Pre-College Programs


The overarching goal of the NASCENT Center’s educational activities is to educate future research and technology leaders with technical depth, broad understanding of real market demands, skills for innovation, and the creativity needed to bring the benefits of nanomanufacturing in computing, electronics, energy, healthcare, and sensing. The Center will create a specialized education program for its students and implement innovative programs with middle and high school partners at each site to develop a pipeline of pre-college—and, in turn, university—students who are well prepared for careers in STEM fields, especially nanomanufacturing. Our hypothesis is that to succeed in this overall education goal, the Center must actively recruit a driven and diverse set of students, educate them on the technical and innovation skills necessary for success, and provide them nurturing supervision and the environment in which to succeed.


Our Education Partners

  • Albuquerque Institute for Math and Science High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Albuquerque Institute for Math and Science Middle School, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders High School, Austin, Texas
  • Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders Middle School, Austin, Texas
  • Decker Middle School, Austin, Texas
  • Manor New Tech High School, Manor, Texas
  • Miramonte High School, Orinda, California
  • South Valley Academic High School, Albuquerque, New Mexico


One of the main goals of the NASCENT Center is to create a pipeline of creative students who enter college and STEM degree programs. An important step towards achieving this goal is establishing a successful K–12 outreach program. NASCENT is accomplishing this through the following programs:

  • Middle School Science Academies
  • Middle School Big Ideas about Little Things (BILT) Camp
  • Educational school field trips around nano-concepts
  • NASCENT challenge projects integrated into the school curriculum
  • NanoDays and other community outreach events


The NASCENT Fellows program is an engineering summer research program designed for students in 10–12th grade. Each summer, local high school students are selected to join graduate and undergraduate students for six weeks of laboratory research as Fellows. These “layered research teams” will attack problems in nanomanufacturing and make significant contributions to ongoing projects.  Each high school student will give a final presentation of their results at the end of the summer.

Learn More Here