What is nano-technology and where is it used? An example is stained glass. Medieval artisans unknowingly used nanoparticles in the 16th and 17th centuries to create beautiful stained glass. Gold and silver nanoparticles, acting as quantum dots, reflect red and yellow light, respectively. As material dimensions get smaller than 1 micometer (a millionth of a meter), properties of a material are distinctly different, yielding unique behavior.
In modern-day objects, we leverage nanotech in many applications:
carbon-black reinforcement for tires
nanometer switches and wires in computer chips
nano carbon reinforcement for steel
thin-film coatings in telescope optics and electronics
water-proof fiber using nano-textures
gold nanoparticles for the detection of nucleic acids
This workshop will present the basics of nanotech, an overview of nanotech applications and how engineering, science and math come together in enabling nanotech.
We also will have hands-on activities to explore the nano-world. These include building physical models of nanomaterials, exploring their properties, and correlating the engineered dimension versus material properties.
We recommend this workshop to students in the 4th through 6th grades.