• These hands-on activities for middle school students focus on measurement, scale and proportion (nanoscale and microscale) and nanotechnologies. These brief activities can be used in a classroom setting as well as informal education settings.


    • Students will understand that magnifying objects allows them to be seen in more detail.
    • Students will recognize that objects look different at different magnifications.
    • Nanotechnology researchers are developing thin-film solar electric panels and nanowires to power mobile electronic devices. The nanowires will convert light, friction, and/or body heat into usable energy to power the devices. 
    • Although nanotechnology is a relatively new field of science, nanoscale materials have been used for centuries. Medieval churches used different sizes of gold and silver particles to create colors in their stained glass windows.
    • The microbes that inhabit a single person outnumber the human cells ten to one and can weigh approximately three pounds.
    • Streptococcus bacteria are responsible for most tooth cavities and are a leading cause of oral infections.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    microscope Noun

    instrument used to view very small objects by making them appear larger.

    microscopy Noun

    study, design, and use of microscopes.

    nanoparticle Noun

    material that has an average particle size of 1-100 nanometers.

    nanoscale Noun

    length scale whose relevant unit of measurement is the nanometer (nm), or a billionth of a meter. Also called the nanoscopic scale.

    nanotechnology Noun

    development and study of technological function and devices on a scale of individual atoms and molecules.