CNSI proctored workshops

Workshops are offered for K-12 teachers throughout the year. See our schedule for more information on upcoming workshops.

Workshop Schedule

The following workshops will be offered for K-12 teachers throughout the year.  Please see our schedule page for more information on upcoming workshops.

Biogels (biopolymers)

Biogels or biopolymers are used by all organisms to carry out the functions of life. Beyond their natural functions, biopolymers are useful aids to modern life, serving as stabilizers, thickeners, and gelling agents in applications as diverse as food preparation and wound repair. This workshop is designed to demonstrate that biology depends on the organization of biomolecular scaffolds, called structural biopolymers, at the nanoscale.

Level: Elementary & Middle School
Concept areas: Chemistry, Biology, Integrative Science, Engineering






Biosensors

Sensing is a process of detecting changes in the environment through a pathway of signal, transduction, and response. There are a number of biological sensors that are essential in modern medicine. In this workshop, students will learn about the process of sensing by create a portable colorimetric glucose sensor using a commonly available assay and gels.

Level: Middle School and High-School
Concept areas: Chemistry, Biology, Integrative Science, Engineering






Biotoxicity

Colloidal silver is an antifungal agent used in bandages. Unlike silver ion solutions, colloidal silver is toxic to microbes without harming humans. The Biotoxicity experiment tests the ability of colloidal silver to inhibit the rate of yeast cellular respiration (carbon dioxide production) compared to other silver-containing compounds. This experiment highlights the fundamental concepts of respiration, data quantification, and the use of nanotechnology for real-world applications.

Level: Middle School and High-School
Concept areas: Chemistry, Biology, Integrative Science





Magnetic Liquids (ferrofluids)

Originally developed by NASA as a means of moving rocket fuel in a weightless environment, ferrofluids are magnetic liquids used in a wide variety of engineering and consumer applications. In this experiment, students prepare ferrofluids that contain iron oxide nanoparticles approximately 10 nanometers in diameter, which spontaneously magnetizes in the presence of a magnetic field – through solution chemistry materials.

Level: Middle School and High school
Concept areas: Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, STEAM






Measurement at the Nanoscale

How can you measure that which is unobservable to the naked eye? In our Measurements at the Nanoscale experiment, students use the effects of molecules interacting with each other indirectly and very simple geometry to measure nanoscale features and have a better understanding of how large (or small) nano really is.

Level: Middle School and High school (Sept. 29, 2018); Elementary and Middle School (Feb. 23, 2019)
Concept areas: Chemistry, Physics, Integrative science, Engineering







Nanoscale Control of Wetting (superhydrophobic surfaces)

The superhydrophobic surfaces experiment blends elements from chemistry, biology, and physics to vividly demonstrate how the incorporation of nanoscale texture at a material’s surface can lead to dramatic changes in certain physical properties such as wettability. Students will learn basic concepts in surface chemistry and discuss emerging industrial applications for materials with these unique characteristics.

Level: Middle School and High school
Concept areas: Chemistry, Biology, Integrative Science, Engineering






Nanoscale Patterning (photolithography)

In this experiment, students use light to transfer a pattern onto a surface, ultimately resulting in a network of very small metal wires on a plastic board. Students can then measure resistance as a function of wire length and wire diameter to explore both the positive and negative resistive aspects of making thing small, but close together. This top-down approach to nanotechnology is commonly used in manufacturing circuit boards for computers and other electronics, and students will learn the very simple chemistry and physics at the core of photolithography.

Level: Middle School and High school
Concept areas: Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, STEAM






Plasmonics (color from gold)

While nanoscience has only been coined as its own field of study in more recent history, nanoscale objects have been used unknowingly by researchers and craftsman for hundreds of years. In this experiment, students synthesize gold nanoparticles in solution and encase them in gels to make ‘stained glass’, and will learn about the history of nanoparticles in art. Students will also get an introduction to surface plasmonics – the interaction of light and free electrons on a metal surface.

Level: Middle School and High school
Concept areas: Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, STEAM






Water Purification

Clean water and water reuse is among the greatest challenges of modern times. In this experiment, affinity and size exclusion methods of filtration are visually explored using various commercial and laboratory nanomaterial-based methods.

Level: Middle School and High school
Concept areas: Chemistry, Biology, Integrative Science, Engineering






GIVE TO SUPPORT A BRIGHTER FUTURE THROUGH NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY

The Nanoscience Workshop for Teachers program is driven by the contribution of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars whose participation is made possible with the support of NSF awards: Material Creation Training Program IGERT, Clean Energy for Green Industry IGERT, and CHE-1112569. Gifts to CNSI’s educational programs help support outreach efforts, learning and training opportunities for future scientists and researchers.

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