Center for Probing the Nanoscale: An NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center
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Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers

The Center for Probing the Nanoscale (CPN) offers a one-week Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers (SIMST). At the Institute teachers learn about the physical concepts underlying nanotechnology and nanoscience in simple terms. Daily sessions include:

  • content lectures by Stanford scientists,
  • inquiry-based modules that explicitly address California's 5-8th grade physical science content standards and are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards,
  • and tours of research labs and instrument demos

Teachers will also develop and receive hands-on activities that bring nanoscience into the classroom. After fully participating in SIMST, teachers will receive an $850 stipend ($550 after completion of SIMST, $300 after implementing a nano lesson in the classroom) and professional development units. There is no additional travel or lodging stipend.

When: July 21-25, 2014 (breakfast and lunch provided)
Where: McCullough Building, Room 130, Stanford University

Apply for SIMST


Questions? - contact Maria Wang (
Nano-related activities and other resources for the classroom can be found at

Why Middle School?

  • Middle school is the beginning of the scientific and engineering pipeline problem
  • Performance relative to international norms drops between 4th to 8th grade from above average to average.
  • Reported enthusiasm for science drops substantially: 64% of 4th graders interested in science, dropping to 50% in the 8th grade (from the National Center for Education Statistics)
Why Teachers?
  • Broad Impact: One teacher may reach > 100 students per year.
  • Deep Impact: Teachers profoundly influence their students' interests.
  • Retention: Teachers are the frontline in the effort to maintain high education standards. We hope to help make your job more enjoyable and rewarding.


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