EDUCATION FOR THE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY

Developed education and workforce development program in Nanotechnology with NASA

LatIPnet organized a videoconference where the community of academics, businessmen, and entrepreneurs in Guanajuato interacted with Dr. Meyya Meyyappan, researcher at NASA and a leading expert in nanotechnology worldwide, today researching nanocarbon tubes and exploring their applications in diverse fields such as nanoelectronics and computing, sensors and detectors, and gene sequencing.

LatIPnet made possible for Dr. Meyyappan to have a virtual encounter with an audience of more than 300 people in Guanajuato, including university and high-school students.

Thanks to this videoconference, local universities are exploring the possibility of conducting nanotechnology workshops in high schools in Guanajuato, several research centers in Guanajuato, such as CIO and CIMAT are building research partnerships with NASA and
other Silicon Valley key players in order to conduct research in nanotechnology with applications in lithium batteries, solar energy and other clean technologies.

Launched Feel the Science, a multisensory science education program for blind children

Dr. Cristina Reynaga (CINVESTAV is the Center of Research and Advanced Education of the National Polytechnic Institute, Monterrey, Mexico) and her “Feel the Science” team developed 3-D tactile models using textures, colors, temperature and other features so that blind children could perceive and understand the science materials solely through the sense of touch.

LatIPnet initially helped Dr. Reynaga to obtain a patent for her novel methodology in 2009. Since then, LatIPnet has helped her gain access to resources and organizations across the world in order to foster her didactic work and to turn Feel the Science from a local project into a global solution.

LatIPnet first put Cristina in touch with researchers from NASA Ames Research Center and the prestigious SRI International, both based in Silicon Valley. These organizations have a great interest in haptic perception, or perception through touch, and when they heard about the interactive multisensory workshops organized by Cristina they immediately became interested. Since then Cristina has maintained a continuous dialogue with researchers at the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International about the potential of her program and about the strategy to expand it to the United States. These contacts have also helped Cristina to bring her work to other organizations in California such as the Exploratorium in San Francisco, The Tech Museum in San Jose, and the Center for Science and Technology and Society at the Santa Clara University. Cristina spent a year (2011-2012) at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, further developing her initiative with several collaborators in the US.