A highly skilled and motivated workforce with increasingly more knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will be required to ensure America’s global competitiveness. Over the past 15 years, the Federal government has invested over $22 billion in R&D under the auspices of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to understand and control matter at the nanoscale and develop applications that benefit society. As these nanotechnology-enabled applications become a part of everyday life, it is important for students to have a basic understanding of material behavior at the nanoscale, and some states have even incorporated nanotechnology concepts into their K-12 science standards. Furthermore, application of the novel properties that exist at the nanoscale, from gecko-inspired climbing gloves and invisibility cloaks, to water repellent coatings on clothes or cellphones, can spark students’ excitement about STEM fields.
The educational efforts of the NNI span from pre-K to gray with information ranging from that for the general public to formal lesson plans and degree programs. This section of Nano.gov provides resources for students and teachers; information about nanotechnology programs from community colleges to PhD's, a description of the growing Nano and Emerging Technologies Student Network, and links to multimedia contests, videos, and animations.
Additionally, a searchable database of nanotechnology education resources can be found at nanoHUB.org.