Nanotechnology Teacher Workshop

Nanotechnology Teacher Workshop

For STEM teachers of grades 6-12 who want to learn about interdisciplinary research, resources, and careers at the nano-scale and bring it back to their classrooms and students!

“Nanotechnology Goes to Outer Space:

Exploring the Largest Phenomenon of the Universe with the Smallest Devices We Can Fabricate”

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Millennium Science Complex Building, University Park, PA

Recommended for teachers of grades 6 and up who teach the physical sciences, earth and space sciences, technology, and/or mathematics.


Online Registration is Now Open - Don't Delay! Spaces fill quickly. Attendance is FREE.

To sign-up, simply go to:



The Universe speaks to us in many ways and in all wavelengths, but the best kept secrets are shared in faint whispers. These soft-spoken messages are sent over astronomically large scales compared to our Earthly experience, but can only be heard with expertise arising in emerging frontiers of materials science at the nanoscale. Signals sent to us via X-ray contain information about supernovas, black holes, giant binary star systems, and more. But in order to hear them, we need detection devices which are lightweight, durable, tunable, and launch-able into space!

This workshop tells a fascinating story about how the field of astronomy uses basic principles of physics (light, optics, mechanical energy, electricity), chemistry (composition and structure), mathematics (theory and data analysis), computer-aided design (technology applications), materials science (fabrication and characterization), and the engineering process to build sensitive detection devices which can capture these dim signals. The future career opportunities for today’s students, and the nature of our very own world and society, will surely be influenced by the scientific discoveries and advancements that are about to occur at this fascinating new interdisciplinary interface. It’s important to remember that STEM in action is about teamwork, with people from different disciplines coming together to answer big questions, solve complex problems, create new technologies, and discover new applications. No one can be an expert in all areas, but expertise in all areas is needed. Therefore, we encourage schools to send several teachers from different content areas to attend this workshop together.

Teachers of the physical sciences, earth and space sciences, technology, and mathematics will discover ways in which this story relates to their course content and students, and why searching for knowledge in outer space is vitally important. 


More Information

For more information about NanoDays, please contact Kristin Dreyer at 814-863-1665 or by email at

 Nanodays sponsors include Penn State Science, The Nanotechnology Applicaions & Career Knowledge Network, the Center for Science and the Schools, Discovery Space Childrens Science Museum, the NNIN, and the Center for Nanoscale Science


This annual program was initiated by Penn State's participation in NanoDays™

NanoDays is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering. NanoDays engages people of all ages in learning about this emerging field of science, which holds the promise of developing revolutionary materials and technologies.

Organized by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net), NanoDays events take place nationally in early April. They constitute the largest, organized public outreach effort in nanoscale informal science education and involve science museums, research centers, and universities from Puerto Rico to Alaska.

NanoDays celebrations bring university researchers together with science educators to create learning experiences for both children and adults to explore the miniscule world of atoms, molecules, and nanoscale forces. Most NanoDays events combine fun hands-on activities with presentations on current research. A range of exciting NanoDays programs demonstrate the special and unexpected properties found at the nanoscale, examine tools used by nanoscientists, showcase nano materials with spectacular promise, and invite discussion of technology and society.

More about Nano and NISE Network

At the nanoscale—the scale of atoms and molecules—many common materials exhibit unusual properties. Our ability to manipulate matter at this size enables innovations that weren’t possible before. Nanotechnology is revolutionizing research and development in medicine, computing, new materials, food, energy, and other areas.

Nano will affect our economy, the environment, and our personal lives. Some scientists think that future nanotechnologies and materials could transform our lives as much as cars, the personal computer, or the Internet! But the costs, risks, and benefits of this new technology can be difficult to understand, both for experts and for the general public. The NISE Network helps museums, research institutions, and the public learn from each other about this emerging field so that together we can make informed decisions.

The original "NISE Net" was titled the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network, a national community of researchers and informal science educators dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. This NISE Network community in the United States was led by 12 organizations, and included hundreds of museums and universities nationwide. NISE Net was launched in 2005 with funding from the National Science Foundation, and received a five-year renewal in 2010.

The newly reorganized NISE Network continues to build partnerships between science museums and research centers to increase their capacity to engage the public in learning about an array of STEM topics.

For more information about NISE Net and/or download a digital NanoDays kit, visit:

For more information about Nano, please visit:
What is Nano Website

Nanoscale Informal Science Education LogoNational Science Foundation Logo

This project is based on work supported by the NSF under Award Nos. 05322536 and 0940143.

NanoDays™ is trademarked by North Carolina State University and used by the NISE Network with permission.