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Posted: Oct 06, 2014
Nanotechnology compendium for teachers and educators
(Nanowerk Spotlight) The European Commission has published a compendium ("Nanotechnologies: Principles, Applications, Implications and Hands-on Activities"; pdf) that has been specifically developed to provide the educational communities with relevant, accurate and updated materials to inform, motivate and inspire young people to know more about nanosciences and nanotechnologies concepts and applications.
This resource has been developed within the context of the European research project Nanoyou, and it has been enriched by the authors (Luisa Filipponi and Duncan Sutherland) with numerous and multifaceted inputs, reflections and insights on societal issues, also provided by the European project TimeforNano.
The outcomes from all these efforts have been integrated into a comprehensive and fully referenced book to present a single, balanced compendium about these disciplines. Theory, application, experiments and discussion on the ethical, societal and safety aspects are organized in self-contained modules that offer increased flexibility throughout the development of the course.
Also, a case study approach provides educators and teachers with practical applications and examples to discuss in class, supported by online tutor web portals to enable participating in virtual dialogues, experiments and games.
The lessons, discussions on applications and hands-on experiments presented in this book have been tested and enriched by hundreds of teachers, professors and educators from about one thousand schools in 20 countries in Europe and beyond, involving about 40.000 students.
The educational materials in this compendium are organized in three self-contained modules to offer increased flexibility throughout the development of the course, addressing the fundamental concepts, the main application areas and selected hands-on experiments.
Moreover, a case study approach provides educators and teachers with practical applications and examples to discuss in class. Background materials, literature reviews, specific case studies and ideas are presented to show educators how to address nanosciences and nanotechnologies concepts. Topics dealing with the ethical, societal and safety aspects of nanotechnologies are also included to help educators encouraging class debates, referenced with other European projects and relevant webpages.
Module 1 – 'Fundamentals' – addresses principles and fundamental concepts and contains seven chapters. This introductory chapter defines nanoscience, nanotechnologies and nanomaterials. It illustrates in general terms what is special about the nano-world and why this new area of science and technology is exciting and worth bringing into the classroom.
– Introduction to nanoscience and nanotechnologies
– Nanoscience in nature
– History of nanotechnologies
– Fundamental 'nano-effects'
– Overview of nanomaterials
– Characterization methods
– Fabrication methods
Module 2 — 'Applications and Implications' – has four chapters and addresses the main technological applications and societal implications.
– Medicine and healthcare
– Information and Communication Technologies
Module 3 – 'Experiments' – includes four experiments for teachers and students.
– Natural nanomaterials
– Liquid crystals
– Colorimetric gold nanosensor
– Superhydrophobic materials
In all these modules, the compendium includes background materials, literature reviews, specific case studies and ideas on how to integrate nanoscience and the concepts of nanotechnologies into science curricula, complete with topics on the ethical, societal, legal and safety aspects to encourage class debates.