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Fizzy Nano Challenge

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(Full teacher resource documents are included in the PDF)

Lesson Focus
Lesson focuses on how materials behave differently as their surface area increases.  Students learn about nanotechnology and how engineers can harness the differences in how materials behave when small to solutions for challenges in many industries. Students work in teams to explore examples of how surface area impacts functionality.  They hypothesize how surface area will impact the performance of antacid tablets, conduct an experiment using whole and crushed tablets to see how they behave when introduced to water, observe what they see, extrapolate to other examples, compare their hypotheses and the results with those of other student teams, reflect on the experience, and share observations with the class.

Lesson Synopsis
The "Fizzy Nano Challenge" lesson explores how some materials behave differently as their surface area increases.  Students work in teams to develop hypotheses and then test how whole and crushed antacid tablets will behave in water.  Teams evaluate the results against their hypotheses, compare their team's results with those of other student teams, reflect on the experience, and share observations with the class.

Age Levels:   8-14

Objectives

  • Learn about nanotechnology.
  • Learn about surface area.
  • 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
  • surface area
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities
Students explore how the surface area of some materials impacts how they behave, and how engineers use this change in behavior to develop solutions to societal challenges in many industries.  Students develop hypotheses and then test how whole and crushed antacid tablets will behave in water.  Teams evaluate the results against their hypotheses, compare their team's results with those of other student teams, reflect on the experience, and share observations with the class.

Resources/Materials

  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheet (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks
Curriculum alignment sheet is included in the 
PDF.

NISE Network Activities
Related educational programs and activities designed for use in informal education settings. Courtesy of the 
Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).