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NanoCORE at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering: Program Overview and a Unique Assessment Approach

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Abstract:

The NUE NanoCORE at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering was designed to introduce undergraduate students to concepts in nanoscale science and engineering. NanoCORE's objectives focused on providing students with technical knowledge, fostering positive attitudes towards emerging technologies and introducing students to research and future opportunities in the field. Through program's duration, over 1,000 students have been exposed to various aspects of nanoscale science and engineering through course work developed for this project, with some students experiencing multiple exposures. Women make up 22% of this group and students from under-represented groups make up 38% of this group. To assess NanoCORE's effectiveness and to better understand undergraduate student perceptions of nanotechnology, a unique measurement instrument was developed to gauge students' awareness of, attitude toward, and interest in nanotechnology. Using this instrument, students' perception of nanotechnology, specifically with respect to potential risks and benefits were investigated. A data set comprising of over 1,500 student responses was collected and correlations among various variables were examined to identify possible factors that are associated with perceptions of nanotechnology. This analysis has led to a number of interesting findings including the importance of self-assessed familiarity, the evolution of students' level of concern, and the recognition of a range of potential variables which may ultimately affect student perception of emerging technologies.

Keywords: ASSESSMENT; MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENT; NANOTECHNOLOGY; PERCEPTION OF NANOTECHNOLOGY; SUBSCALES; UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jne.2011.1018

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • The Journal of Nano Education (JNE) is a peer-reviewed international journal that aims to provide the most complete and reliable source of information on current developments in nanoscale science, technology, engineering, and medical education.
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