January 29th, 2010 // 3:25 pm @ admin
If you haven’t already heard, is getting ready to change the world. In fact, in many ways it already has. Just recently scientists were able to create a lithium ion battery using silicon that holds up to 10 times the charge of a traditional battery. So what could all of this have to do with a new science kit set to hit schools around the country soon? Well, everything. As nanotechnology grows in both use and demand the educational system in the United States finds itself in a precarious position. How do the nations schools educate our children about a science of such great importance and promise when so few people truly understand it? Enter the new science kit.
This new science kit contains silica dioxide (SiO2) nanoparticles that are dispersed in a simple water solution in a small test tube. Over the course of couple days the student gets to observe as a photonic crystal starts to form at the bottom of the test tube. This crystal is formed by the phenomena of self-assembly, a key ingredient in nanotechnology that is employed in the process of creating these new super batteries. In fact, the crystal that is grown in the test tube is an exact replica of what the earth produces naturally when it manufactures gemstone opal in places like Australia.
By watching the crystal grow the student is given the opportunity observe nanotechnology in action. In addition, the instructor has the ability to explain the revolutionary science in simple and understandable terms breaking down the mystery behind this science and make it both approachable for the student as well as less intimidating. As our nations children grow older they are going to need to understand the world that are growing into. This new tool for educators is fantastic way to explain this cutting edge field of science.