To develop its educational plan, the IFN partnered with the NSF-sponsored National Center for Learning and Teaching in Nanoscale Science and Engineering (NCLT) at Northwestern University and actively collaborates with its director in developing and sustaining its plan. The IFN will create a Nano Interdisciplinary Education Team (NIET) consisting of three faculty members from the IFN campuses. The NIET will recruit graduate and undergraduate students to assist them in developing educational materials and modules making extensive use of the excellent materials that already exist in the NCLT clearinghouse. The materials will emphasize the teaching of the core ideas of nanoscience and the concepts that govern the fabrication, characterization, and functionalization of nano particles, as well as self-assembly principles and technological applications. The modules will be tested and validated for educational effectiveness and then incorporated into introductory courses of physics, chemistry, and engineering of the IFN institutions and other colleges in Puerto Rico. The NIET will become an active contributor of materials, modules, and courses to the NCLT clearinghouse. The NIET will reach all higher education institutions in Puerto Rico by incorporating all the developed materials, modules, and courses in the PR-LSAMP alliance (the major institutions of higher education in Puerto Rico are members of the alliance) innovational educational materials website. The IFN will develop signature laboratory courses as alternatives to the traditional Physical Chemistry and Intermediate Physics laboratories. The newly designed courses will make extensive use of nanomaterials concepts, principles and methods. It will also use mathematical models and develop experimental methods and skills that at present are being taught using classical and quantum experiments still rooted in the science of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. After validation, the resulting course will be submitted to the NCLT clearinghouse.
IFN scientists will develop and teach two general interdisciplinary topics courses, one at the graduate Ph.D. level and another at the advanced undergraduate level, to present the concepts, principles, and methods of nanoscience to serve both the needs of scientists and engineers. The IFN faculty will also design special topics courses in nanoscience and technology and teach them via video conferencing to students from all IFN campuses, as well as other universities in Puerto Rico.