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Presentation
Nanotechnology, Biology, Ethics and Society: Overcoming the Multidisciplinary Teaching Challenges
Proceedings of the 2006 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting: Symposium KK
  • Linda Vanasupa, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
  • Matthew Ritter, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
  • Barbara Schader, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
  • Katherine C. Chen, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
  • Richard N. Savage, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
  • Peter Schwartz, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
  • Lynne Slivovsky, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo
Publication Date
4-1-2006
Abstract

One of the inherent challenges of teaching any emerging technology like nanotechnology, is the fact that its core competencies flux in the new disciplines' early stages. Nanotechnology presents an additional challenge in that its underpinnings cross multiple traditional disciplinary boundaries. We have designed a course that aims to address some of these challenges through a handful of structural features: team-based learning; a "reverse of the learning pyramid" approach; team-teaching; embedded information literacy techniques; and application-centered content. Our course is organized around four applications that are in their developmental stages: gold nanoshells for cancer treatment; molecular manufacturing; tissue engineering of a vital organ; and a microfluidic glucose sensor. These applications provide natural contexts for learning biology at the cellular level, the molecular level, the organ level and the biological systems level, respectively. They also provide natural contexts to introduce ideas of scientific uncertainty in emerging fields. In this paper, we will present the design features of our sophomore-level course Nanotechnology, biology, ethics and society and some preliminary results.

Publisher statement
The definitive version is available at http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/sec_subscribe.asp?CID=6436&DID=176800&action=detail.
Citation Information
Linda Vanasupa, Matthew Ritter, Barbara Schader, Katherine C. Chen, et al.. "Nanotechnology, Biology, Ethics and Society: Overcoming the Multidisciplinary Teaching Challenges" Proceedings of the 2006 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting: Symposium KK Vol. 931E: Education in Nanoscience and Engineering (2006)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rsavage/21/