California NanoSystems Institute
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Community Outreach

CNSI Science Education and Outreach Programs
To Communities and Schools

The next generation of graduate students who will study nanoscience and nanotechnology are in middle and high school today. In order to prepare them for the exciting world of higher scientific education, the CNSI has partnered with a number of organizations to stimulate the natural curiosity and creativity which are critical to envisioning possibilities and for developing innovative solutions to challenging technology problems. A few programs to date include:

High School NanoScience Program: Nanoscience education in the Greater Los Angeles area.
In partnership with UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies outreach program called Center X, the CNSI is bringing nanoscience and nanotechnology experiments to high school students from the lowest performing public schools in the LAUSD. Currently, graduate students and postdocs are working with over 50 science teachers from LAUSD as well as private schools throughout the Greater Los Angeles area on eight different experiments that can be taught in the classroom.

Learn more about the program

Materials Creation Training Program (MCTP): It is the aim of the CNSI to educate an elite cadre of broadly-educated engineers and scientists in nanosystems-related research by fostering an environment in which student-driven collaborative research projects flourish. An important educational wing of the CNSI is the Materials Creation Training Program (MCTP), a National Science Foundation supported Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship since 2001. Under the direction of Robin Garrell, the MCTP is training the next generation of scientists and engineers in the synthesis and characterization of new materials, including nanoscale ones, and in the design, fabrication and characterization of electronic and photonic devices based on these materials. In addition to completing a normal PhD program in their discipline, MCTP students also participate in activities that (1) provide a cross-disciplinary foundation in language, methods, intellectual problems and technical challenges in materials science and engineering, (2) offer an integrated laboratory experience in materials synthesis, characterization and fabrication, (3) provide experience in team-building, (4) establish student-driven collaborations, and (5) train students in issues that reach out beyond the laboratory, such as intellectual property, ethics, patenting, entrepreneurship, and start-up companies. The MCTP program involves a variety of information forums designed to foster a basic goal of discovery, design, synthesis, and characterization of a new material, device fabrication, and even planning aspects of commercialization including interdisciplinary lectures from scientists, engineers, business people and outside experts such as a patent attorney. The MCTP-IGERT and the California NanoSystems Institute have proven exceptionally effective in recruiting top students.

For more information about the Materials Creation Training Program, please visit: