Published April 12, 2024 | Version v2
Journal article Open

Nanotechnology Outreach at Mall of America: Fostering STEAM Interest

  • 1. Chief Technical Officer, Cagent Vascular Incorporated, Wayne, PA
  • 2. Natural Sciences Division, Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA
  • 3. Science Curriculum Consultant, Educate for Tomorrow, Honolulu, HI

Description

This paper describes a simple outreach approach to engage and educate learners about the scale of familiar items, all smaller than the width of human hair. In less than 10 minutes, participants were guided through a game-like hands-on 'nanotechnology’ activity. The term ‘nanotechnology’ and its association with scaled objects was utilized to spark participant curiosity and enthusiasm in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). To assess effectiveness, a pre and post-Likert scale self-assessment was given to 91 participants.  Although the data is limited in size, control, and environmental factors, the results showed a positive trend in participant enjoyment and self-confidence in STEAM subjects after engagement in this simple outreach approach.

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Additional details

Funding

The Micro Nano Technology Education Center (MNT-EC) #2000281
National Science Foundation