwise miss out on acquiring without the in-person lab component of their course. Statistical analysis is extremely important in all fields of STEM and a strong background in it truly helps students in their coursework,” undergraduate student and researcher Sophia Ibarguen said.
Pasadena City College Chemistry professor, Dr. Jared Ashcroft, explained that these students were involved in creating and leading this research project Sophia Ibarguen, Janet Teng, Sophia Barber, Chloe Sharp, Alex Gonzalez, and Daisy Kim (four presented in the above video). As part of their efforts, they submitted their project to the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) that hosts an annual conference to celebrate and promote “undergraduate student achievement; provides models of exemplary research, scholarship, and creative activity; and helps to improve the state of undergraduate education.”
All of the students shared that, equally as important as presenting at a national conference, was the learning they gained from working together.
“The best part of this project was the experience of learning how to work with fellow student researchers to create modules and assessments to help strengthen students’ understanding of different statistical analysis tools. The statistical analysis research project was the very first project I joined and it gave me a chance to learn how to work in a research group while also contributing independent work,” student and researcher Janet Teng said.
Fellow student and researcher, Sophia Barber, shared a similar thought: “The connections I have made with the other members of the team, the invaluable support and mentorship I have received through working with Dr. Ashcroft, Dr. Chang, and Dr. Faltens, and the newfound passion for research I discovered while working on both this project and the hB-NPc project, which ultimately convinced me to pursue an MD/PhD. I am beyond grateful for being able to work on this project.”
As seen in the screenshots below, the students built methods and leveraged several platforms to make statistical analysis far more accessible for remote-learning but even for in-person classroom experiences as well.
The research project used the following tools that educators and students can visit and use:
The initial motivation of helping their fellow students at Pasadena City College understand how to properly conduct statistical analysis was rewarded by strong results. Sophia Ibarguen summarized the project perfectly:
“I think the best part of the project for me was the data analysis once each cohort of students had completed the modules. Seeing how the students’ scores increased each time and how their survey responses concerning statistical analysis also spoke more favorably of the subject provided me with instant gratification. Seeing how much our work helped our peers made all those months of early mornings and late nights completely worth it because it meant our work mattered, that we made even the smallest difference. That realization alone was priceless for me.”