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Posted: March 11, 2009
NanoBusiness Talent program places high school students with nanotechnology companies
(Nanowerk News) The NanoBusiness Alliance today announced the continuation of its NanoBusiness Talent program, which connects future scientists and high-tech companies by arranging summer internships for local high school students at Chicago-area nanotechnology companies with a grant from the Department of Energy. In its pilot program last year, students developed their scientific acumen while working closely with scientists and entrepreneurs, who are pioneering the field of nanotechnology in medical diagnostics, materials design, and subsurface imaging.
Nanotechnology is an emerging field that leverages the unique properties of materials in the atomic or molecular size scale (1-100 nm range). This field is expected to revolutionize disease diagnostics and therapeutics, energy creation, computing and electronics.
In the first year of the program, the students spent nine weeks at Nanosphere, Inc. (Northbrook, IL), NanoInk, Inc. (Skokie, IL), and Questek (Evanston, IL). Michelle Ran (Stevenson High School) helped validate a diagnostic test for influenza and respiratory syncytial viruses using nanoparticle probes. Ben Wilcox (New Trier High School) developed a procedure for others to use a nanolithographic instrument. Nick Wieczorek (Highland Park High School) probed the atomic composition of precipitates in a novel alloy.
“This was my first exposure to the nanotechnology industry, and I was amazed at how much I had learned by the end of the program,” said Andy Schneider, who participated in the program after graduation from Evanston Township High School in June 2008. “Nanotechnology is a particularly relevant field right now, and it was fun to be a part of such a dynamic, innovative environment.” Ben Wilcox (New Trier High School 2008) agreed: “TALENT is an incredible opportunity to learn about business and cutting-edge science.”
After last year’s success, two new companies will join the NanoBusiness Alliance’s 2009 program. Nanotope of Skokie, IL is developing injectable nanomaterials to regenerate specific tissues in injured people. Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc. of Romeoville, IL creates thin films of diamond for a variety of applications from preventing blood clotting in heart pumps to lowering the wear and friction of parts in industrial settings. This year’s students will also participate in a one-week nanotechnology camp in June at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory where students will learn from some of the premier researchers in the country. They’ll get hands-on experience with the multimillion-dollar instruments used in nanoscience such as atomic force microscopy, e-beam lithography, scanning electron microscopy. Students will learn about nanotechnology’s applications in medicine, energy, materials, and electronics. To apply to the 2009 summer program, visit www.nanobusinesstalent.org and follow the application instructions by April 10, 2009.