Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nano education: Is it a good strategy?

Tangentially related to the conference info Meredith sent on communicating about science is an article I found on pedagogical concerns and strategies related to nanoscience. Specifically, the article contends that in order to spark public interest in nanoscience and to create more well-rounded, interdisciplinary nano scientists, there needs to be education on what nanoscience is beginning in grade school. In other words, if we learn about nano-scale science early on (the argument is that it doesn't currently exist), then that shapes our interest and skillset as adults. So, what do you think about this strategy? Do you think that any existing public disinterest in nanoscale science is related to education? Do you think nano-science serves as a good launching point for teaching inter-disciplinary science to young people?

Article info link (accessible through UCSB):
Learning at the nanoscale: Research questions that the rapidly
evolving interdisciplinarity of science poses for the learning
sciences (read it)


  1. I think a good research question to ask is, to what extent measureable, is nanoscience interdisciplinary? Sure, we read/hear about this in statements about why nano research should be funded. And, I'll concede, this may be the case. But I'd like to see some hard evidence that it is so.

  2. It might be better if gradeschoolers were introduced to the classic disciplines of engineering before they learn about nanoscience. As far as things on the nanoscale are concerned, all junior highschool kids should watch the documentary series Silicon Run about semiconductor fabrication.