Turn kids into budding nanoscientists who explore the tiniest things
What's It Like?
DIY Nano is a science app that introduces nanotechnology to kids in ways that are both cool and understandable. This uncluttered, well-designed app includes DIY activities and experiments, as well as short videos about topics like materials used in nanotechnology, "nano" and nature, and how nanotechnology affects everyday life. Kids tap on well-categorized, labeled videos to watch them (each just a few minutes long) or choose from the more than 10 activities or experiments. The activities and experiments each include a materials list (some items may be more complicated to acquire and messier than others), instructions, and detailed explanations of why they do what they do. Kids can also visit Whatisnano.org from within the app for even more nanotechnology-related information.
The only small critique is that many of the ingredients or tools needed for the experiments aren't typically found in the average classroom. Still, DIY Nano is complete starter resource for future nano-enthusiasts.
Is It Good for Learning?
Kids can gain real enthusiasm for all things nano by watching the informative, sometimes funny, videos and doing the activities on DIY Nano. This scientist-reviewed, easy-to-use app can help kids begin to understand the tiniest things in science, technology, nature, and even "nanomedicine." Students can learn nano-related science and engineering vocabulary, as well as simple lessons about biology, chemistry, substance properties, and the measurement of billions of tiny things when brought together or separated. Through the experiments, kids also practice following directions, investigation, and applying information. With videos about everything from nanocoatings to talking about a billionth of a meter to experiments about how gummy shapes are built via chemistry, DIY Nano is an ingeniously simple app about a complex topic.
How Can Teachers Use It?
DIY Nano is an easy, useful teacher resource for hands-on science activities and experiments related to nanoscience. Teachers can use it for a broad study of nanoscience, beginning with the video "Intro to Nano," or incorporate it into another science topic such as gravity and present how gravity relates to nanoscience in a video. You can also select experiments based on specific topic or interest. The especially helpful thing about these experiments is they all list the required materials, prep, activity, and cleanup times, as well as step-by-step directions. Some of them -- such as the smelly balloons experiment -- are just simply fun ways to get kids interested in the science of small things. Do them in small groups or in front of the whole class (especially those containing messier or more obscure ingredients) and then watch the related videos suggested for each experiment.