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San Antonio, TX 78251
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Northwest Vista College (NVC), one of the Alamo Colleges in San Antonio, Texas, proposed to implement Project ION (Improving Opportunities in Nanotechnology) as a three-year, $199,217 project to support the educational preparation of technicians for our nation’s nanotechnology fields. Project ION will uniquely enable NVC, a two-year public Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) with 15,921 students, to become a leading producer of nanotechnology-related technicians through its innovative linkages with high schools, four-year institutions and industry partners, reaching local high school students during the project period. NVC will implement four objectives, including eight activities, to achieve the goal of increasing the number of technicians with 21st century knowledge and skills entering the nanotechnology workforce.

ION's Objectives

  1. Innovation: Test the use of different instruction techniques—for example, new curricula, hands-on laboratory experiments, Summer Institute programs, and remote instruction—to generate interest in career fields and improve nanotechnology education for local high school students.
  2. Implementation: Provide professional development to educators on nanotechnology trends and applications, as well as new ways to integrate high-tech activities into their STEM lessons.
  3. Regional Adaptation: Form Advisory Committee, and host a planning conference to expand NVC’s nanotechnology network, as well as further enhance the development of cutting-edge classroom activities, internships opportunities, bridge agreements, and career placement for students at NVC.
  4. Expansion: Evaluate results to help determine best practices for pursuing the development of a future ATE Projects grant. 

ION's Activities

 The following activities will be conducted to achieve outlined objectives:
1.) Establish a formal advisory board;
2.) Pilot remote laboratory project at local high schools;
3.) Develop hands-on research and internship opportunities for students with industry partners;
4.) Conduct week-long summer workshops for high school and community college STEM teachers;
6.) Utilize mentoring and partnership opportunities from two existing ATE Centers to develop Project ION as the first phase of a program that will engage high school students and educators in nanotechnology learning activities;
7.) Organize and host a nanotechnology planning conference for the region;
8.) Implement a nanotechnology Summer Institute for high school students. 

Broader Impact of ION

Project ION will provide opportunities for research and learning in nanotechnology-related areas, both on campus and at partnering industry locations. It will create models for nanotechnology-focused workforce development activities for under-served populations across the barriers between and among two-year colleges, four-year universities, research institutes, and industry. Finally, Project ION will increase the number of two-year college graduates prepared to enter the workforce as technicians in nanotechnology-related industries. Project results, including lessons learned, will be disseminated broadly through participation in academic, governmental, and industry meetings as well as conferences in nanotechnology education, research, and development.


Major ION Events in Year 2012

October 18, 2012, SANTF Conference hosted at Northwest Vista College. For more information, please visit SANTF Website.

October 19, 2012, Remote Access (RA) Educator's Workshop. For more information, please visit NACK center at Penn State University.  

Summer 2012, Student Project-based Internship at Southwest Research Institute, supervised by Dr. James Oxley.

Major ION Events in Year 2013

 June 10-14, 2013, Nanotechnology Workshop for STEM Educators

Nano Workshop Enlightens Area Teachers 

Nanotechnology Summer Educators Workshop 

Nanotechnology Workshop Tentative Agenda

Nanotechnology Workshop Modules. For more information about Teaching and Learning Modules in Nanotechnology, please visit NCLT Center at Northwestern University. 

Summer & Fall 2013, Student Project-based Internship at Southwest Research Institute, supervised by Dr. James Oxley.

Summer 2013, Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) at National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), hosted by UT-Austin. Click here (page Viii, XXV, 164 or 205) to see the publication of student work. Click here (page 47 or 49) to see The 2013 NNIN Convocation at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA. 

Summer 2013, Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) at NanoJapan, hosted by Rice University. Click here to see the publication of student work. Click here to experience how REU at Japan looks like.


Major ION Events in Year 2014

February 21, 2014, 2nd Annual SANTF Conference hosted at UTSA, one of the SANTF network sites. For more information, please visit SANTF Website.

June 16-19, 2014, Summer Nanotechnology Workshop for STEM Educators. More details can be found HERE.

June 17-20, 2014, HS Students Nanotechnology Summer Institution. More details can be found HERE.

Summer 2014, Student Project-based Internship at Southwest Research Institute, supervised by Dr. James Oxley.

Summer 2014, Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) at NanoJapan, hosted by Rice University. Click here to see the publication of student work. Click here to experience how REU at Japan looks like.


Grant Partnerships

Southwest Research Institute  (SwRI)

University of New Mexico (SCME)

Penn State University (NACK)

Northwestern University (NCLT) 

Northside Independent School District (NISD) 

San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD)  

Southwest Independent School District (SWISD) 

Harmony Science Academy in San Antonio 



 ** Oct. 22, 2014 (Wednesday)
SANTF Networking Series
Speaker: Dr. David Zamora
Ocular Trauma and Vision Restoration
US Army Institute of Surgical Research 
Location: Mamacitas, IH-10 & Callaghan

 ** Sept. 24, 2014 (Wednesday)
SANTF Networking Lunch Series  
Speaker: Dr. Kathryn Mayer
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UTSA
Location: UTSA Faculty Center, 4th Floor of JPL 

** News

NVC Nano Students Chosen for Coveted Award
Nano Learning at NVC Takes on Big Issues
Nano Students Win National Award
Nano Workshop Enlightens Area Teachers
Nano Students Receive Coveted Awards
Nanotechnology Students Doing Big Things
NVC Host First-ever Nanotechnology Conference
Free STEM Professional Development at NVC

Program Coordinator

Qiaoying Zhou
Program Coordinator
Phone: (210) 486-4383
Office: MLH-201

Area Contacts

Emily Coppin
Administrative Secretary
Phone: (210) 486-4352
Fax: (210) 486-9097
Office: MLH-201

Heather McCreery
Academic Chair, Workforce Programs
Phone: (210) 486-4360
Office: MLH-201A