NanoScience - Our Student Laboratory

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The Department of Chemistry of the University of Hildesheim offers a two-day NanoScience laboratory introduction for school groups thanks to the support of the German Federal Environmental Foundation. For this purpose, the university is looking for small groups of up to twelve students from grade 10 onwards.

On the first day, the students go through two lab circles. The first section explores basic effects of "nanoscale". In the second section the biocidal effect of nanoparticles is investigated.

The second day will feature a role-playing game about the launch of biocidal nanotechnology. Based on real press releases, the students try to evaluate nanotechnology in the context of education for sustainable development.

Through this project, we want to help enable students to make responsible decisions on complex social issues.

Rough Schedule of the Student Lab

Student Laboratory, First Day

Introduction and Experiments

8:30 - 9:30

Introduction (Welcome, "Appetizer" experiment, short film, discuss students current understanding of Nano theme, safety briefing)

9:30 - 11:30

Students explore the relationship between particle size and properties

11:30 - 12:15

Lunch Break

12:15 - 12:45

Presentation and analysis of the first laboratory circle

12:45 - 14:15

The students examine the action of the "nano-silver-wash" process (electrolysis) and check the biocidal effect



Student Laboratory, Second Day:

Analysis and Simulation Game

8:30 - 9:30

Analysis of the findings of the second laboratory circle

9:30 - 10:00

Beginning of the simulation game, Pros and Cons of the "nano-silver-wash" process

10:00 - 11:00

First development phase

11:00 - 11:15

Short Break

11:15 - 12:15

Second development phase, Decision making

12:15 - 12:45

Reflection on the simulation game

12:45 - 13:00

Feedback round and farewell

In The Press:

Nanosilver in the Washing Machine - A Context-Oriented Approach to Electrochemistry and Nanoscience

One goal of science education is to enable learners to classify science-related controversies. In order to assess the plausibility of positions, they must practice over and over how to refer technical details to social problems, where they must become aware of the limits of scientific knowledge.

Nanotechnology applications provide an excellent opportunity to acquire interdisciplinary and project-based chemical expertise and apply it to societal issues. In the student laboratory at the University of Hildesheim, students first have the opportunity to experience the special changes in properties through nanoscale matter in impressive experiments.

In a second step, the students should assess a new nanoscience findings based on washing machine technology. In addition they receive first impressions in film contributions and can personally manufacture and characterize a nano silver solution in simple electrochemical experiments. Through these projects, students are able to acquire essential insights into nanosciences (the fundamentally different properties of substances as a function of particle size) as well as established content within the specialist curriculum (electrolysis, direct and alternating voltage, nanodimension as a bridge between matter and particle level, the planning of a comparative study of nanoparticles biocidal effect on nanosilver). As part of a simulation game, the learners will finally apply the newly acquired knowledge and develop a recommendation for dealing with this new technology on the basis of ecological and economic considerations.