Education Programs

Introduce your students to the emerging field of nanotechnology through our hands-on education programs. Education programs can be held at your institution or on the North Seattle College campus.

Programs are aligned with WA, ID, and OR learning requirements and engage students in interactive demonstrations. All programs can be tailored to fit the needs of your classroom or organization including adding tours of research laboratories.

Program Audience:

SHINE focuses on working with high school age students. There are also limited opportunities for middle school age students, especially if they fit the below criteria.

Program Cost:

Free to schools and organizations that fit at least one of the following criteria ($30 per program for all others):
● 75% of students from populations underrepresented in STEM careers
● Career and Technical Education classes
● Rural schools and organizations

Program Options:

What is Nanotechnology?


        How small is small? Does size matter? Through hands-on water activities, students will discover how small one-billionth is and how size affects physical and chemical properties. Students will learn how nanotechnology utilizes chemical processes to change the behavior of materials including making sand and fabric hydrophobic.


Lithography – 3 lab options

Lithography was a term originally used to define a type of printing process invented in the 1700s in which a pattern was transferred onto a flat stone or surface. Today, lithography is also a term used to describe how structures such as computer chips are designed. Features, including fluid channels and electrical circuits, can be made by adding light (photolithography) or polymers (soft lithography) to certain areas of a substrate, or "chip".



        Students will learn the general process used to make circuits and other features that are the basis of computer chips technology. In a hands on process that demonstrates the basic technique used in a clean room, students will be able to make patterns on a glass substrate using photoresist and light.
3D Printing using Photolithography


        Students can design simple 3D patterns using PowerPoint or use already created templates.
The designs then come to life as students create 3D objects by expanding the basics of the photolithography technique in the 3rd dimension.
Soft lithography


        In soft lithography, a master mold is made using traditional photolithography techniques. Then, a polymer (or "soft" material) is poured into the master to replicate the pattern of the master. The resulting polymer structures can be used for a variety of applications. One main application is to create microfluidic devices, which control the flow of fluids. This can be used for analysis in medicine and biology. Using a simple mold, a Jell-O chip is made in which students explore the use of these chips.


Water Splitting/ Fuel Cells


        Fuel cells provided electricity to the space shuttle orbiter and are a promising renewable energy source here on earth. As the need for alternative energy sources increases, harnessing power by splitting water is one area being researched for further commercial development. Explore what nanotechnology is and how it relates to fuel cells, engage in hands-on demonstrations, split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and build a fuel cell powered car.


Nanocrystalline Solar Cells


        Solar cell efficiency is one of the biggest barriers to making this technology commercially viable. Learn how solar cells are made and how nanotechnology is playing a large part in the ability to make these materials more efficient. Students assemble working solar cells using dye from raspberries. (Chlorophyll and certain types of other berries may be used).


Antimicrobial properties of silver (silver nanoparticle synthesis)


        Nanoparticles display a myriad of attributes that vary from their macro scale counterparts including changes to biological properties. Discover the antimicrobial properties of silver on the nanoscale as students first synthesize silver nanoparticles and then examine their effect on bacteria growth. (E. coli has the best results, but cannot be transported to schools. If schools have the ability to grow and properly dispose of biohazard waste, this is the best option for this lab. Swabs of check cells from students can also be used and does not need be disposed of using biohazard precautions.)


Gold nanoparticle sensor (gold nanoparticle synthesis)


        What Color is Gold? introduces students to the field of nanotechnology and its applications. Gold nanoparticles are being studied to help in the detection of cancers and other toxins. Students will learn about how gold nanoparticles have different properties from gold at the macro scale while conducting an experiment to create a salt sensor that utilizes different colors of gold.


Nanoparticle stained glass (gold and silver nanoparticle synthesis)


        Stained glass windows have been made using nanoparticles for centuries. Students will discover the optical properties of nanoscale materials as they synthesize gold and silver nanoparticles. Using simulated liquid lead and a polymer, students will be able to create their own stained "glass" using nanoparticles of silver and gold.

Contact Us

For general inquiries, comments, and information, contact us at

To request materials, please contact the SHINE Program Coordinator at

For questions about Remote Access use or to schedule a session, please contact the SHINE Nanotechnology Lab Technician at

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