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Think Very, Very Small

The tiniest things - atoms and molecules - form the building blocks of an ever-expanding scientific field that joins engineers with chemists, biologists, computer specialists, and others. From medicine to clothing and construction, nanotechnology is changing our world. This week's Lesson and Spotlight draw students into the excitement. Check out the education portal of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. Plan also to join in Nanodays, a nationwide festival of educational programs on nanotechnology, March 27 - April 4.

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Students learn how nanotechnology is used to improve the design and engineering of everyday items, from paint to fabrics. They then produce their own nano effect by re-engineering a piece of cloth to make it waterproof.

Nanotechnology is increasingly important, but it can be a challenge for students to grasp. Luckily, a growing number of science museums and websites offer guidance. Start with a simple concept, experts say.  How fast does a fingernail grow? One nanometer per second. And, make it fun.

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Tenth grade and out? That's the plan behind a pilot program beginning next fall at around 100 public high schools in eight states. At the end of 10th grade, students who pass a battery of board examinations, covering a number of subjects, including mathematics, science and English, can opt to enroll immediately in a community college.

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eGFI: News For Teachers

Explore the eGFI website with your students

Introduce your students to engineering with our interactive cards. Each card illustrates a particular discipline and includes the following:

  • Did you know? (a fun factoid)
  • Make a difference (explains how this type of engineer makes a difference in the world)
  • Where do they work? (Industries, companies, organizations, and the type of work involved)
  • Meet one (meet a real engineer)

Ask them to pick their favorite and tell you why.

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