Lesson 1

Part 1 - Administer the Pre-Participation Survey (Pre-Test)

estimated time=10 minutes
The purpose of the Pre-Participation Survey is to establish what the pre-existing knowledge is for students.  The data collected can answer questions about the current level of attainment of your students.

Part 2 - What is Nanotechnology?
OBJECTIVE: TO ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT NANOTECHNOLOGY
estimated time=15 minutes
Write on the board - Nanotechnology.  A pedagogical strategy for Part 2 is to use a K-W-L graphic organizer to have students record what they know, what they want to know about this topic.  Whether as a classroom or group discussion, or a quiet K-W-L followed by classroom discussion, ask students the following questions, "Have you ever heard of "nano" or nanotechnology?" and "Could someone describe what they have heard about nanotechnology?" The instructor should write summaries (any acceptable response) of student understanding on the board or on chart paper . The instructor should direct students toward the understanding that "nano" has to do with the very small nature of materials.  "As we move from observing objects that are human sized to objects that are very large or very small, we assign names to the size, or measurement, of them. "Nano" is a prefix we use to denote measurements that are ten to the negative 9th meters.  This represents a billionth of a meter.  By way of comparison, if we considered a human being being as the "  "Technology refers to the idea that objects are manufactured at this measurement by human beings.  Even though objects of nature and phenomena in nature can be measured in nanometers, when we use the term "nanotechnology" we mean objects made by humans." 

Part 3 - Thinking about Objects Large and Small (The Concept of Scale)

OBJECTIVE: TO INTRODUCE THE THE CONCEPT OF SCALE, FROM WHICH THE PREFIX NANO IS DERIVED.
estimated time=15 minutes
Log on to the website "Powers of Ten" on a computer attached to a projector.  Project this video and explain that if we move through the scale of measurements decreasing our field of view by ten times each time, we can change our perspective quite a bit.  To really understand what we mean by the prefix "nano-", we have to have some common visual points of reference.  The Powers of Ten flash video, can be advanced manually, and you can use the text above each image to speak to what students are seeing in each step.  Asking students to describe what they see at each step also can facilitate classroom instruction.  This concept can be further investigated and elaborated upon with the Supplemental Curriculum Activities at a later point of the unit.

Part 4 - Introducing the Video Game: Geckoman
OBJECTIVE: TO ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO PLAY THE GAME.
recommended video game play time=20 minutes
Logon to the Geckoman Video game and, using an overhead projector and speakers, allow students to view the splash video introduction about Harold and Nikki as a class.  Before they are allowed to play the game, announce that you will be stopping the game in 20 minutes to discuss their progress through the game, and that at that time, no student is to continue playing while the discussion occurs. Then, allow each student to log on to the website.  They must create a New Player.  All play for 20 to 25 minutes.

Part 5 - Discussion about the Game
OBJECTIVE: TO FACILITATE REFLECTION ON GAME PLAYING.
estimated time=10 minutes
Have students stop their game play, by either exiting the game, or not beginning a new level on the game.  Explain that the goal of the discussion is to help students improve how they play the game.  (You can review the scientific content of the game in Lesson 2. ) Then, conduct a classroom discussion (OR assign students the following questions for homework) that centers on the following questions:
  • Where is Harold moving in the game? What allows him to do this?
  • What are the red particles he finds in this environment?  What can Harold use them for?
  • What are the Nanoids?  What can they do by shooting at Harold?
  • Are there different sized Nanoids?  How does size make a difference?
  • Does the surface that the game is played on change in world one?  How is it different? 
  • Does Harold's and the Nanoids' ability to walk on these surfaces change? How?
  • Are there ways that Harold can stick to the surface more?  How?
  • What happens when you stack the gold up?
HOMEWORK: Have students try to complete World 1 for homework.
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