Lesson Plan Blueprint

Concept Development Lesson | Introduction to Nanoscience | Nature of Science | What does it take to be a nanoscientist? | Scales and Sizes of Objects | Surface area to volume ratio | | Unique Properties at the Nanoscale | Applications of Nanoscience | Field Trip to Nanoscience Lab | To Stink or Not to Stink?
Instruction Purpose/
Key Disciplinary
Key Methodological
(students should
be able to...)

Concept Development Lesson

  • Changes in scale affect properties and interactions.
  • What is scale?
  • Why is it important?
  • Properties and interactions can change with size.
  • Inductive thinking
  • Describe the concept of scale and apply it to two or more fields of study.

Introduction to Nanoscience

  • Inspire interest and curiosity in nanoscience.
  • What are some of the ways a new technology can impact our lives?
  • New properties that occur at the nanoscale facilitate innovation.
  • Brainstorming
  • Describe nanoscience and applications of nanotechnology.

Nature of Science

  • When new evidence is not explained by an existing scientific model, scientists change the model to explain the new evidence.
  • Do the intensive properties (color, odor, luster, malleability, ductility, conductivity, hardness, melting/freezing point, boiling point, and density) of matter change?
  • The novel, often unexpected, properties that matter exhibits at the nanoscale are forcing scientists to change models that explaining the structure and behavior of matter.
  • Modeling
  • Describe how scientists reevaluate and refine an explanatory model

What does it take to be a nanoscientist?

  • Understand the importance of psychological strength, intrinsic motivation, passion and other traits in talent development.
  • What qualities are needed to become a nanoscientist?
  • What careers match my personal qualities and interests?
  • What traits are needed for personal talent development?
  • Psychological strength
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Curiosity
  • Persistence
  • Talent development.
  • Describe a career that interests you and the traits necessary for success in that career.

Scales and Sizes of Objects

  • There are enormous scale differences in our universe.
  • Different models are used to explain behavior at the nanoscale than other scales.
  • Why is the nanoscale so different than other scales?
  • How much does size vary in the natural world?
  • There are enormous scale differences in our universe, and at different scales, different forces dominate and different models better explain phenomena
  • Unitizing.
  • Description.
  • Observation.
  • Accurately describe relative sizes of small objects.

Surface area to volume ratio

  • The ratio of surface area to volume changes when size changes
  • What will happen to the surface area to volume ratio as the object size gets smaller and smaller?
  • Surface area to volume ratio affects the properties of a material such as chemical reactivity, melting point, ability to be dissolved, adhesion, and the ability to absorb liquids.
  • Measuring
  • Analyzing
  • Modeling
  • Describe the effect of a reduction in size on the surface to volume ratio.

Unique Properties at the Nanoscale

  • Understand the science that occurs at the nanoscale.
  • Why are properties of nanoscale objects different than those of the same materials at the bulk scale?
  • Why do our scientific models change?
  • Material properties
  • Surface area to volume ratio
  • Hands-on inquiry experiences with size dependent effects.
  • Observing
  • Analyzing
  • Describe properties that are different at the nanoscale.
  • Explain why properties are different at the nanoscale.

Applications of Nanoscience

  • Explore applications of nanoscale science and the attributes of products that use nanotechnology
  • How are new products created?
  • What unique properties of the nanoscale can be used to improve products?
  • Engineering & Design
  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Analyzing
  • Synthesizing
  • Divergent Thinking
  • Describe how a designers uses unique properties to make innovative products.

Field Trip to Nanoscience Lab

  • Learn about a real-world application of nanoscience
  • How is nanosilver created?
  • How can we use the unique properties of nanosilver in science?
  • Use of science to authenticate historic artwork.
  • Analysis
  • Describe how nanoscience is used to link Chemistry and Art.

To Stink or Not to Stink?

  • Evaluate the benefits and risks of a particular nanotechnology application.
  • How do we know if we should implement a particular nanotechnology product?
  • Scientific Argument
  • Research
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Problem-solving
  • Research, Synthesis, & Analysis
  • Present a well-supported argument to support a proposed policy.

Website by Lori Andersen, 2012