Nanotechnology and Education
Standing at a wooden podium in a lecture hall at CalTech with a blackboard at his back, Richard Feynman changed the way we see the world. It has been nearly 60 years since he presented his lecture, “There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom” to the American Physical Society. Through a series of “what ifs” and “imagine thats” and even throwing in a wager or two, Feynman sparked the imagination of the scientific community with the prospect of manipulating individual atoms and molecules (Feynman 1960). Could it actually be possible to manipulate matter at the nanoscale, creating functional structures that would revolutionize medicine, computer science, manufacturing, and more? In his vision for what the future might hold, he highlighted the need to engage our youth, suggesting a high school competition that would stimulate interest in the nascent field of nanotechnology.
KeywordsSTEM education Scientific literacy Integrated knowledge structures Student readiness Future career opportunities Meaningful learning
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