3 Nanotech. L. & Bus. 467 (2006)
Assessing the Need for Nanotechnology Education Reform in the United States

handle is hein.journals/nantechlb3 and id is 471 raw text is: Assessing the Need for Nanotechnology
Education Reform in the United States
EDWARD T. FOLEY* and MARK C. HERSAM**
ABSTRACT
Historically, the U.S. has been the global leader in the development of nanotechnologies that are
widely believed to be the foundation of the next industrial revolution. However, unless fundamental
changes are made in the educational infrastructure in the U.S. to reverse the general erosion of science,
technology, engineering, and math (STEM') education, and to address the specific growing need for a
robust nanotechnology workforce, current trends in the global demographic of the high-technology talent
pool and R&D infrastructure will lead to a shift in the global dominance in science, technology, and
engineering from the U.S. to Asia. For the U.S. to reverse these trends and thus maintain its
technological and economic leadership, the infrastructure for nanotechnology education needs to be
significantly enhanced.  In particular, this infrastructure should include educational models and
curricula that will institutionalize an interdisciplinary education, thus exposing students to the
connections between disciplines and their relationship to nanotechnology at all levels. The future
nanotechnology workforce will also require an increased role for demographic groups that have
historically been underrepresented in STEM related fields. Nanotechnology research universities are
positioned to play an important role in initiating this educational reform.  While programs in
nanotechnology are currently being developed for the K-16 level and the general public, significantly
more effort is needed to develop effective and comprehensive nanotechnology education reform.
I.  INTRODUCTION
he vision of nanotechnology, a term first coined by Norio Taniguchi of Tokyo Science University
in 1974,1 was first set forth in a talk by Richard Feynman entitled There's Plenty of Room at the
Bottom, given during the annual meeting of the American Physical Society at the California
Edward T. Foley is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at
Northwestern University. He may be reached by e-mail at eddie@northwestem.edu.
** Mark C. Hersam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at
Northwestern University. He is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers
(PECASE) award, as well as an educator at the National Center for Learning & Teaching (NCLT) in Nanoscale
Science & Engineering. He may be reached by e-mail at m-hersam@northwestem.edu, and can be found on the
internet at http://www.hersam-group.northwestem.edu.
N. Taniguchi, On the basic Concept of 'Nano- Technology', PROC. INTL. CONF. PROD. ENG. TOKYO, PART II,
JAPAN SOCIETY OF PRECISION ENGINEERING (1974).

NANOTECHNOLOGY LAW & BUSINESS - DECEMBER 2006

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