Superfund Research Program
Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training Program
Project Leader: Peter Raynor
Grant Number: R25ES023595
Funding Period: 2013-2021
Researchers and staff at the University of Minnesota, the University of Iowa, and Dakota County Technical College continue to develop the Midwest Emerging Technologies Public Health and Safety Training (METPHAST) Program. This year they revised the plan for 20 online modules, selected software, and began development of the modules.
They are developing online modules to educate and train scientists, engineers and technicians about occupational hygiene in general and to educate and train occupational health and safety specialists, scientists, engineers, and technicians specifically about nanotechnology health and safety.
Hands-on activities, with detailed instructions, will augment each module. The METPHAST Program team has so far developed four activities: "Exposure and Dose", "Number, Surface Area, and Mass", "Orders of Magnitude", and "Measuring Particle Size Distributions from Microcopy Images". They will develop demonstration videos of the activities to help instructors understand how they can be conducted with students.
- Researchers posted their first completed demonstration video for the Orders of Magnitude activity on their METPHAST YouTube page.
- They also posted a video, Evaluating Nanoparticle Generation during Shredding of Nanocomposites for Recycling, available on the page.
- Additional videos are being developed and will be posted on the YouTube page as they are completed.
- The team has pilot tested three separate METPHAST Program hands-on activities with a total of 38 students in the Nanoscience Technology program at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC).
- The DCTC students also performed the hands-on activity using written instructions as METPHAST Program personnel observed their actions. After completing the activities, several students commented that the activities helped them learn new information about working safely with nanomaterials. In particular, one student asked if she could use the activities with her own coworkers.
Courses and Presentations
- The METPHAST Program team has established objectives for academic course development.
- Co-PI Thomas Peters, Ph.D., developed and presented the professional development course titled "Practical Nanotechnology: Old Theories and New Concepts" to 60 professionals at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition (AIHce) in San Antonio. Peters also presented at a plenary session of the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) Conference on October 1, 2013. During this lecture, he mentioned the METPHAST Program and the modules and activities that are being developed as part of the project.
Several of the PI's involved with METPHAST have also been participating in workshops to certify the quality of the on-line and blended courses that they are developing. The University of Minnesota uses these standards as the basis for developing on-line academic courses.