A push for nano education

Education in a crucial new science is lagging and Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network hopes to improve the information students are getting.

Nanotechnology — manipulating matter at the smallest of scales to create new materials— is a relative newcomer to the science field. And due a variety of reasons, American teachers are finding it hard to teach the basic concepts, reports The Washington Post.

Scientist do not exactly agree on the the definition of nanotechnology, since it is a multidisciplinary field. It includes physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering and technology. But essentially scientists manipulate matter at the atomic and molecular levels.

To answer the call to teach nanotechnology in schools, the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network is developing and distributing programs aimed at engaging schools in nanoscale science and engineering education, said Carol Lynn Alpert, director of strategic projects at the Museum of Science, Boston, and a co-principal investigator of the network.

""Everybody should learn what it is," said Leah, an eighth-grader at Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church. "It could be incorporated into science curriculum for different age groups and taught differently. But I think it would be great to teach students about the new science that they might be working in when they grow up."