The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. Albany State University will implement a project entitled: Course-embedded Model Utilizing Nanoscience and Nanotechnology to Integrate Research based Projects into the Science Curriculum. The project will transform the undergraduate science curriculum at the institution by infusing nanotechnology based research in the laboratory. Project objectives include the infusion of research experiences in chemistry, biology and physics courses; enhancement of students' content knowledge of the field of nanoscience and technology; and, enhancement of students' research and critical thinking skills. The broader impacts of the project are in the training of undergraduate students for interdisciplinary research, as well as outreach programs to K-12 students and professional development workshops for high school teachers to develop or adapt activities in nanotechnology for implementation into the K-12 curriculum.
The integratation of research into the curriculum is accomplished by concentrating on three tracks of research in nanotechnology. The tracks are: the biomedical application of carbon nanomaterials, where synthesis, functionalization, characterization, wave-nanoparticle interactions and delivery applications of graphene and ferrite nanoparticles are investigated; the study of nanoparticles on living organisms where the focus is on the effect of nanoparticles on human cells, plants, and microorganisms and biological macromolecules; and an introduction of nanotechnology where students prepare gold nanoparticles under varying conditions and characterize and study their catalytic properties. This project connects the disciplines of chemistry, biology and physics using nanotechnology as the central theme for the integration of the research into the curriculum.