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La Salle Institute starts Nanotechnology lessons

March 10, 2017 06:52 PM

The La Salle Institute in Troy is thinking big about something small. The first ever class in Nanotechnology at the school is being taught. It's being done in collaboration with RPI and SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

The students are the first to take the introductory Nano Science Class at La Salle Institute. It's the brainchild of teacher Stephanie Randall, who created the partnership between the school, RPI and SUNY Poly. 

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"Helping us further the understanding of Nanotechnology and the applications of math and science and why it's important to study those things," she explained.

The hands-on lessons are a big hit with the students.

"You can just figure out how stuff will work instead of watching it on a smartboard or paper say like, ‘Wow, I actually understand this,’" pointed out Corey Listing, a junior.

One lesson was about conductivity and its many everyday Nanotechnology applications.

"I took this elective because you see Nano-science like, everywhere nowadays. It’s definitely something that’s going to be very important in our lives," explained Conner Carlson, a senior.

"We really want students to take the opportunity to know that it's available to them, that there's a wide variety of careers that they can go into, that it's accessible," noted Elaine Garrett with SUNY Poly.

From little things like Nano comes big ideas. The school principal would like to see a former residence for Christian Brothers turned into a regional Nano center to educate students in the Capital Region.

"The ability to convert, perhaps our former Brother’s residence next door into an advanced lab where we might get, dare I say, the hand me down old machines from the cutting edge companies who no longer use them but are a perfect fit for the introductory level of Nanotechnology," acknowledged Dr. Paul Fallon, principal.

While the school looks for a partner to make that big dream come true, the students continue learning about Nano in the classroom and by visiting the Nano labs of its partners, RPI and SUNY Poly.

Randall says she hopes this will whet their appetites for the many job opportunities right here in the Capital Region. 

Credits

Benita Zahn

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