Source: PURDUE UNIVERSITY submitted to
NANOTECHNOLOGY INTERDISCIPLINARY EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES FOR UNDERGRADUATES IN FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
EXTENDED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0196575
Grant No.
2003-38411-13501
Project No.
INDE-2003-04020
Proposal No.
2003-04020
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
ER.G1
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2003
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2007
Grant Year
2003
Project Director
Diefes-Dux, H.
Recipient Organization
PURDUE UNIVERSITY
(N/A)
WEST LAFAYETTE,IN 47907
Performing Department
(N/A)
Non Technical Summary
Purdue University Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Project objectives are to: (1) expose students to nanoscale issues, challenges, and opportunities through nanoscale themed seminars in a first-year agriculture course; (2) provide a select set of first-year food and agriculture students with an initial nanoscale experiential learning experience in a new one-credit first-year research/discovery course that consists of an introduction to nanoscale research and a set of laboratory / discovery exercises; and (3) enable students to develop a deeper understanding of research in nanotechnology through engagement in a new nanosciences summer research and enrichment program. Three nano-themed first-semester seminars will be developed, videotaped, and subsequently digitized for dissemination purposes.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
90360993020100%
Goals / Objectives
Purdue University Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering The specific objectives are to: (1) expose students to nanoscale issues, challenges, and opportunities through nanoscale themed seminars in a first-year agriculture course; (2) provide a select set of first-year food and agriculture students with an initial nanoscale experiential learning experience in a new one-credit first-year research/discovery course that consists of an introduction to nanoscale research and a set of laboratory / discovery exercises; and (3) enable students to develop a deeper understanding of research in nanotechnology through engagement in a new nanosciences summer research and enrichment program. Three nano-themed first-semester seminars will be developed, videotaped, and subsequently digitized for dissemination purposes. A supporting list of first-year appropriate nanoscience readings will be gathered and listed on the Purdue Nanotechnology Undergraduate Engineering (PNUE) website. Three general areas related to the broad objective of the nano-themed seminars will be assessed: (1) increases in nanoscience knowledge, (2) increases in nanscience awareness, and (3) increases in interest in pursuing majors that address the development of nanotechnology concepts and skills. The first two outcomes will be assessed using a Nano-Concepts Assessment Tool, an instrument designed to measure changes in nanotechnology knowledge and awareness. The third outcome will be assessed using an adaptation of the Majors Survey, a questionnaire currently used in the Purdue Department of Freshman Engineering to assess undergraduates' level of confidence in their first and second choices of major and the source of their interest in these majors. An introductory nano-based laboratory course will be developed for first-year students that include four introductory nanotechnology laboratory experiments. The impact of the research and discovery experience will be evaluated using four measurable criteria (1) development of general research skills, (2) development of nanoscale laboratory skills, (3) development of general laboratory skills, and (4) positive dispositions related to nanoscience. A summer undergraduate research program with enrichment elements will be developed. Participants will be trained to perform basic laboratory research procedures for nanotechnology research with the associated skills to be independent researchers. Virtual posters of student research work will be added to the PNUE website. The summer program will provide an intensive research experience with faculty mentors who will facilitate students' development of: (1) advanced general research skills, (2) nanotechnology research skills, and (3) positive dispositions related to the study of nanotechnology.
Project Methods
It is proposed that four of the sixteen class sessions in the existing one-credit, letter-graded first-semester seminar (AGR 101 - Introduction to the School of Agriculture and Purdue University) will focus on nanotechnology applications in the food, agricultural, and natural resource system. Nano-concepts and applications comprehensible to first-year students and representative of the broader education experiences in the food and agriculture disciplines will be identified to demonstrate bottom-up and top-down use of nanotechnology in food and agriculture. Prior to each presentation, students will be assigned first-year appropriate readings that will facilitate students' understanding of nanoscale terminology and concepts. During one class period, students will be broken down into smaller groups to visit nanoscale research sites operated by Purdue faculty to discuss and observe nano-discovery activities in action. A new one-credit hour second-semester research/discovery course will introduce students to basic research methods and provide hands-on expose to nanotechnology applications in food and agriculture. The research/discovery course will consist of five components: an introduction followed by rotation through four research/discovery modules. The introductory component will emphasize the concept of Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), which includes the fundamentals of record keeping, laboratory safety, etc. and the various phases of a research activity: developing a research plan, proposal writing, performing a literature review, and the like. Reinforcement of nano-concepts learned in the first-year seminar will also occur. Student teams will rotate through a series of faculty research laboratories in which they will participate in experiments emphasizing nanoscience applications in food and agriculture. The discovery experiences will include measurements with the atomic force microscopy (AFM), imaging of antibodies, viruses, and bacteria, use of nanoscale structures for absorbing bacteria to biochips and bacterial production of magnetic nanoparticles for remote sensing, and examination of molecular interactions of water and clay particles. The third educational component of this proposal extends the impact of exposure to undergraduate research by providing an eight-week summer research experience for agriculture students. Students will be assigned well-defined projects that will culminate in a final report and presentation. Project areas will include: production of functionalized magnetic nanoparticles for molecular diagnostics, imaging biological molecules with the AFM for molecular diagnostics, purification and attachment of proteins to surfaces for the capture of microorganisms and other biological molecules, and examination of the molecular architecture of clay organic complexes. An enrichment element will consist of a variety of activities in which all students selected for the program will be brought together to learn from each other and extend their general knowledge of nanotechnology and research techniques and methodologies. These activities will include progress reports, a journal club, case studies, and field trips.

Progress 10/01/04 to 09/30/05

Outputs
This project, which officially began in July 2004, set to achieve three objectives, each of which is described below. Due to the links between this project and courses offered during the academic year, the proposed schedule for this project ran from July 2004 through December 2005. The project has kept to the proposed schedule, with the overall project evaluation and dissemination planned for Fall 2005. However, the funding cycle ran between September 2003 and August 2005. As such, we have requested a nocost extension to complete the evaluation and dissemination portions of the project. The objectives of the project are provided below with achievements highlighted. 1. Expose students to nanoscale issues, challenges, and opportunities through nanoscale themed seminars in a first-year agriculture course. Two 45-minute seminar modules were developed for the agriculture seminar serving 505 first-year students from across the College of Agriculture. These seminars were presented the week of August 30, 2004. The first concentrated on nanoscience and nanotechnology definitions in the context of examples in agriculture. The second focused on nano-applications both present and future in agriculture. The aim was to raise first-year agriculture students' awareness and interest in future nanotechnology opportunities. Twenty first-year students attended a hands-on nano demontration, offered as an option to the required department tours. Three lab stations were designed, providing exposure to magneto bacteria, a method for isolating and visualizing nanoparticles, and an application of nanomaterials in the design of sensors. The impact of the nano-interventions were assessed through the use of a Nano-Awareness Instrument (pre-post) as well as online quizzes associated with lecture attendance. Student short-essays about their experience in the hands-on demonstrations are also being assessed. 2. Provide a select set of first-year food and agriculture students with an initial nanoscale experiential learning experience in a new one-credit first-year research/discovery course that consists of an introduction to nanoscale research and a set of laboratory / discovery exercises. The one-credit hour research/discovery course was offered in Spring 2005 to nine agriculture students, seven of whom were first-year students. The course was divided into four learning modules each looking at measurement and visualization techniques at the nanoscale. These included scanning probe microscopy/atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and microfluidic particle detection. The impact of this course is being assessed using a modified Nano-Awareness Instrument (pre-post) as well as concept maps (pre-post) and essays about the application of nanotechnology in agriculture (pre-post). 3. Enable students to develop a deeper understanding of research in nanotechnology through engagement in a new nanosciences summer research and enrichment program. Seven students took part in at least eight weeks of research. Six students had just completed their first year in the College of Agriculture. Students worked on nano-related projects in four labs. PRODUCTS: First-Year Nano Seminars: Two nano-themed seminars were developed to support appropriate learning objectives. The Nano-Awareness Instrument was developed for assessment purposes. Three hands-on demonstrations were developed for a one-hour nano-lab tour. Research/Discovery Course: An introductory nano-based laboratory course was developed for first-year students to support appropriate learning objectives. Four introductory nanotechnology learning modules were created. Summer Research and Enrichment Program: A summer undergraduate research program with enrichment elements was developed to support the proposed learning objectives. Virtual posters of student research work are being completed. OUTCOMES: First-Year Nano Seminars: Nano-themed seminars were designed to increase first-year students nanoscience knowledge, nanoscience awareness, and interest in pursuing majors that address the development of nanotechnology concepts and skills. Preliminary analysis of students responses to the Nano-Awareness Instrument indicate positive changes in students nanotechnology knowledge and awareness with modest changed in motivation/interest. Research/Discovery Course: A first-year research/discovery course enabled students to develop general research skills, nanoscale laboratory skills, general laboratory skills, and a positive disposition related to nanoscience. Seven of the nine students continued into the summer research program. All indicated high levels of motivation to continue to pursue nanotechnology opportunities. Summer Research and Enrichment Program: The summer program provided an intensive research experience with faculty mentors. Students developed advanced general research skills, advanced nanotechnology research skills, an ability to generalize research solutions to diverse problems in diverse settings, and a positive disposition related to the study of nanotechnology. Nearly all of the students will continue to do research under the direction of their assigned faculty member through the next academic year. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: There are a number of venues for dissemination of project results and products are planned for Fall 2005. Nano-themed seminar materials, laboratory exercises, and student virtual posters will be made available for use beyond the proposed classroom use through the Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (PNUE) website, which is under development to promote the exchange of ideas on introducing nanoscale technology in undergraduate programs. Dissemination via the linkages initiated by the Birck Nanotechnology Center and the NASA Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing (INAC) will continue to be explored. The nano-educational models and materials developed through this project will be disseminated at education workshops and professional conferences with nanotechnology education interests over the next year. Two peer reviewed publications are being written with planned submission to appropriate professional publications such as the Journal of Agricultural Education and the Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources Education. The assessment model developed through this project will be disseminated to assessment education audiences through the American Education Research Association and the American Evaluation Association. Summer program participants are working with faculty to present their research work through appropriate professional venues. FUTURE INITIATIVES: Five follow-up activities are still under consideration. First, a list-serve will be constructed to maintain student interest in NSET - students having taken the first-year seminar will be notified of NSET related seminars, course offerings, and internships. Second, an undergraduate nanoscience update in newsletter style will be developed in coordination with the PNUE website and the list-serve. Third, a list of required readings that are introductory and provocative in nature will be compiled for admitted School of Agricultural students to complete before their first semester. Fourth, two or three new upper-division undergraduate courses are being considered to provide students with more in-depth nanoscience education following the first-year experience. Possible courses would be "Biological Nanofactories" and "Modeling and Simulation of Nanoscale Systems". Finally, a nano-themed honors program that is vertically integrated into existing food and agricultural science curricula is under consideration.

Impacts
Faculty engagement in this project has enabled the proposal of future work to develop coursework in nanoscience and nanotechnology for first and second year students that cuts across the Colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, and Science. A proposal was submitted in April 2005 to NSF under the Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education program. This proposal is currently pending. Nano-Awareness Instrument: Analysis of the instrument has lead to changes in the instrument to make measuring student awareness more effective. The revised instrument will be implemented in the First-Year Engineering program in Fall 2005. First-Year Nano Seminars: Changes in the College of Agriculture first-year seminar curriculum and format have made it increasingly difficult to insert a unit on nanotechnology. It is not likely that this research group will be able to impact the course in Fall 2005 while these changes are being tested. However, nanotechnogy will continue to be woven into select sections of the first-year engineering seminar where the Nano-Awareness Instrument is being tested. Research/Discovery Course & Summer Research and Enrichment Program: It is anticipated that 50% of students participating in these courses will seek out additional research opportunities or courses involving emerging technologies.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 09/01/03 to 08/15/04

Outputs
This project was officially scheduled to begin July 2004 and is very nearly on schedule. The research team has begun development of the first-year seminar modules and the assessment plan. Two 45-minute seminar modules are outlined. The first will concentrate on nanoscience and nanotechnology definitions in the context of examples in agriculture. The second will focus on nano-applications both present and future in agriculture. The aim is to raise first-year agriculture students' awareness and interest in future nanotechnology opportunities. Slide presentations are in the process of being refined for implementation the week of August 30, 2004. Nano-lab tours to be conducted by the research faculty later in the Fall 2004 semester are being arranged. The assessment team has analyzed preliminary data collected using the Nano-Awareness survey instrument with first-year engineering students in Fall 2003. The team is now revising the instrument for use with the first-year agricultural students; it is targeted to be ready for use as a pre-test the first week of Fall 2004. An assessment plan is in place for the first-year nano seminars and lab-tours. The assessment plan for the Spring 2005 discovery experience course and the summer research experience are underway. Materials for the Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (PNUE) website are in the process of being collected. Site development will being before the end of August. The Research/Discovery course will be developed this fall and implemented in Spring 2005. Recruitment for this course will occur in the seminar series this fall. The Summer Research and Enrichment Program will be advertised this fall, developed in the spring semester, and implement in Summer 2005. Overall project completion is expected in December 2005. PRODUCTS: The products listed below are expected to be developed over the next academic year. First-Year Nano Seminars: Two nano-themed seminars will be developed to support appropriate learning objectives. Seminar materials will be made available on the PNUE website. A supporting list of first-year appropriate nanoscience readings will be assembled (curriculum materials). These readings will be listed on the PNUE website. A Nano-Awareness Tool will be developed for assessment purposes. Research/Discovery Course: An introductory nano-based laboratory course will be developed for first-year students to support appropriate learning objectives (curriculum materials). A database of literature for introductory exposure of first-year students to nanotechnology will be compiled. Four introductory nanotechnology laboratory experiments will be created for dissemination. Summer Research and Enrichment Program: A summer undergraduate research program with enrichment elements will be developed to support the proposed learning objectives (curriculum materials). Virtual posters of student research work will be added to the PNUE website. OUTCOMES: First-Year Nano Seminars: Nano-themed seminars will be designed to increase first-year students nanoscience knowledge, nanoscience awareness, and interest in pursuing majors that address the development of nanotechnology concepts and skills. A Nano-Awareness Tool will be developed to assess changes in nanotechnology knowledge, awareness, and interest. Research/Discovery Course: A first-year research/discovery course will enable students develop general research skills, nanoscale laboratory skills, general laboratory skills, and a positive dispositions related to nanoscience. Summer Research and Enrichment Program: The summer program will provide an intensive research experience with faculty mentors. Students will develop advanced general research skills, advanced nanotechnology research skills, an ability to generalize research solutions to diverse problems in diverse settings, and a positive disposition related to the study of nanotechnology. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: There are a number of venues for dissemination of project results and products are planned for the next academic year. Nano-themed seminar materials, laboratory exercises, and student virtual posters will be made available for use beyond the proposed classroom use through the Purdue Agriculture Communications Department as well as the PNUE website, which will be developed to promote the exchange of ideas on introducing nanoscale technology in undergraduate programs. Dissemination via the linkages initiated by the Birck Nanotechnology Center and the NASA Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing (INAC) will be explored. The nano-educational models and materials developed through this project will be disseminated at education workshops and professional conferences with nanotechnology education interests such as ASAE, IFT, and NanoTech. Successful models have the potential to be shared as FUTURE INITIATIVES: Five follow-up activities are still under consideration. First, a list-serve will be constructed to maintain student interest in NSET - students having taken the first-year seminar will be notified of NSET related seminars, course offerings, and internships. Second, an undergraduate nanoscience update in newsletter style will be developed in coordination with the PNUE website and the list-serve. Third, a list of required readings that are introductory and provocative in nature will be compiled for admitted School of Agricultural students to complete before their first semester. Fourth, two or three new upper-division undergraduate courses will be developed to provide students with more in-depth nanoscience education following the first-year experience. Possible courses would be

Impacts
First-Year Nano Seminars: It is anticipated that an introduction to nanotechnology will become a feature in the first-year agriculture seminar for the next few years. At a minimum, the nano-themed seminars will create a model format for introducing emerging technologies in agriculture in the first-year. The Nano-Awareness Tool will also serve as a model tool for assessing students' knowledge, awareness, and interest in emerging technologies and fields. Research/Discovery Course & Summer Research and Enrichment Program: It is anticipated that 50% of students participating in these courses will seek out additional research opportunities or courses involving emerging technologies.

Publications

  • None to date in 2004.