You can learn more about self-assembly by doing some of the experiments in a nanotechnology school kit produced by Dr. Claus and the scientists at NanoSonic Inc. The Nanotechnology Demonstration kit provides experiments that are designed for middle and high school science classes. The kit contains all of the materials you need for 24 students. Instructions, worksheets, teacher aids, and a resource CD are provided.
The purpose of the Nanotechnology Demonstration Kit is to allow secondary school students to learn about nanotechnology and next generation materials by making and testing nanostructured materials by themselves using a minimum of laboratory supplies and ordinary tap water.
The kit is divided into five units that will introduce students to the following concepts.
• Nanotechnology and nanostructured materials
• Chemical bonding
• Electrostatic self-assembly
• Fabrication of their own nanostructured film
To learn more about the kit, contact NanoSonic, www.nanosonic.com
Ms. Catherine Marcotte, a science teacher and her high school classes, had the opportunity to use the Nanotechnology Demonstration Kit of activities produced by Professor Richard Claus of NanoSonic, Inc, and the manufacturer of Metal Rubber™. Her class interviewed Dr. Richard Claus and asked him questions about his work. I asked Ms. Marcotte to comment on her experiences as a science teacher and her thoughts about the world at the nanoscale. Here are her comments.
"I am currently in my eleventh year teaching varied science topics to small, mixed groups of secondary school students at an alternative public school program called ForwardVIEW Academy in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
"Most often, each spring or summer, a science theme, such as energy, water, or science, society, and technology as in this year, seems to be in the air that becomes the core of my plans for the coming school year. Other times, the course is chosen and serendipity works its magic. Basic chemistry was the focus that year and, coincidentally, nanotechnology seemed to be on the cover of every magazine.
"Then, I had the pleasure to meet the author Mr. John Mongillo, who brought everything together with a lab kit for high school science involving nanotechnology by NanoSonic, Inc., which he wanted to co-teach with me in my classes. I was thrilled. It fit in perfectly and also provided the perfect segue to this year's technology theme.
"The kit gave students the opportunity to apply the concepts of nan-otechnology, such as self-assembly, in making a film on a glass slide one molecule layer at a time! In the unit, students were reminded of atomic structure and learned of electrostatics, and were also made aware of the many careers available in the growing field of nanotechnology.
"Later, through John, the students and I had a rewarding conversation with the President of NanoSonic, Inc., Dr. Richard Claus, by writing questions for Dr. Claus to which he kindly responded by email. The entire experience brought the classes' imaginations far beyond the confines of the classroom, from the uses for flexible Metal Rubber™ to even a lovely house in the misty, morning hills of Blacksburg, Virginia, and the thoughtful musings of a scientist and company president in answer to the question, "Why do you say your job is fun?"
"There is a comfort available in studying nature at its unimaginably small, and learning about the incredible advances in nanotechnology. The rewards are wonder and amazement at the depth of order and beauty in the physical world. While we thinking humans are capable of appreciating this, we are also capable of that which can seem the antithesis of order and beauty. Nature can seem more reliable. Learning more about our world on the nanoscale and realizing our own membership in it can, I think, provide a sense of reassuring continuity."
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