Multiplying effect to promoting public awareness of nanotechnology

In the past 10 years, nanotechnology has penetrated Thai society and is becoming a part of the Thai ways of life. One would think that everyone in Thailand would know about this new technology but on the contrary, many still do not know about nanotechnology and why it exist. One possible reason that may explain the lack of public awareness is the fact that many schools in Thailand still do not teach the basic of nanotechnology in their science classes since it is not incorporated in the schools’ curriculum. It is a given fact that nanotechnology exists whether we like it or not, and maybe it is time the Thai education system explores ways to incorporate the knowledge of this new technology in their schools.

The National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC) for its part has for the past 4 years been promoting the knowledge and awareness of nanotechnology in schools and universities through its Teacher Trainers of Nanotechnology (TTN) network activities. Recently, NANOTEC and Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya Trang Campus organized the 6th TTN group network recruitment session at the Trang campus. Over 60 science teachers from school and universities in the southern provinces attended this recruitment session which included pre-test, post-test, and individual group project presentation as part of the 3 days course work.

“The function of the TTN network group is that of a multiplier effect” said Ms. Jurinthip Putthawong special lesson teacher at Songklanakarin University and TTN group 5 member. Jurinthip was one of the 8 trainers who took part in the recruitment workshop. “Since the current curriculum does not incorporate the learning of nanotechnology in schools, it is the duty of the TTN group to try and blend in information about nanotechnology in our existing science lessons. In addition, we can also include nanotechnology in students’ science project”.

Since its inception in 2008, TTN members have reported that they have transfer knowledge and awareness in nanoscience and nanotechnology to over 120,000 people through various activities from organizing exhibition to workshops. TTN is now an independent identity with NANOTEC and NSTDA playing a minor facilitating/supporting role. The first TTN Annual Meeting was held in 2012. Currently, there are 5 TTN networking groups totaling over 150 teachers across the country. After the recruitment session TTN network hope to have 10 new members to the TTN network group 6.