Introduction to Nanotechnology PNPA Model
P-N-P-A Rubric

Foothill College offers a course in nanoscience for students and working professionals who want an introduction to the subject. This course, an introduction to nanoscience, is offered in a hybrid format in Fall Quarter 2011. All attending students will be offered a hands-on experience using an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). This course the first in a five course series that leads to a certificate in nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanomaterials engineering. It focuses on nanoscience concepts that prepare students for a career in nanomaterials engineering, with an emphasis on characterization tools and methods. NANO50 requires only a high school science background, such as chemistry and/or physics, and develops the big picture concepts in nanoscience as developed by NCLT and SRI in a series of workshops including a meeting in San Luis Obispo in summer 2006. These eight big picture concepts include:

  • Size and scale
  • Matter
  • Dominant forces
  • Size dependent properties
  • Self assembly
  • Tools
  • Models
  • Technology and society

To this list of concepts we are adding an additional one, emergence of properties at scale, which leverages a novel teaching pedagogy, nanopatterns, which will help in learning nanostructures from a first principles approach. Additionally, this course uses a rubric called 'PNPA' which was developed for learning applications of nanotechnology and nanomaterials engineering. We will combine these two approaches, threading the nine big picture concepts, with an emphasis on 'materials matter' and 'science of the nanoscale'. Together, this will help build a scenario and inquiry based approached to learning about this exciting new field, how matter works at the nanoscale, and why .materials matter'.

Much of this course is based on open source materials, including Wikipedia and Wikibooks. You will use an online course management system, ETUDES-NG, for submitting all homework and assignments.


Carbon Nanotube
Graphene and Carbon Nanotube


Please contact Robert Cormia if you have any questions, and please follow the assignments page.


Buckyball