The following lessons are now available:

I. Effect of Size on Reactions


  1. Introduce students to nano size
  2. Differentiate between types of reaction; physical, chemical, nuclear (optional).
  3. Gain an understanding of surface and area and how they play a role in physical and chemical reactions
  4. Gain knowledge of experimental technique
  5. Through illustrative experiments, demonstrate that nano size leads to changes in the way that a material interacts physically and chemically
  6. Motivate students to explore applications of this phenomenon

II. Properties of Colloidal Metals on Nano Scale

Note: This is a 2-period activity

Example: Colloidal Gold


  1. Through an illustrative experiment gain an understanding that nano size leads to changes in physical properties of materials. For example, colloidal gold (15nm) is red.
  2. Use the color wheel to explain the color of the gold colloid
  3. Relate the direction of color change to a basic physical principle (harmonic motion)
  4. Motivate students to explore applications of this unique phenomenon; e.g., new treatments for cancer
  5. [2nd period]-Teacher will explain the principles of the UV-VIS spectrometer and access the instrument through the Internet to perform remote demonstration of light absorption in colloidal Au samples

III. The Molecular Scale: How do you measure what you can’t see?


  1. Explore size in more detail and examine effects as we move to the nano scale.
  2. Demonstrate inference and calculations based on indirect measurements (In many cases direct observation of phenomena is difficult or needs sophisticated equipment that’s not available in schools
  3. Determine when a single layer of atoms is present on a surface
  4. Calculate the size of a molecule
  5. Observe the result of forces between molecules
  6. Motivate students to explore applications of this phenomenon

IV. Hydrogels - Production and Applications


  1. Learn how certain drugs or biomolecules can be encapsulated inside a calcium alginate hydrogel bead
  2. Study the release of various food coloring dyes from Calcium Alginate Hydrogel beads
  3. Use this to understand diffusion processes
  4. (Optional) Using a UV-Vis spectrometer, perform a semi-quantitative time-based study of the release of the dye that demonstrates how the pore size in the alginate hydrogel bead affects the rate of dye release.
  5. Motivate students to explore applications of this phenomenon; e.g., drug delivery


Quantum Dots as Biomarkers
Silver Nanoparticles as Bactericides

Upcoming Info


  • We are developing new nanotechnology lessons.  Look for them in the near future.
  • We have expanded the relationship between schools and our corporate partners through our Outreach Providers Network (OPN).  It is our vision to bring corporate scientists, engineers, technicians, and business people into the classroom, using modern technology.  We have created a repository of short video interviews with our corporate partners for teachers use to show students the journeys that others have taken to careers in science and technology.   These interviews can be used in the classroom or for home assignments as the basis for discussions about nanotechnolgy careers.