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Seeing The Nanoscale: Using Interactives To Teach Probe Microscopy

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Building a Community in Materials

Tagged Division

Materials

Page Count

6

Page Numbers

11.1110.1 - 11.1110.6

DOI

10.18260/1-2--993

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/993

Download Count

229

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Paper Authors

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Olivia Castellini University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Dr. Castellini was a postdoctoral researcher with the Interdisciplinary Education Group of the University of Wisconsin - Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (UW MRSEC) and is now an exhibit developer at the Museum of Science and Industry.

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GIna Walejko University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Ms. Walejko was an intern with the UW MRSEC Internships in Public Science Education Program.

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Carie Holladay University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Ms. Holladay was an intern with the UW MRSEC Internships in Public Science Education Program.

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Terra Theim University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Ms. Theim was an intern with the UW MRSEC Internships in Public Science Education Program.

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Anthony Cina O'Keefe Middle School

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Mr. Cina is a teacher at O'Keefe Middle School and has participated in the UW MRSEC Research Experiences for Teachers Program.

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Greta Zenner University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Ms. Zenner is Assistant Director of the Interdisciplinary Education Group of the UW MRSEC.

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Wendy Crone University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Prof. Crone is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Physics and Director of the Interdisciplinary Education Group of the UW MRSEC.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Seeing the Nanoscale: Using Interactives to Teach Probe Microscopy

Abstract

Probe microscopes are key tools for surface characterization and nanoscale science. This category of instrumentation has enabled researchers both to investigate properties and to manipulate materials at the nanoscale. When introduced to nanoscale science and engineering, students frequently ask “How do we know it is there if we can’t see it with our eyes?” To address this query, students of all ages can be introduced to the basic concepts of probe microscopy and given the opportunity to explore probe techniques. We have developed interactive exhibits and classroom activities that allow middle- and high-school students to detect and map topography, stiffness, and magnetic field. These products will be presented along with assessment data collected with the Rennie and McClafferty protocol for formative evaluation of interactive exhibits.

Introduction

Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) was first developed in the 1980s and uses an extremely fine probe tip to image a surface at the nanometer scale. Since its inception, this class of microscopy technique has proven invaluable for imaging, studying, and manipulating atoms and materials at the nanoscale. A number of different instruments fall into this category, including atomic force microscope (AFM), magnetic force microscope (MFM), and scanning tunneling microscope (STM). Researchers in nanoscale science and engineering (NSE) consider these SPM techniques to be an enabling factor that has allowed this emerging field to expand as rapidly as it has. Consequently, when considering an NSE education and outreach program, it is important to include materials that help students understand this fundamental tool.

The need for students to learn and appreciate the basic concepts behind NSE is increasing rapidly. Nanotechnology is inherently interdisciplinary in nature and is becoming increasingly important in fields such as medicine, electronics, and communications. It is estimated that by 2015, nanotechnology will be a trillion dollar industry employing five million workers1, 2. However, there is concern that today’s students will not be adequately prepared, thus creating a future bottleneck of skilled technicians and researchers and a citizenry ignorant of this new field. Primary and secondary educators need to instill knowledge fundamental to nanotechnology in their students now3 in order to prepare them for the boom in nanotechnology-related jobs that is predicted to occur and for the increased effect nanotechnology promises to have on society.

Interactive Activities as a Vehicle for Teaching Nano

Despite the increasing need, NSE currently does not occupy a place in the standard K-12 curriculum4, and the main ideas important to this field are novel and difficult to grasp, especially for young students that are still learning about scale and powers of ten. Interactive activities, such as those found in museum exhibits and at outreach events, engage students and can help

Castellini, O., & Walejko, G., & Holladay, C., & Theim, T., & Cina, A., & Zenner, G., & Crone, W. (2006, June), Seeing The Nanoscale: Using Interactives To Teach Probe Microscopy Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--993

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