After recovering from a bit of wince from the idea of connecting the National Nanotechnology Initiative’s recent urgings in the area of nanomanufacturing to desktop nanofabs, this article presented some interesting information on the NanoProfessor Nanoscience Education Program developed by NanoInk.
According to Tom Levesque, General Manager of NanoInk in the Americas, he visited a school in Bogota, Colombia where about 350 teenagers in conjunction with the NanoProfessor curriculum work with atomic force microscopes and end up with better training than many receive at private universities in the country.“The setting is that these children come down from these virtual slums behind the school, they go through these programs, and emerge out of the front of the building into society with an education that is not even available at some of the best private schools in Bogota,” Levesque is quoted in the article as saying. While making available an AFM for 350 kids seems almost as incredible as the idea that these kids have a better education than those at the best private schools, one has to wonder why this program has taken off in foreign countries and has not fared as well in the United States. Professor Deb Newberry, who sits on the Advisory Board of the NanoProfessor, has been using the training program as part of her curriculum with students at Dakota County Technical College in Minneapolis says that her students do enjoy it.
Not sure if this means that the program is more effective than other curriculums, but you can listen to the the entire interviews with Levesque and Newberry on the ScienceNews Radio Network talk program, the Promise of Tomorrow with Colonel Mason to find out.