Nano Teacher Workshop

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The 2020 teacher workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 12!

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!

Using computational modeling to predict the behavior of photovoltaic materials

Annual Nano Teacher Workshop at The Pennsylvania State University

Computers are not only tools for making tasks easier – STEM research relies heavily upon computational thinking to solve important problems

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

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!
Material will be most relevant to chemistry, physics, technology, math, engineering design, and computer science teachers.

Register to attend by clicking here:

In addition to consumer electronics, computers have had a profound impact on our society, creating a need for a workforce able to use computers to accomplish a wide range of tasks.  Some of the most interesting applications of computers are found in STEM fields, where computers are helping scientists and engineers answer fundamental questions at the micro- and nano-length scales.  STEM research is often done in interdisciplinary teams and the work relies heavily upon data analysis, simulations, and theoretical and mathematical modeling. In these cases, experience with computational thinking is essential.

In addition to providing an introduction to the field of nanotechnology, educational resources that are available to teachers, and opportunities to learn about current research, this workshop explores a particular example of how computational methods are currently being utilized to identify potential photovoltaic materials for future development.  Attendees will use free computer software to participate in a hands-on lesson that can be modified to be used in a variety of classrooms.

As K-12 schools work to integrate computer science related skills into curricula for all students, physical science and math teachers can utilize available resources to engage their students in these practices as they apply to their STEM content teaching.  Given the interdisciplinary nature of this workshop, we highly encourage schools to send at least two attendees to this workshop together.

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.