Nano Teacher Workshop

Due to COVID-19, the Spring 2020 Nano Teacher Workshop has been cancelled. 

No decisions have been made yet about rescheduling, but it is our hope to do so.

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!

Sustainability in the Sciences & the Science of Sustainability

The Annual Nano Teacher Workshop at The Pennsylvania State University

Not only is science helping to understand sustainability-related problems and solve them, science researchers and educators at all levels are realizing that their own mindset, awareness, understanding, daily actions, and decisions play a role in shaping the next generation of humanity.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Millennium Science Complex Building, University Park, PA

Teachers, school administrators, and curriculum coordinators are encouraged to attend!
Content will be most relevant to educators of grades 7-12 who focus upon:
chemistry, physics, technology, environmental and physical sciences, math, and engineering design.

Register to attend by clicking here:

On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, there is more urgency than ever to be knowledgeable about the role of science research and education in the effort to create a sustainable planet for all of humanity.  Yet, the details are complex. This workshop is an opportunity to explore this role from multiple vantage points – from the perspective of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to the skills that industry is looking for in future employees. 

Participants will spend the day in a LEED Gold certified building and visit laboratories to learn how researchers are looking more closely at their own daily operations, lab practices, and student training.  Short hands-on activities will explore topics such as life cycle analysis and the carbon footprint of food choices, urban planning for climate change, and renewable energy opportunities in Central PA.  Researchers will share examples of how their work aims to address sustainability-related issues. Penn State’s Sustainability Institute will host a special History of Earth Day seminar and provide information about their K-12 resources.  Teachers will also engage in a sample classroom lesson that explores the use of materials for energy harvesting within wearable technologies that monitor human health and environmental exposure.

Spaces fill quickly. Attendance is FREE. Act 48 Credits are available.


Nanotechnology Teacher Workshop Flyer [PDF]

More Information

Questions?  Please contact Kristin Dreyer at 814-863-1665 or by email at




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.