Nanotechnology: Biology Department

The faculty of the ACC Biology and the Physical Sciences departments have made great efforts to become involved in the science of nanotechnology. Academic curiosity and institutional commitment to providing students with future-oriented learning experiences started ACC down the nanopath. Highlights of Arapahoe Community Colleges’ recent involvement in nanotechnology include:

I. Description of program.

  1. The biology department has provided workshops to middle school children.
  2. Community outreach presentation on nanotechnology.
    • Marketed in local and regional newspapers
    • First community college in the state to offer any course on nanotechnology.
    • Introduction to Nanotechnology (BIO 275) offered for credit and audit began in fall 2004. Guest lecture series will be included.
  3. Physics faculty has obtained a Scanning Tunneling Electron Microscope.
  4. ACC has a nanotechnology committee and is developing material for a planned workshop for HS teachers.
  5. Faculty have attended a semiconductors, automated manufacturing and electronics training and education conference (SAME-TEC) in Santa Clara California as well as the National Sandia Laboratories in New Mexico.
  6. Had an Emerging Technologies Enlightened Perspectives Lecture Series, featuring experts in the field of nanotechnology.

II. Incorporate nanotechnology emphasis in disciplines. What we hope to accomplish.

  1. Nanotechnology requires a multidisciplinary (or interdisciplinary) approach. Our interdisciplinary curriculum includes a broad understanding of basic science mixed with engineering and information sciences.
  2. Develop a multidisciplinary-based portfolio for assessment of competencies achieved, which are evaluated by faculty from different disciplines.
  3. Competencies will include problem solving and a basic set of skills needed to be successful in a technical and educational environment.
  4. Take the competencies and develop one credit hour courses. This allows maximum flexibility for students and a path for the displaced worker to capstone courses at universities or to specific certificate or degree tracts in a given area. This also gives students the opportunity to review what they are weak in.

III. Establish relationship with business and universities

  1. Faculty members from community colleges and universities must collaborate with industry in order to educate and train students in the field of nanotechnology
  2. Industry workshops.
  3. Workforce retraining that places the worker in a centralized area within the nanotechnology training structure for greater flexibility for the worker and efficiency for the community college.
  4. Have a cooperative association with local nanotech companies.
  5. Student recruitment component to underrepresented groups.

IV. Faculty professional development.

V. Career awareness outreach.