Nano Science Gets K-12 Boost
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A new program to introduce K-12 students to nano science has been launched by artists and scientists from NanoArt21.org and The Nanotechnology Group. Seeing a lack of coverage of nano science in K-12 curriculum, NanoArt K12 was introduced to stimulate education activities about nanoscale art, science, and technology. Nano means "dwarf," and a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.
NanoArt is a new discipline that combines art with science to create paintings and sculptures at molecular and atomic levels. Scientists use chemical or physical processes to explore the surfaces, composition, and interaction of elements at the nanoscale, which can now be viewed and manipulated with research tools such as scanning electron (SEM) scanning tunneling (STM) and atomic force microscopes (AFM). These scientific images are then captured and further processed, using different digital techniques.
Since these tools are too expensive for primary grade classrooms the program will provide weblinks to sites that the children, parents, and teachers can explore.
"This unique introduction to the K-12 students showcasing the beauty of nature at this tiny scale of science is designed to stimulate their imagination and curiosity strengthening the desire to learn more science, technology and engineering (STEM) courses as they move through the primary grades and enter high school," the two organizations said in a statement.
The program offers a NanoArt K12 online exhibition in which compositions are grouped online by age/grade level for the viewers. The program has posted a PDF file online with potential modules for curriculum here.
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Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.