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Nanotechnology Lesson Plans Bookmark and Share

Featured Lessons:

 -- Try Your Hand at Nano

Lesson focuses on two simple activities younger students can do to gain an appreciation of nanotechnology.  First, students measure their hands in nanometers, second students learn about liquid crystals, their applications and nanotechnology connections and test how the heat of their hands changes the color of the crystals.  They observe what they see, present their findings to the class, and reflect on the experience.
For ages 8-11.
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 -- The Power of Graphene

Lesson focuses on graphene and its electrical properties and applications.  Students learn about nanotechnology and how engineers can harness the differences in how materials behave when small to address challenges in many industries. Students work in teams to hypothesize and then test whether graphene is an electrical conductor or insulator.  They build a simple circuit using everyday items, and create a graphene sample using soft pencils on paper.   
For ages 8-18.
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 -- Exploring at the Nanoscale

Lesson focuses on how nanotechnology has impacted our society and how engineers have learned to explore the world at the nanoscale. Students participate in hands-on activities to understand exactly how small the nanoscale is, explore how surface area changes at the nano scale, and work in teams to develop futuristic applications of nanotechnology. 
For ages 8-14.
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-- What is a Nanometer?

Lesson focuses on how to measure in nanometers and provides students with an understanding of how small a nano really is. Students work in teams to learn about electron microscopes, participate in hands-on activities to measure common classroom objects and then convert the result to nanometers.
For ages 8-11.
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-- Sugar Crystal Challenge

Students learn about how surface area can change at the nanoscale. Students work in teams to explore different forms of sugar at different levels of coarseness. They then predict how sugar crystals grown from different sugar solutions might be different at the molecular level depending upon the coarseness of the original sugar. Student make predictions, conduct research, and present their reflections to the class.
For ages 8-14.
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-- Nano Waterproofing

Students learn about how nanotechnology has impacted manufacture and use of fabrics.  Students then work in a team to develop a waterproofing plan for a piece of cotton fabric, they execute their plan, test the fabric, and examine samples of fabrics that have had their surface altered through nanotechnology.
For ages 8-18.
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-- Be a Scanning Probe Microscope

Students learn about Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPM) and then work in teams using a pencil to explore and identify the shape of objects they cannot see, just as the SPM does at the nano level.  They draw what their mind "sees" on paper, compare their results with other student teams, and share observations with their class.
For ages 8-14.
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-- Fizzy Nano Challenge

The "Fizzy Nano Challenge" lesson explores how some materials behave differently as their surface area increases.  Students work in teams to develop hypotheses and then test how whole and crushed antacid tablets will behave in water.  Teams evaluate the results against their hypotheses, compare their team's results with those of other student teams, reflect on the experience, and share observations with the class.
For ages 8-14.
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-- Waterproof that Roof

The "Waterproof that Roof" activity explores how engineers have improved roofing designs and materials in order to protect the contents of buildings. Students explore the hydrophobic effect and work in teams to design a roof structure to protect a box and its contents from a simulated rainstorm. Teams build, test, and evaluate their designs and those of other teams.
For ages 8-18.
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