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Dr. Gamal Ahmed speaks on Nanotechnology Education, Concept and Practice in the Third Millennium

How Nanotechnology will Change the Future

By IGI Global on Nov 17, 2016
caroline muglia Dr. Gamal S. Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Cairo University, Egypt. He is also Head of the Training Unit for the Deanship of Community Service at Najran University, Saudi Arabia. Dr. Ahmed recently took some time to speak with IGI Global on how developments in nanotechnology are shaping today's society, and how it will change the future of the world.
Will you introduce our audience to the concept of nanotechnology?

It is very important to know what nanotechnology is specifically. Nanomaterial results from material in an atomic structure reformed to become the smallest grain with newer and higher characteristics than traditional in the largest grain. Currently, nanotechnology is being regarded internationally as the most advanced technology of the 21st Century, an incredibly unique phenomenon.

To what extent do you believe that nanotechnology will revolutionize science in our era?

The revolution of nanotechnology is due to its advanced physical, chemical, electrical, mechanical, magnetic, and optical characteristics; therefore, the presence of nanotechnology can be used as a criterion for dividing the world into advanced countries and developing countries.

Would you provide some examples to illustrate the importance of nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology has various emerging applications and recent uses which will totally change many aspects of society for the better; for instance, enabling new ways to tackle serious problems in healthcare, energy and technology. In short, many fields of life have benefited from nanotechnology, surpassing both natural and expected abilities into unlimited prospective in order to present advanced results which have higher production and more developed applications.

On the level of societal application, predictions indicate that nano-related goods and services could be a $1 trillion market by 2020. For example, in medicine field, nanotechnology has been used to find the molecular basis of certain diseases, which now encompasses all aspects of diseases connected with the DNA molecule and its relations.

What are the implications of expanding nanotechnology's reach around the world, considering its potential role in both weapons and war?

Dr. Clarence Davies, in his book titled Managing the Effects of Nanotechnology, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, describes the menu of possibilities for government action to deal with the adverse effects of nanotechnology. Dr. Davies provides evidence relevant for determining what needs to be done to effectively manage nanotechnology.

Regarding the expansion of nanotechnology internationally, it's worthy to mention that advanced countries take serious precautions in both manufacturing and producing of nanotechnology materials. The critical issue in this respect is the possibility of using this high-tech in negative and adverse ways, neglecting peace and development purposes.

In your opinion, are there any international efforts or researchers of note that propel the development of nanotechnology?
Sure, in fact, the Department of Defense in the US issued Defense Nanotechnology Research and development, which was a nanotechnology program that includes long term challenges and program goals. Substantial progress has been demonstrated toward each of the long-term program goals. The department has also coordinated relations with the agencies in the National Nanotechnology Initiative, (NNI).

Internationally, there are various effective initiatives to manage nanotechnology manufacturing and production, maintaining nanotechnology products’ integrity, and keeping its effects from nano-weapons and mass destruction. At the same time, the nanotechnology concept need to be treated academically to attain modern knowledge to enable researchers to create safety procedures for nanotechnology treatments.

Do you think that nanotechnology should be taught educationally?

Absolutely. Nanotechnology has become a solution to solve domestic problems facing society, as well as international challenges. It is important to integrate nanotechnology concepts into the curriculum matrix and to encourage learners in thinking towards advanced science, which is addressed scientifically by many researchers (Shalaby, 2012; Drane, et al, 2009; Hersam et al, 2004; Meyyappan, 2004). At the same time, it's essential to establish nanotechnology culture in society at both the institutional and individual levels, especially with emerging positive international efforts to incorporate nanotechnology education into curriculum and instruction, particularly in the US, Germany, South Africa, etc…

Because of this, there is a need to incorporate nanotechnology education into curriculum and teaching. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently explored curriculum development, courses offered in universities, educational training centers, networks, student fellowship programs, etc: http://www.nclt.us

What are some of the ways you personally develop and encourage nanotechnology education?

Currently, I research the outcomes of literature in nanotechnology education, studying the effectiveness of the nanotechnology module on both achievement and knowledge development for students at the secondary school level in Arab countries. Using the nanotechnology module, tests for academic achievement and advanced scientific thinking can be developed at various educational stages all over the world, to educate a wide range of learners in the culture of nanotechnology. Exploring modern concepts in both the curricula and teaching of nanotechnology addresses the lack of nanotechnology in education. On the other hand, directing current nanotechnology efforts towards positive social development and international peace while avoiding negative and adverse nano-applications will move society toward a progressive positive future.
View Dr. Ahmed's IGI Global research "Modern Concepts in the Curriculum and the Teaching of Nanotechnology" featured in the International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education. For more information on Dr. Ahmed and his ongoing research, please visit http://www.slideshare.net/GamalAllam/nano-educ-seminar-najran-univ or contact him at Dr.gamalallam@gmail.com.

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