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Sometimes We Need Big Numbers (Elementary School curriculum lesson)

The purpose of this lesson is to help students visualize how small a nanometer is by relating the size to the numbers- millions, billions and trillions and then relating those numbers to how small particles of matter are. It begins to lay the foundation for future learning about atoms in the middle grades.

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Learning about Surface Area and Volume (Elementary School curriculum lesson)

The purpose of this lesson is to help students extend their knowledge of area, perimeter, and volume to include surface area. The understanding of these concepts begin in the elementary grades and helps students understand events such as why a hot potato cools down quicker when it is spread out in smaller pieces and why a cell is triggered to divide. This understanding is even more important when students begin to understand the micro and nano scales in middle and high school.

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What's the Smallest Thing You Know? (Elementary School curriculum lesson)

The book What’s Smaller Than A Pygmy Shrew? by Robert E. Wells helps students see that a pygmy shrew is among the tiniest of mammals and that a ladybug is even smaller. But in the book, they will also find even smaller things that they ordinarily do not see. This is the beginning of understanding students must have to be able to conceptualize the behavior of matter at the nanoscale and the tools used to explore this world.

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Mixtures and Nanotechnology (Middle and High School curriculum lesson)

The purpose of this unit is to help students make the connection that the classification of mixtures is based on the size of particles. This connects to two of the Big Ideas in Nanoscale Science and Engineering (Stevens, Sutherland, and Krajick 2009). The first is Size and Scale or factors relating to size and geometry of materials which help describe matter and predict its behavior. The second is Size-Dependent Properties that can change with scale. In particular, as the size of a material transitions from the bulk to atomic scale, it often exhibits unexpected properties that lead to new...

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Help or Hype: The Ethics of Bio-nanotechnology (Middle and High School curriculum lesson)

This lesson explores the ethical concerns related to bio-nanotechnology. Bio-nanotechnology is the application of nanotechnology to living things. This ranges from the creation of pharmaceuticals to medical devices. While scientists have created many life-saving treatments ethical concerns, such as privacy, can arise from such technological advances.

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