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Posted: March 28, 2009
Nanotechnology slips into schools
(Nanowerk News) Education Week is carrying an article on how schools and colleges increasingly offer courses on nanotechnology:
Each day in class, it’s the job of John Balet to bring nanotechnology into plain view. He and his students discuss applying nanotechnology to produce better computer chips, more-protective car wax, and less-visible sunscreen. They talk about its potential to transform solar power, and possibly cure cancer, as well as the ethical and safety concerns surrounding the science.
Mr. Balet, who teaches at Ballston Spa High School outside Albany, N.Y., is one of a handful of teachers around the country who have fashioned curriculum and lessons around nanotechnology, one of the fastest-emerging areas of scientific research. Some schools are crafting lessons with help from local universities and companies that work in nanoscience. That’s the case at Ballston Spa High, located in an area of eastern New York known as Tech Valley, home to many technology firms and top-flight research institutions.
By delving into nanotechnology, a specialized subject that is more commonly taught at the university level, teenagers in the 4,500-student Ballston Spa district not only gain an understanding of a rapidly advancing area of science, but also pick up skills coveted by local employers, Mr. Balet says.
“Do I think they’ll have an advantage? Yes,” he said. “Nanotechnology is going to be affecting products in so many areas of our lives.”