MRSEC UNL Nanoscience Lessons (Other_Resources)


Nanoscience Lesson Plans and Activities
for High School Teachers

Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at the
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

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  • -When Things Get Small” uses a variety of comic inventions and special effects to take viewers on a comically corny romp into the real-life quest to create the smallest magnet ever known. Host Adam Smith travels alongside physicist Ivan Schuller, visiting locations ranging from Petco Park to a steaming hot tub to make sense of several important “nano” concepts. UC president Robert Dynes and Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres owner John Moores also drop by for cameo appearances.



  • - The Virtual Microscope interface supports the browsing of high-resolution, multi-dimensional image datasets from our Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and our Light Microscope (LM). The download below comes with three specimens, but any one of the specimens on our data page can be downloaded and viewed with this interface.
  • - Run the XL30 electron microscope from your K-12 classroom.
  • - View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.
  • -This site was inspired by Cosmic View and Powers of Ten (another, list). They are nifty, but have some limitations. I have found them hard to remember ("Was the Earth 10^6 or 10^7 meters?"). And it is not easy to compare objects spread over multiple pages ("What is the relative size of Moon and Sun?"). And few objects are presented, as the emphasis is on a broad-brush sketch of scale, rather than on the sizes of a rich set of objects. And finally, precision is hard to come by ("The Earth is what times 10^7 meters? Is it a big 10^7 or a small 10^7?"). So "Powers of Ten" is a terrific introduction to scale, but only gets you so far. This site attempts to pick up where "Powers of Ten" leaves off.