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Authentic Science Research and the Utilization of Nanoscience in the Non-Traditional Classroom Setting

Abstract

Applications of nanoscience in the non-traditional classroom have successfully exposed students to various methods of research with applications to micro- and nano-electronics. Activities obtained from the NanoSense website associated with current global energy and water concerns are solid examples. In this regard, all 36 students in the 2008-2009 Science Research Program (SRP) prepared and delivered individual and group lesson plans in addition to their authentic, year-long research projects. Two out of 36 students selected nanoscience based projects in preparation for science fair competition in 2009. Additionally, preliminary research was conducted while participating in the Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP) Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program in summer 2008 which supported the idea of developing a photolithography kit. This kit is intended to introduce high school students to the fundamentals of photolithography. In this paper, the design, implementation and feasibility of this kit in the high school classroom is described as well as details involving individual and group nanoscience based projects. Supporting educational models include self-regulated learning (SRL) concepts; situated cognition; social constructivism; Renzulli's (1977) enrichment triad and Types I – III inquiry enrichment activities.

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1NanoSense materials were developed by SRI International, with support from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-0426319.
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Authentic Science Research and the Utilization of Nanoscience in the Non-Traditional Classroom Setting

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