This project examines the impact of an introductory nanotechnology unit on undergraduates' perception of, and attitude towards, nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Sixty-nine undergraduates in a materials science course for non-majors completed a 24-item survey on self-perception of their knowledge about and attitudes toward nanotechnology. The survey was administered before and after the three-hour introductory nanotechnology unit. Knowledge and attitude scores were created for each student by summing knowledge and attitude item scores.
Analysis of pre-test scores revealed a small, statistically significant, positive correlation between perceived knowledge about nanotechnology and attitudes towards nanotechnology. Students' knowledge scores increased significantly from pre-test to post-test. Although their attitudes towards nanotechnology were positive, there was no statistically significant increase in student' attitudinal scores.
Publications & Presentations
Drane, D., Chen, K., & Swarat, S. (2008). Enhancing undergraduate students’ nano-literacy through an instructional module. Paper presented at the National Association of Research in Science Teaching Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD.
Drane, D., Swarat, S., Hersam, M., Light, G., & Mason, T. (2009). An evaluation of the efficacy and transferability of a nanoscience module. Journal of Nano Education, 1,(1) 8-14. See publisher’s website.