Three Drops is a full body immersive simulation that allows visitors to interact with water at three size scales using their shadows. At each scale, different physical forces can be observed. At the macro (human) scale, where gravity is the noticeable force, visitors are showered with water drops from a simulated shower. At the microscale--one thousand times smaller--where surface tension becomes more apparent, visitors play with a beach-ball sized water drop.
"Nanotechnology: What's the Big Deal?" is a video introduction to the Intro to Nanotechnology exhibition. Get a broad overview of the unique challenges and opportunities presented by nanoscale science, and dive into the super tiny scale of nanotechnology.
Changing Colors is an interactive exhibit that shows how some high-tech nanomaterials mimic natural phenomena. Super-small, light-reflecting structures—instead of pigments—on the wings of some butterflies create intense, iridescent colors. Nanoscientists have replicated this effect with layered, super-thin films. Watch the colors change on butterfly wings and thin-film slides as you move them beneath a light source, and discover how nanoscale structures can manipulate light and create color. Butterfly specimens deteriorate with heavy use, and may need to be replaced periodically.
“Cutting it Down” is a cart demo that communicates scale through a hands-on activity. Visitors learn that the nanometer size scale is very, very small—and that we can’t use macroscale tools to manipulate nanoscale materials. During the program, visitors are challenged to cut a small strip of paper in half as many times as they can—or until they reach the nanoscale, which ever comes first.
Students will examine the order of size of objects from the nanoscale to macroscale to visualize exponents and decimals, make size comparisons of objects, and develop an understanding of how small a nanometer is in comparison to common objects. This lesson uses the metric system.
After an introductory PowerPoint on nanotechnology students are given a chance in groups to explore consumer products through an information sheet provided over available consumer products. After learning about products students can create a presentation for a particular product; test their product; or research a career in nanotechnology.
The purpose of this lesson is to familiarize students with size, scale, and measurement by exploring size and scale through a variety of activities. In part 2, students explore size effects in chemical reactions.
This unit provides activities for students to learn about the metric system of measurement. A connection to the nanoscale is made by having students read the How Stuff Works article –“How Nanotechnology Works” and answer questions about the article. Further connections of size and the nanoscale can be found in the Resources at the end of the unit.
The purpose of this activity is to help students conceptualize the magnitude of a nanometer compared to other metric units of length. At the end of this activity, students will be able to state the size of a nanometer, convert between nanometers and other metric units of length, and give concrete examples of nanotechnology use in everyday life. At the conclusion of this unit, students will create a 7-10 minute class presentation to demonstrate their learning.
This lesson introduces scale by demonstrating scales as factors of ten. This facilitates the introduction and reinforcement of the metric scale and paves the way to the discussion of lengths that are smaller than what can be seen with the naked eye. The lesson also introduces the concept of using different tools to address different length scales. Understanding size and scale is fundamental to learning about nanotechnology as size defines the nanoscale. This activity connects well to the introduction of atoms and cell structures as well as advancements in technology.