Community College Nanoscience Interviews

A Summary from the Fall 2014 Edition of the nanoAdvisor

Community colleges comprise the largest segment of the higher education system in the US, with nearly 50% of undergraduate enrollment. Community colleges are “the cornerstones that will help us build the best-educated, most competitive workforces in the world,” blogged the US Department of Education. 

Because of the value that community colleges bring to education, and our curiosity to learn how our instruments are really used in the classroom lab setting, we interviewed faculty and staff to talk about their programs, student interests, student progression, collaborations, outreach and funding. Programs range from traditional fields like Chemistry and Biology to Environmental Science to Nano Engineering Technology and everything in between. 

Here are the answers to our questions. There is an amazing array of applications for hands-on learning at community colleges. Note that the enrollment figures are from the college websites. 

Interested in learning more about a workshop or want to collaborate with another college? Contact us by email at edu@nanoscience.com or call us at 888-777-5573.

 

Eastern US

 

Mohawk Valley Community College - SUNY

Location: Utica, NY

Enrollment: 7,400

Program: Materials Science, Semiconductor Manufacturing and Outreach

Collaboration: Work with Hudson Valley CC

Student Progression: Four year university

Key Features:

Outreach Nanotechnology Workshop very popular and generates high interest

Use AFM for hands-on learning

 

Hudson Valley Community College – SUNY

Location: Troy, NY

Enrollment: 13,000

Program: Nanotechnology

Collaboration: NEATEC, ATE nanotechnology centers, Outreach workshops

Student Progression: Four year university

Key Features:

Use AFM for hands-on learning

Students interested in seeing CD/DVD/Blu-ray samples to understand the instrument and nanotechnology.

AFM image of blu-ray disk

 AFM image of blu-ray disk

Bronx Community College - CUNY

learning materials engineering with an AFM
talking about atoms and AFM at Bronx Community College
Lab class Bronx Community College.jpg

Location: Bronx, NY

Enrollment: 11,000

Program: Engineering Materials education and Polymer research

Collaboration: Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden, Germany

Student Progression: Mix of progression to 4 year university or workforce development

Funding: NSF

Key Features:

Hands-on AFM instrumentation beneficial for students to be “more marketable in the workforce”

Students love hands-on approach for learning

AFM good for recruiting students into research

 

Queensborough Community College – CUNY

Location: Bayside, NY

Enrollment: 16,000 in Associate degree or certification program plus 10,000 in continuing education

Program: Nanomaterials education

Collaboration: Borough of Manhattan Community College and Kingsborough Community College - CUNY

Student Progression: Four year university

Key Features:

Use AFM for Introduction to Nanoscience class

 

Northern Virginia Community College - Manassas

Location: Manassas, VA

Enrollment: 10,000

Program: STEM with biology, biotechnology, engineering and physics focus

Collaboration: Program is new and they are very interested in collaborating

Student Progression: Four year university

Key Features:

Use SEMs, AFMs, and optical profiler to give current students a competitive edge and to recruit prospective students

Nanotechnology certificate

Students hang their images as artwork in the lab

Favorite cool experiment – pollen in the SEM

SEM image of pollen

SEM image of pollen

Forsyth Technical Community College

Location: Winston-Salem, NC

Enrollment: 14,000

Program: Nanotechnology

Collaboration: Internships with local industry

Student Progression: Workforce development

Funding: Wachovia Foundation and NC BioNetwork

Key Features:

Curriculum incorporates AFMs and STMs for hands-on learning

 

Central US

 

Dakota County Technical College

Location: Rosemount, MN

Enrollment: 12,600

Collaboration: Nano-Link, University of MN, local companies

Student Progression: Mix of progression to four year university or workforce development

Funding: ATE

Key Features:

One of the first Nanotechnology programs in the US, combining hands-on instruments like AFM and STM with curriculum

Educators transition students from the “Gee Whiz” factor to “What is going on”

 

Chippewa Valley Technical College

Location: Eau Claire, WI

Enrollment: 6,500

Program: Nano Engineering Technology

Collaboration: Nano-Link, Harper College

Student Progression: Workforce development

Funding: ATE for student scholarships

Key Features:

Hands-on experience with equipment in growing field of nanotechnology

Favorite cool samples: CDs, integrated circuits, Al and steel grain structure

Students benefit from labs that require multiple instruments like AFM, SEM and optical microscopy.

Over 150 students in Nanotechnology program since 2005.

Chippewa Valley Technical College classroom

 Chippewa Valley Technical College classroom

Arkansas State University

Location: Beebe, AR

Enrollment: 10,000

Instruments: SEM

Program: Medical Laboratory Technology

Collaboration: Microbiology

Funding: Perkins CTE Act

Key Features:

SEM engages students in the lab to learn immunology, serology, and bacteriology. Faculty interested in hands-on approach for education to give students competitive advantage.

Western US

 

Phoenix College

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Enrollment: 30,000

Program: Chemistry, Geology and Electrical Engineering

Collaboration: Materials Science Engineering at Arizona State University

Student Progression: Mix of progression to four year university or workforce development

Funding: Phoenix CC

Hands-on sample preparation for SEM imaging engages students

SEM also used for professional development for faculty

 

Dixie State College

Location: St. George, UT

Enrollment: 6,400

Program: Biology and Physical Sciences

Student Progression: Four year university

Funding: College and departments

Use SEM for biological research and hands-on experience for engineering students

Cool experiment – biological films on fabric

Favorite phrase – “Physics is Phun”

 

Los Angeles Pierce College

Location: Woodland Hills, CA

Enrollment: 21,000P3 logo

Instruments: SEM

Program: Environmental Science

Collaboration:

Student Progression: Four year university

Funding: DOE grant for STEM

Key Features:

Use SEM to examine micro-fossils, particles from filtration, sand and volcanic ash

The only community college to be awarded an EPA P3 grant for designing solutions for a sustainable future

SEM is a “tool of opportunity” that engages students in the lab

Pasadena City College

Location: Pasadena, CA

Enrollment: 30,000

Program: Biology and Chemistry education plus undergraduate research

Collaboration: UCLA, UC-Riverside, University of MN

Student Progression: Four year university

Key Features:

Nanotechnology certificate with degree

Hands-on learning with SEM and AFM beneficial for progression to 4 year university

 

Diablo Valley College

Location: Pleasant Hill, CA

Enrollment: 22,000

Program: Chemistry, Biology and Materials Science

Collaboration:

Student Progression: Four year university

Funding: Chevron grant for teaching and outreach

Key Features:

Developing program for education and outreach

Use “portable and robust” AFM to visit local high schools

 

Cuyamaca College

Location: El Cajon, CA

Enrollment: 9,000

Program: Biology and student research

Student Progression: Mix of progression to four year university or workforce development

Funding: ATE

Key Features:

Use SEM for hands-on learning in Biology and for student research

 

 

Chemeketa Community College

Location: Salem, OR

Enrollment: 36,000

Program: Nanoscience and Outreach

Collaboration: University of AR, OR Museum of Science

Student Progression: Mix of progression to four year university or workforce development

Funding: DOE

Key Features:

Developed “reusable, cost-effective educational modules” for the desktop SEM (read our Feature Article in the Spring 2012 nanoAdvisor) “The Phenom opened up a whole new world” for middle and high school students in outreach workshops

 


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