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Thursday, 04 November 2021

NanoEduca: teacher training to bring nanoscience and nanotechnology into the classroom

The second NanoEduca training took place yesterday at the ICN2. This course, aimed at secondary and high school teachers, is part of the NanoEduca programme, aimed at facilitating the inclusion of nanoscience and nanotechnology topics in school educational programme. Around 20 assistants got the opportunity to discover the NanoKit experimental tools and a new virtual educational experience, NanoEduca 2.0.

On November 3, 2021, the second session of the NanoEduca training for secondary and high school teachers was held at the ICN2. Organized by the Institute for Professional Development (IDP-ICE) of the University of Barcelona (UB), the course is meant to help teachers bring nanoscience and nanotechnology closer to young students and provide them with tools to understand these disciplines, which now have a huge impact on our lives.

During the three-hour training, the participants had the opportunity to play with the experimental material included in the NanoKit, discover different online resources to use in the classroom and learn about the new virtual education proposal of NanoEduca 2.0, a digital adaptation of the original NanoEduca experience. The event was dynamic, cheerful, and —finally!— in person. This year, about 20 teachers had the possibility to participate in this four-session-long hybrid course, whereas last year it had to be canceled, due to the pandemic. Àlex Argemí, Ana de la Osa and Joana Pi-suñer, from the ICN2 Marketing and Communication Department, Dr Gemma Garcia from the UAB and Fina Guitart from CESIRE organised and hosted the teacher training course.

The NanoKit is an educational kit held in a briefcase, including a set of experiments related to nanoscience and nanotechnology designed for young students. Currently, these disciplines are not normally taught in school (before University), but they are an expanding sector of research and modern technology, thus they are going to become more and more part of our lives. Thanks to the Nanokit, students can start familiarise themselves with these matters. Each activity is linked to a curricular area to facilitate integration into the regular secondary and high school programme, ranging from theoretical and fundamental science (e.g., one of the experiments is focused on the conducting properties of graphene) to real applications of these technologies (e.g., one of the activity proposes the design of a piezoelectric sensor).

This initiative is led by the University of Barcelona (UB), the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the Pedagogical Resource Centre for Supporting Innovation and Educational Research (CESIRE) of the Catalan Ministry of Education and is financially supported by the Catalan Foundation of Research and Innovation (FCRi), the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), and the ICN2 Severo Ochoa Programme.