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Posts Tagged ‘NSF’

NSF FUNDING SOURCE: Improving Undergraduate STEM Education

Posted December 16th, 2013 by admin

Improving Undergraduate STEM Education
Deadline Feb 4, 2014
Each month ITN searches for funding sources that you may be able to use. This month, a NSF funding source is listed. It targets undergraduate STEM education improvements. This is applicable to all of our member schools and provides funding to all STEM disciplines including Social Sciences and Behavioral Sciences.

A well-prepared, innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce is crucial to the Nation’s health and economy. Indeed, recent policy actions and reports have drawn attention to the opportunities and challenges inherent in increasing the number of highly qualified STEM graduates, including STEM teachers. Priorities include educating students to be leaders and innovators in emerging and rapidly changing STEM fields as well as educating a scientifically literate populace; both of these priorities depend on the nature and quality of the undergraduate education experience. In addressing these STEM challenges and priorities, the National Science Foundation invests in research-based and research-generating approaches to understanding STEM learning; to designing, testing, and studying curricular change; to wide dissemination and implementation of best practices; and to broadening participation of individuals and institutions in STEM fields. The goals of these investments include: increasing student retention in STEM, to prepare students well to participate in science for tomorrow, and to improve students’ STEM learning outcomes.
NSF accepts unsolicited proposals to support projects that address immediate challenges and opportunities facing undergraduate STEM education, as well as those that anticipate new structures and functions of the undergraduate learning and teaching enterprise. In addition, NSF accepts unsolicited proposals for developing Ideas Labs in biology, engineering, and geosciences that will bring together relevant disciplinary and education research expertise to produce research agendas that address discipline-specific workforce development needs.

What’s Happening at Harrisburg University

Posted September 27th, 2013 by admin

What’s hapening at Harrisburg University? I am Spike Moyer and I work as a faculty liaison for the Innovation Transfer Network, ITN.  We at ITN visit 16 schools in Central PA learning what faculty members are working on.  We focus on one school each month in this blog to share among our member schools. This month we are focusing upon The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.  Two focal points are described, one is in the area of Nano-biotechnology while the other is Computer Aided Planning Software.

Nano-Biotechnology: I like to think into the future. One afternoon about a year ago, I was lying in an MRI having my knee imaged. The rhythmic hum and bumps in the room were coaxing me into a state of trance.  I began to visualize a machine that would not only analyze my knee but also help repair the tissues in one unobtrusive step.  This machine would employ 3-D printing of cells and nano-biotechnology to restructure my damaged cartilage using the regenerative ability that naturally exists in my body.  What a wild idea?

Dr. Leena Pattarkine from Harrisburg University is beginning to work in that direction.  She has received funding from PA DCED to explore additive manufacturing employing nano-biotechnology.   This pilot project is expected to be a small initial step towards a long term goal of using the knowledge for developing various prototypes.  Additive manufacturing /3-D printing works on the macro scale to build structures one layer at a time like building blocks.  Nano-fabrication takes the concept to a micro scale and may allow individual cells to be the building blocks.

Dr. Pattarkine was invited to conduct a workshop on Additive Manufacturing and Nanotechnology Applications at the 2013 MicroNanoTechnology (MNT) Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May.  MNT 2013 was a two and a half day conference about micro- and nanotechnologies. Sponsored and funded by the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program, MNT 2013 was a collaborative effort of six national centers to disseminate information on topics such as electronics, materials, biotechnology, photonics, and manufacturing.

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Dr. Pattarkine also coordinates the Capital Area Biotechnology Partnership (CABP). This is a 2+2+2 Workforce Leadership Grant by the Department of Community and Economic Development. The focus is how partnerships between high-schools, community colleges, and universities help facilitate a seamless transition from high school to the workforce. Dr. Pattrakine plans to use the current Additive Manufacturing Grant to create awareness amongst educators and students regarding the strong overlap between nano-biotechnology and additive manufacturing.

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Computer Aided Planning Software: We have all heard of or used Computer Aided Design or CAD.  Imagine computer aided planning for information systems, system architecture and health systems.  Dr. Amjad Umar is a Professor and Director of the Management and eBusiness degree program and the Information Systems Engineering and Management (ISEM) at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.   Dr. Umar is a Senior Advisor to the United Nations and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with the US Council for International Exchange of Scholars. He is also an entrepreneur and has started a company that employs computer aided design for these types of applications.  They are being used in countries across the globe like Cambodia, Africa, Nepal, The Dominican Republic and New Zeeland.