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Book Review

The Big Ideas of Nanoscale Science and Engineering: A Guidebook for Secondary Teachers

Given the ability of nanoscience and nanotechnology to exploit the
unique properties that matter exhibits at the nanoscale, the research
resulting from these emerging fields is poised to dramatically affect
everyday life. In fact, many widely used electronic, pharmaceutical,
cosmetic, and textile products already employ nanotechnology.


With the support of the National Science Foundation, scientists,
educators, researchers, and curriculum developers have achieved a rough
consensus on what the key concepts—or “big ideas”—of nanoscience
might be for middle and high school science students: size and scale;
structure of matter; forces and interactions; quantum effects; sizedependent
properties; self-assembly; tools and instrumentation; models
and simulations; science, technology, and society.

This volume provides in-depth discussions of each big idea. Nine
additional chapters examine learning goals and how to reach them,
students’ likely misconceptions, and ideas for integrating nanoscale
science and engineering with traditional science content. An appreciation
of nanoscience will help students understand fundamental science
concepts across disciplines. Also, learning the enormous implications of
the extremely tiny nanoscale phenomena should pique students’ interest
in the study of 21st-century science and at the same time motivate them
to learn traditional science.