We are currently in the process of establishing an innovative and immersive educational platform, the nanO stUdio, for undergraduates (UG) at Ohio University. Seemingly, the nanO stUdio is a publicly accessible showroom run by a team of undergraduates and designed to impress audio-visually and provide hands-on educational experiences for the visitors related to nanomaterials, nanostructures, nanosensors, nanodevices and advanced microscopy techniques. In essence, though, it is a sophisticated learning and discovery laboratory furnished with state-of-the-art multi-media educational resources, interactive 3D virtual environments as well as sophisticated compact instruments enabling direct interaction with nano-scale matter and devices for students and visitors. Overall, the nanO stUdio is a holistic and interactive venue for undergraduate education in nanoscience and nano engineering, whereby students are trained, learn, communicate and present during the academic year, while they explore, research and analyze during the summer as interns. Thus nanO studio serves multiple purposes including education, research, outreach and recruitment, in all of which UG students are involved.
The nanO stUdio is the product of a vision to bring the nano-scale science and engineering out of the sterile clean room environments to the public level where both the students and visitors can explore new developments, and have a realistic and correct understanding of the materials, devices and capabilities endowed to us by nanotechnology. It aims to address three sets of educational challenges in a creative and integrated manner: i) communicating developments, techniques, tools and materials used in nanotechnology to students and the public in engaging settings of a learning studio and allowing them to explore the potential and implications of nanotechnology, b) recruiting, training and involving undergraduate student teams in a broad range of materials and tools required for a fulfilling engineering career in nanotechnology; and c) developing the blueprints of an effective and portable nanotechnology exhibit that can be emulated in other locations and settings.
Below shows some of the example tools that will be found in nanO stUdio: