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Center for Probing the Nanoscale

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NSEC: Center for Probing the Nanoscale  (Stanford University)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center for Probing the Nanoscale (CPN) is a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) managed by Stanford University in collaboration with IBM. NSECs address complex, interdisciplinary challenges in nanoscale science and engineering, and integrate research with education internally and through a variety of partnership activities.

CPN's research goals are to develop novel probes that dramatically improve our capability to observe, manipulate, and control nanoscale objects and phenomena; to apply these novel probes to answer fundamental questions and to shed light on technologically relevant issues; and to disseminate new knowledge and to transfer technology to enable other research scientists and engineers to make use of CPN advances, and so that corporations can manufacture and market CPN's novel probes.

Education & Outreach

CPN is dedicated to providing first-rate programs that broadly impact science, technology and education. CPN's education programs span teacher development, workshops, public nanoscience events, academic courses and graduate education. CPN seeks to embrace the cultural, gender, racial and ethnic diversity of the United States and is therefore dedicated to increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The annual one-week Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers (SIMST) is among CPN's central outreach efforts. At the Institute teachers learn about the physical concepts underlying nanotechnology and nanoscience in simple terms. Daily sessions focus on content lectures and inquiry-based modules that explicitly address California’s 5-8th grade physical science content standards. Teachers also receive a hands-on classroom kit with many fun activities that bring nanoscience into the classroom.

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