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Try Your Hand at Nano

Lesson Focus 
Lesson focuses on two simple activities younger students can do to gain an appreciation of nanotechnology. First, students measure their hands in nanometers, second students learn about liquid crystals, their applications and nanotechnology connections and test how the heat of their hands changes the color of the crystals. They observe what they see, present their findings to the class, and reflect on the experience.

Age Levels:

8 - 11
  • Learn about nanotechnology.
  • Learn about liquid crystals.
  • Learn how engineering can help solve society's challenges.
  • Learn about teamwork and problem solving.
Anticipated Learner Outcomes 

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • nanotechnology
  • liquid crystals
  • electricity
  • teamwork
Lesson Activities 

Students explore nanotechnology through a measurement and temperature exercise involving liquid crystals. They learn about liquid crystal applications, and how size can impact how a material behaves. Student teams consider their experience, present to the class and reflect on the experience.

  • Teacher Resource Documents
  • Student Resource Sheet
  • Student Worksheet

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks
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