Nanotechnology, a field interested in materials with features smaller than 100 nanometers and possessing novel properties, is a field that is unquestionably in a period of rapid growth. As the limits of existing technologies are pressed, the need arises for faster, better, and stronger materials and devices. Manipulation of matter on the nanoscale is quickly becoming the next frontier of materials and technology. Due to the scale of the phenomena and the exploratory nature of nanoscience and nanotechnology, a high degree of knowledge in many diverse fields is required. This requires a centralized presentation to students in order to best teach them the required knowledge. In the past, knowledge has mostly been transferred hand-to-hand on an active level. However, in modern education, the classroom and lectures take a more active role. With this rise, the position and focus of hands-on work has diminished , while at the same time undergraduates remain isolated from research being conducted at universities . With the broad nature of nanoscience and nanotechnology, it is becoming more important to maximize students' learning ability in order to train future researchers and workforce. This paper explores the impact of a hands-on research experience in undergraduate nanotechnology education. This experience is presented to show the importance of student involvement on hands-on projects for their learning process. © 2011 Materials Research Society.