Albany High school students traded their textbooks for testtubes Wednesday for a unique class in nanotechnology, courtesy of UAlbany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Our Megan Cruz has the theory behind the program.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- It's not your typical high school subject or classroom.
" They have access to our clean room facilities, our laboratories, tools and equipment that they might not have access to in their own schools, and probably wouldn't be seeing till their college career."
This is a day at "NanoHigh." The program's believed to be the first of it's kind in the country allowing high school students hands-on experience in the nanotechnology.
"We work with NanoHigh usually a couple times a semester doing lab activities to demonstrate some of the things we do here at Nano," said Nathanial Cady, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Professor.
"It's amazing, because not a lot of kids get to do that," said one student. "It's very hands-on, compared to just sitting in a lecture hall or something like that," said another.
Open to any student from Albany High School, the program dabbles into the different applications of nanotechnology, from electronics, the environment, energy, the military, and medicine, there's a field for everyone.
Teachers said the students' eyes light up in the labs.
"Today's lab, microfluidics, by the time we leave, they're excited. They want to take some of the experiments that they've created with them," said Jeff Beyer, Albany High School Nanotechnology Professor.
The program's in its fifth year, and boasts of 75 graduates. College administrators said the combination of classroom and laboratory learning has been successful.
"Many have gone on to pursue careers in science and engineering, and that's what's really the ultimate reason why we launched this program - to expose students to the growing number of career opportunities that exist not only in the Capital Region but across New York State," said Diana Dumesnil, CNSE Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs.
Kids here hope they can follow in their predecessors' micro-meter sized footsteps.