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Editorial: Nanoscience grant good for everyone

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Dakota County Technical College is about to become a really big deal when it comes to really small stuff.

Elsewhere in this issue of the Town Pages staff writer Emily Zimmer reports about a grant received by DCTC. The $3 million from the National Science Foundation will help the Rosemount school develop a Midwest Center for Nanotechnology Education.

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That is good news for the school, which will significantly increase its appeal to students in Minnesota and beyond. It's also good news for Rosemount, which can only benefit from any influx of students.

The new program will produce students qualified to work in nanoscale science, typically defined as material reduced to 100 nanometers or smaller. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.

That's small. But it's also big. Because nanotechnology is becoming an important part of daily operations for companies as diverse as cosmetics maker L'Oreal and computer chip company Intel. As the importance of nanotechnology grows so will the need for skilled employees and DCTC, which since 2004 has graduated about 30 students from its existing nanotech program, is quickly becoming one of the best places to find them.

There is a remarkable diversity of educational options available at DCTC. From auto repair to photography, truck driving to business and marketing, students of all ages are using the school to get a start on their education or to get a fresh start on a new career.

Those careers are changing all the time. It's good to see that a little school in Rosemount is not only keeping up but leading the way.

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