Title : Nanoscience and Nanotechnology: An Educational Point of View
A fundamental of the physics and chemistry of solids is the understanding that most of their properties depend significantly on the size of a solid particle in one, two, or three dimensions. Whether it can be called a revolution or simply continuous evolution, the development of new materials and their understanding on an increasingly smaller length scale is clearly at the root of progress in many areas of materials science. The 21 century is marked by technological and medical developments that reflect our daily life. Nanoscience and nanotechnology (NST) are at the forefront of currently modern science and has a significant role in these developments. NST deals with “unseen” materials and structures that have great effect on different scientific and technological aspects, it deals with creation of materials, systems, and devices having fundamentally new properties and functions. The new properties are utilized for developing new applications that affect our lives and daily needs in different domains includes, nano devices and tools, energy, environment, medicine, and bioengineering. The rapid expanding field of NST increased its impact on society and the potential for improving our daily life.
From an educational point of view, there is a great importance in keeping up with scientific developments in education and reforms in pedagogical aspects of teaching. As John Dewey stated (1852): "If we teach today`s students as we taught yesterday`s, we rob our children of tomorrow". The teachers of todays must be aware and in sense with the scientific and technological developments, which has "a fingerprint" in our lives, in the present and in the future. several lab experiments were developed for undergraduates according to which various metal nanoparticles were synthesized for technological and medical applications. The lab activities consist of different parts, In the first, electrically conductive films made of silver nanoparticles were fabricated. The silver nanoparticles were protected against aggregation using electrically conductive polymer, which acts also as conductive bridge between them. The experiment shows a simpler way for fabricating conductive thin film than the much more complicated and costly conventional method. The second lab activity focused on using natural materials for producing micro-scale liposome structures and converting it to nanoscale one by simple methods, followed by demonstrating its application as “drug-vehicle” by integrating colored hydrophilic drugs into its interior hydrophilic part. The lab activities presented here, enabled the participants reveal the “magic” of materials when it is at the nanoscale, and the unusual applications of it.
- The presentation contributes to nanoscience and nanotechnology education and underlying its basic aspects.
- It provides an idea for developing laboratory experiments as an effective method for teaching nanoscience and nanotechnology
- Providing the skills of transforming a complex scientific experiment into a simple one with educational objectives