Nanoparticle Pollutants (High School curriculum lesson)

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Description: 

Many plastics are in our oceans due to pollution, including ocean dumping and land runoff. Sunlight and alkaline ocean water break these plastics down into small particles, many are nanoscale in size. These nanoparticles can easily enter our cells. Students examine if and how these particles cross membranes into cells.

Objectives

NISE Net Content Map: 
  • Nanometer-sized things are very small, and often behave differently than larger things do.
  • Scientists and engineers have formed the interdisciplinary field of nanotechnology by investigating properties and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.
  • Nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanoengineering lead to new knowledge and innovations that weren't possible before.
  • Nanotechnologies—and their costs, utility, risks, and benefits—are closely interconnected with society and with our values.

Credits

Funding: 
National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) funded by the National Science Foundation
Owning institution: 
National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN); © 2009 Darren Hayes and the University of California, Santa Barbara
Permissions: 

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