Requires the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to designate an associate director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Coordinator for Societal Dimensions of Nanotechnology. Makes the Coordinator responsible for oversight of the coordination, planning, and budget prioritization of activities required by the Program to ensure that the ethical, legal, environmental, and other appropriate societal concerns are considered during the development of nanotechnology.
Specifies that the Coordinator's responsibilities include:
(1) ensuring that the research plan for the environmental, health, and safety research activities as described in this Act is developed, updated, and implemented and that such plan is responsive to the recommendations of the subpanel of the Advisory Panel;
(2) encouraging and monitoring the efforts of participating agencies to allocate resources and management necessary to ensure that such societal concerns related to nanotechnology, including human health concerns, are addressed; and
(3) encouraging the agencies required to develop the research plan to identify, assess, and implement mechanisms for the establishment of public-private partnerships for support of environmental, health, and safety research.
Requires the Coordinator to convene a panel to develop a research plan for the Environmental, Health, and Safety program component area.
Instructs such panel, in developing and updating the plan, to solicit and be responsive to recommendations and advice from the subpanel of the Advisory Panel and the agencies responsible for environmental, health, and safety regulations associated with the production, use, and disposal of nanoscale materials and products.
Requires the plan to include a description of how the Program will help to ensure the development of certain standards related to engineered nanoscale materials.
Specifies the plan's components and requires it to be updated annually and appended to the annual report required under the Program. Requires the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), as part of the mathematics and science education partnerships program carried out pursuant to the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002, to provide one or more grants to establish Nanotechnology Education Partnerships and requires each such partnership to include one or more businesses engaged in the production of nanoscale materials, products, or devices.
Requires such partnerships to be designed to recruit and to help prepare secondary school students to pursue postsecondary level courses in nanotechnology.
Requires such grants, at a minimum, to support:
(1) specified activities and programs to inform teachers and students about career possibilities for students in nanotechnology; and
(2) identification of nanotechnology educational materials and incorporation of nanotechnology into the curriculum for students at one or more organizations participating in a Partnership.
States that, the Program, as part of the activities included under the Education and Societal Dimensions program component area, or any successor area, shall support efforts to introduce nanoscale science, engineering, and technology into undergraduate science and engineering education through a variety of interdisciplinary approaches.
Includes as supported activities:
(1) the development of courses or modules to existing courses;
(2) faculty professional development; and
(3) the acquisition of equipment and instrumentation suitable for undergraduate education and research in nanotechnology.
Authorizes appropriations to the NSF Director for FY2009-FY2010 to carry out such activities through:
(1) the Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement program; and
(2) the Advanced Technology Education program.
Requires the National Science and Technology Council to establish under the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee, an Education Working Group to coordinate, prioritize, and plan the educational activities supported under the Program. Requires activities supported under the Education and Societal Dimensions program component area, or any successor area involving informal, precollege, or undergraduate nanotechnology education to include education regarding the environmental, health and safety, and other societal aspects of nanotechnology.
Directs agencies supporting nanotechnology research facilities as part of the Program to require the entities that operate such facilities to allow Internet access and support the costs associated with providing such access, by students and teachers, to equipment within such facilities for educational purposes.
Permits waivers of such requirement when particular facilities would be inappropriate for educational purposes or the costs of providing such access would be prohibitive.
Instructs such agencies to authorize personnel who operate those facilities to provide necessary technical support.