k-12

Design Challenge: Incorporating Shape Memory Alloys into Rube Goldberg Devices (Middle and High School curriculum lesson)

To encourage students to compare and contrast science and technology; experimental design and industrial design; and physics and its impact on nanotechnology. The students will be able to analyze and reflect on the forces, motion and energy transformations that can be shown by a Rube Goldberg Device and to experience the impact that Nitinol wire has on the device.

Electrodeposition (High School curriculum lesson)

This lab is designed to introduce students to the applications of forcing a chemical reaction using an electrical current. Students will discover how a flow of electrons allows cations in solution to revert to a solid state while plating an object. Students will become familiar with the process which allows the ions of the plating solution to be replenished, and how this results in a loss of mass for the solid metal electrode.

Understanding Wave Motion and Power Loss (Middle and High School curriculum lesson)

This lab is designed to help students understand how light waves interact with matter. This activity is analogous to light traveling through optical media having different indices of refraction (densities). This lesson connects with the Big Ideas in Nanoscale Science (Stevens et al, 2009; NSTA Press) Big Idea – Forces and Interactions (All interactions can be described by multiple types of forces, but the relative impact of each type of force changes with scale. On the nanoscale, a range of electrical forces, with varying strengths, tend to dominate the interactions between objects.)

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