Women’s History Month

Women's History Month logo

Women have changed the world and continue to do so.

Some of you may think it was only men who did so, but that would be both inaccurate, and quite limited (one might also say foolish).

When we posted to honor Black History Month (with a bunch of great resources and links), we included a special mention about a Women’s History Month opportunity from the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) – Invite a Scientist to Class. If you are a technician or scientist working in the micro or nano fields, please get in touch with NNCO for future chances to share your passion and expertise with young people. We discovered that we needed a new dedicated post to share all the resources.

In honor of Women’s History Month, here is a big list of resources that can help you plan a lesson or activity that will open up the minds and hearts of your students. Not all of these resources are science or STEM-focused, but every resource here showcases how women continue to impact our lives in all ways.

Women in Science and Technology  |  Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress  |  Library of Congress

The Library of Congress, as one would expect, is packed with resources and lesson plans and so much more for educators at all levels. Here is a direct link to some of the lesson plans: Lesson Plans for Women in Science from the Library of Congress. Plus, here’s another one that’s worth perusing: Women in Science and Technology: A Resource Guide.

Mildred Dresselhaus Prize in Nanoscience or Nanomaterials

Mildred Dresselhaus is known as the “Queen of Carbon Science.” She made pioneering contributions to the study of carbon materials, including carbon nanotubes. She was the first woman to receive the National Medal of Science in Engineering, and was awarded the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience in 2012.

Unladylike2020 | NEH-Edsitement

This National Endowment for the Humanities series called Unladylike is powerful and profound. Their site, EDSITEment has specific science-oriented ones, but the entire 26 part series of animated documentary shorts about UNLADYLIKE2020’s trailblazing heroines is spectacular. They have a dedicated page here where you can scroll through to see each profile, briefly summarized. You can also  watch it here on the American Masters YouTube channel (it has 31 videos).


This organization works to advance women in engineering fields, including nanotechnology. 

Association for Women in Science – AWIS

Provides resources and support for women in science, including nanotechnology, including career development resources, networking opportunities, and information on issues facing women in STEM.

National Girls Collaborative Project

National Girls Collaborative Project: This project is dedicated to increasing the participation of girls in STEM fields, including nanotechnology. Its website provides resources and information for educators and parents, as well as a directory of programs and organizations dedicated to supporting girls in STEM. 

WITI – Women in Technology International

Women in Technology International: This organization provides resources and support for women in technology fields, including nanotechnology. Its website features articles, webinars, and events related to career development and networking opportunities. 

UN Women – Headquarters

UN Women: This website is the official website of the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. It offers news, resources, and information related to women’s rights and gender equality around the world.

ACS Women Chemists Committee

The Committee serves as a forum for women in chemistry and related professions, and works to increase and improve participation of women in the chemical sciences.

Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum

Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative: This initiative aims to “amplify women’s voices, reach new audiences, and empower future generations” through research, exhibitions, and educational programs. The website features online exhibitions, collections, and resources related to women’s history.

Women in STEM! More than 60 Scientists and Engineers for Women’s History Month | Science Buddies Blog

This website offers a variety of science resources and project ideas, including several related to nanotechnology.

National Nanotechnology Initiative

This government agency provides a wealth of information and resources on nanotechnology, including an education and outreach section with lesson plans and educational resources for K-12 and undergraduate students. 

National Museum of Women in the Arts

This museum features the works of female artists from around the world and offers virtual exhibits, educational resources, and virtual events.

Women’s History Month

This site provides resources and information on women’s history, including biographies, videos, and interactive activities. This page offers lesson plans for teachers.

35 Groundbreaking Women From History You Should Know — from Bustle

National Women’s History Alliance

This organization provides a wealth of information and resources on women’s history, including lesson plans, biographies, and historical essays.

Girls Who Code

Offers coding programs for girls and provides resources and support for educators interested in teaching coding to girls.

What Girl Scouts Do

The well-known group has a wide range of educational programs and resources on leadership, entrepreneurship, and STEM fields for girls.

National Women’s Studies Association

Resources and support for women’s studies educators and advocates for the advancement of women’s studies in higher education.

National Women’s History Museum

This museum is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the history of women in the United States and provides a wealth of online resources and exhibits.

New Free Ebook on Vacuum Technology

Vacuum systems are essential to various industries, and technicians who can maintain, troubleshoot, and repair them are highly valued. Excellent resources to help them learn and prepare for working with vacuum systems are hard to find. A team of three authors, with a savvy proposal, kept one of these resources alive.

The original author David Hata, Dr. Elena Brewer from Erie Community College (Williamsville, NY), and Nancy Louwagie from Normandale Community College (Bloomington, MN) submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF-ATE) program in consideration of a project which would convert Hata’s textbook to an e-book version.

Click the title to read the new, free E-book, Introduction to Vacuum Technology, from authors: David M. Hata; Elena V. Brewer; and Nancy J. Louwagie.

David Hata’s textbook, Introduction to Vacuum Technology, was first published in 2008, but discontinued in 2019. Without the work of these three, this textbook would be forever out of print. 

Figure_3_9 _Vacuum Technology Ebook _Photo by Dr. Elena Brewer, SUNY Erie Community College

The textbook is suitable for community college-level technician courses. It covers rough and high vacuum systems, leak detection, and residual gas analysis, and includes laboratory exercises. In addition to the exercises, there are plenty of helpful photos and short quizzes at the end of each chapter. The authors focused on the needs of technicians in a production environment and is the result of years of teaching and learning with community college students.

Introduction to Vacuum Technology Chapter Quiz Example

NOTE: You can also read about the upcoming (March 13, 2023) VACT 1010 “Foundations of Vacuum Technology” course at Normandale Community College at this MNT-EC page.

Invite a Female Nanoscientist or Engineer into your Classroom for Women’s History Month 2023

We will be updating this page with more resources, but for now, click this form to sign up for this wonderful opportunity from the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. Below is a summary of their email.

Part of the cowling for one of the motors for a B-25 bomber is assembled in the engine department of North American [Aviation, Inc.]'s Inglewood, Calif., plant digital file from original transparency. Palmer, Alfred T., photographer. Created / Published 1942 October. In honor of Women's History Month.

Part of the cowling for one of the motors for a B-25 bomber is assembled in the engine department of North American [Aviation, Inc.]’s Inglewood, Calif., plant digital file from original transparency.

Palmer, Alfred T., photographer. Created / Published 1942 October.

In honor of Women’s History Month, from the Women’s History Month website.

Celebrate Women’s History Month in a unique way by inviting a female nanoscientist or nanoengineer to virtually visit your classroom!

Fill out this Google Form to get a scientist to visit your classroom —

Click the Google Form link right above to be paired with a scientist who will talk about their exciting career paths and how they use nanotechnology to solve problems. First-come, first-served, so sign up now for a one-hour virtual session in March. Inspire your students and add value to your teaching experience with this exciting opportunity!

Celebrating Two Special History Months in Micro- Nanotechnology

We want to acknowledge the significant impact of Black and Women scientists and leaders on the world and on American culture as we celebrate Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

Feel free to drop us a note with any additional Black History Month resources we can include (my email address was in the latest email inviting you here). Special thanks to Professor Maajida Murdock for her tip to share the list from Interesting Engineering

UPDATE: My link to the Library of Congress is not showing even though I thought I placed it in the photo meta data. Well, here it is: Poor People’s March 1968.

Please DO NOT MISS the special invitation below for K-12 teachers for Women’s History Month from the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. It promises to be amazing. Scroll down to see the details and the Google form link

Rosa Parks at the 1968 Poor Peoples March at Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, [Washington, D.C.]

Black History Month Resources

If you need photos for your classroom, check out three Black History Month galleries on Unsplash — a copyright-free image site. You can read about their license details here.

A photographer on Unsplash did a wonderful job of colorizing the historic Rosa Parks photo from the Library of Congress that we used above, check it out.

If you liked that large background image in the email, it comes from the NSF Special Virtual Backgrounds page.

Women’s History Month 2023 for Nanotechnology and Science

We will be updating this page with more resources, but for now, do not miss this wonderful opportunity from the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. Here is a summary of their email (which I can send to you, in full, if you email me – hint it is in the last email that got you here).

Celebrate Women’s History Month in a unique way by inviting a female nanoscientist or nanoengineer to virtually visit your classroom!

Fill out this Google Form

Click the Google Form link right above to be paired with a scientist who will talk about their exciting career paths and how they use nanotechnology to solve problems. First-come, first-served, so sign up now for a one-hour virtual session in March. Inspire your students and add value to your teaching experience with this exciting opportunity!

Random Small _2023 Year Ahead

Thanks to those of you who have supported and lifted up the MNT-EC site and this news section, for sharing on social media and telling your peers about us. Lots of you are spending more time on our MNT-EC LinkedIn page and that’s, well, incredibly awesome. See a couple of images from the page just below.

We’d like to tell you about our favorite email newsletters and celebrate two of our partners this month:

Greentown Labs in Massachusetts is the nation’s leading incubator/accelerator for startups solving the climate crisis through entrepreneurship and collaboration. Their newsletter is a powerful curation of what’s happening in climate tech, materials, nanotechnology, and way more. The most recent newsletter profiles that the Prince and Princess of Wales paid them a visit.

Kavli Nanoscience Institute knows how to put together a nano-packed newsletter each quarter. You definitely want to subscribe to this one. It is their cool image just below that also served as a LinkedIn post with links to a photo gallery here on Think Small. You should check out the 2022 news roundup from Kavli here.

Based at Arizona State University, NCI Southwest serves as the Southwest hub of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) and encompasses six collaborative research facilities. Their newsletter is loaded with info from the ASU NanoFab, the Eyring Materials Center, Advanced Electronics and Photonics (AEP) Core Facility, the Center for the Life Cycle of Nanomaterials (LCNano), the ¡MIRA! Center at NAU, and the User Facility for the Social and Ethical Implications of Nanotechnology.

This image from Kavli Nanoscience Institute (1,200+ views and 31 visits) and below that, one from a Hong Kong 3D printing startup captivated your attention (1,700+ views and 36 visits — glad to know we have some ocean lovers in our midst).

And here’s the Hong Kong 3D Printed Coral Reef startup image on CBS News.

Again, both of these posts are on our LinkedIn Page.

Do you have some images you would like to share?? Drop me a note: TJ@MicroNanoEducation.org

Temple Grandin Podcast -How Did You Think Of That- Interviews Jared Ashcroft

Screenshot of Utah STEM Action Center Podcast Page called How'd You Think of That hosted by Temple Grandin

Heading into the weekend which for some is going to turn into vacation for the holiday week — here is a great podcast for you in those quiet days pre-post holiday meals. Our MNT Center Director, Dr. Jared Ashcroft, was rather quiet/humble about being interviewed by the well-known Temple Grandin for the first season of a new podcast out of the STEM Action Center in Utah.  

Listen to How’d You Think of That? Temple Grandin interviews Jared Ashcroft entitled: All the Good Teachers.

Temple and Jared discussed the role community colleges can play in supplying a steady STEM workforce, where the education system falls short, and how it can improve outcomes for students. Definitely worth a listen! Way to go, Dr. Ashcroft.

ASEE Videos on Future for Micro and Nanotechnology Technicians

The Micro Nanotechnology Education Center at Pasadena City College was highlighted within the official broadcast at this year’s American Association for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference. The video was presented as a case study and documentary of what MNT-EC and its students are doing in various programs, internships, and research opportunities.

MNT Center Director, Dr. Jared Ashcroft closes out the video explaining how the MNT-EC is working toward pulling together the different institutions, community colleges, universities, industries, and nonprofits, to get them working together. “The goal is to have the Micro Nanotechnology Education Center working as the glue that pulls all of these institutions together,” he said.

Here is the full 5 minute video (5 min, 41 seconds to be precise).

And here is the 60-second-ish trailer if you need the quick version:

Learn more about ASEE and the annual conference.

MNT-EC Partners with National Registered Apprenticeship Program

Caption: National Institute for Innovation and Technology and the Micro Nanotechnology Education Center partner for apprenticeships.

The National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT) and the Micro Nanotechnology Education Center (MNT-EC) today announced a collaboration focused on workforce development for the semiconductor sector and nanotechnology-related industries. 

With the agreement, MNT-EC colleges will have access to NIIT’s National Talent Hub, which connects employers, education providers, job seekers and individuals looking to improve related skills. Colleges will be able to use the Talent Hub free of charge to ensure courses align with industry requirements and give their students access to the service’s job portal.

Students enrolled in MNT-EC programs will be eligible for “learn-and-earn” opportunities through NIIT’s Growing Apprenticeships in Nanotechnology and Semiconductors (GAINS) Registered Apprenticeship Program. NIIT has the exclusive, 5-year contract to expand the use of Registered Apprenticeships in the strategic supply chains of semiconductors and nanotechnology, which includes biomanufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and clean energy, among others.

You can read the full national press release here.

Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center Inspires Students

As water and ice destroyed the ship’s hull, the crew of the famed HMS Endurance, abandoned the ship and began their 25-day journey back to civilization under Sir Ernest Shackleton’s leadership. The Endurance sank on October 27, 1915 and was all but lost for the last 107 years. 

Lost. That is, until a team of scientists found it on March 9, 2022 using submersibles and undersea drones in the Weddell Sea (on the Northern top of Antarctica). For any students of history, exploration, and adventure, the finding of the wooden ship at roughly 10,000 feet deep in icy waters is an exciting discovery. 

What Gets Students Interested in Research and Technology?

It is stories like this one, finding the HMS Endurance, that inspire future and current scientists and explorers. Although the remotely operated vehicle used in the MATE ROV competition is a very basic version of the Saab Sabertooth drone that was used to locate and photograph the long-lost ship, the same scientific and mathematical concepts apply and are part of the STEM focus that the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center strive to teach. MATE is a resource center funded by the National Science Foundation and headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC).

According to the website, “The MATE ROV Competition is an underwater robotics challenge that engages a global community of learners each year. This year, the MATE ROV Competition is highlighting the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and inspiring our global community to embrace environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts to create a sustainable future on our ocean planet. The competition is challenging its community to design and build an ROV and the necessary sensors and tooling to support work to combat climate change, provide clean energy, feed our growing global population, monitor ocean health, preserve our maritime history, and ‘deliver, together, the ocean we need for the future we want!’”

Working together, NCAT (MNT-EC Partner) and MATE have re-imagined the 2022 MATE ROV Competition to include a virtual world that enables students and mentors from around the globe to experience the competition even if they can’t participate in person. As it did last year, the 2022 MATE ROV Competition VR World will facilitate the social interaction, peer-to-peer networking, and shared experience that students value and appreciate most about the competition – and are especially craving during the time of this pandemic.

Pasadena City College Care Bears Underwater ROV Team

In the 2022 annual MATE ROV (remotely operated vehicle) Competition at Long Beach City College this year, the Pasadena City College “Care Bears Build a Sub” student team that won third place at the event (photo above). Kudos to all of the students, staff, and faculty who made this a great adventure. Sir Ernest Shackleton would be glad to know that his ship was not lost forever thanks to generations of students who made remotely operated submersibles a reality.

Dr. Jared Ashcroft Recognized for Commitment and Passion for Student Success

If one thing captures Dr. Jared Ashcroft, it is this quote from him in a recent ATE Impacts article: “If I see an opportunity that looks like I can impact students, I want to do it and figure out a way to support it,” he said.

The article explains how, in “early 2021 Jared M. Ashcroft opened an email announcing the Community College Innovation Challenge (CCIC) to the Advanced Technological Education community. “Oh, that looks really fun,” was his assessment of the linked website’s description of the national competition that the American Association of Community Colleges offers in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

“When he told his chemistry students at Pasadena City College about the contest and the opportunity to win cash prizes for innovative STEM solutions to real-world problems, four students formed a team and asked Ashcroft to be their mentor. Mentoring took his time – an hour or two at a time over several months – but “not a dime” from the budget of the Micro Nano Technology Education Center (MNT-EC) he leads. And, Ashcroft said, the experience was well worth the students’ efforts and his time even if the team had not won first prize.”

Of course, under his leadership and a few other volunteers, that team did win first place. You can read about that here on the Think Small post: Pasadena City College Team Places First in National Community College Innovation Challenge.

Congratulations to Dr. Ashcroft for a job well done with guiding these students to great results and kudos for his ongoing commitment to their success. You can congratulate Jared for his fine work by commenting on our LinkedIn page.

You can read the full article by Madeline Patton on the ATE Impacts site: MNT-EC Principal Investigator Is a Fan of the Community College Innovation Challenge.