Nanotechnology - Unit Detail

Total duration

16 lessons, 1 hour each

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Lesson 3.2 – How are Liquid Crystals different from other materials?

Learning outcomes

In this lesson students will:

Big ideas

Learning Sequence

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  1. Welcome students and briefly review the key ideas from the previous lesson.
  2. Investigation – Teacher extends on the form and function of liquid Crystal introduced in the previous PowerPoint using an additional PowerPoint L3.2 Liquid Crystals. This also includes some cool applications of Nanotechnology. Resources
  3. Discussion – Teacher reviews student understanding of how a liquid crystal is both similar and different to matter in a normal solid or liquid phase.
  4. Have students predict particle behaviours in liquid crystals - Unhide third column in Google Spread sheet to record their words then refer back to diagrams to fill in liquid crystal column. Shared Google spread sheet 3.2.xls (not available).
  5. Investigation – Teacher introduces the strange visual surface properties that Nano-products can have. Teacher reviews the Bulk v’s Nano properties of matter. Resources
  6. Discussion – Students explore the potential for Nano applications in everyday products in the future through key questions. Q – Research is expensive so how important is public or private funding? Q - What are likely evolutions of Nanotechnology over the next 5-10-20 years? Q- Which Nano fields promise to offer the most potential for development?
  7. Investigation – Teacher demonstrates a range of nail polish choices and wrapping paper to display thin film optical properties now available using Nano surface coatings. A range of nail polish coatings and wrapping paper with surface effects which display interference patterns.

Home Learning

  1. Students to explore what are the limitations that restrict the expansion of Nanotechnologies? Resources
  2. Students to explore the Nano Physics blog. Resources

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