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Classroom Nano: Homeschool Workshop

December 17, 2009

Vrylena Olney

Many of our partners have indicated that they do classroom activities of some type, so I'm going to be highlighting a few examples of partners incorporating nano into classroom programs.

image by James Sarmiento

Jayatri Das of the Franklin Institute recently added some nano activities into a pre-existing homeschool workshop on chemistry. Jayatri writes:

"We design our homeschool workshops to offer experiences that the kids wouldn't be able to do at home, so chemistry has been one of our most popular topics. This time, the workshop was 'Mystery of the Molecules' where the kids had to do colorful chemistry experiments and then use the colors of their reactions to solve a 'mystery.' We structured the workshop to focus on fundamental properties (periodic table, size, and density) of molecules and different types of reactions. We used nano activities for the size activities, using hand measurement to introduce the concept of nano and nanogold synthesis to demonstrate how size affects what molecules look like."

Here are some activities on measurement:

Nanogold synthesis is described in the Nanoparticle Stained Glass activity (the first link is for the classroom activity, click here for the cart demo version). According to Jayatri, leave out the polyvinyl alcohol if you're just making the solution. You can also find the activity here on the University of Wisconsin-Madison MRSEC site.