the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
the International Business Machines
This is a lesson plan that explores how nanotechnology has impacted the design and engineering of many everyday items, from paint to fabrics. Students learn about the hydrophobic effect (the tendency of a substance to repel water). In this lesson for Grades 6-10, students learn about nanotechnology and its application in creating waterproof surfaces. They will then work in teams to develop a waterproof material and compare their results with nano waterproof materials developed recently by engineers and scientists. The driving question of the lesson: How are products re-engineered at the nano level to develop desired properties?
The lesson includes objectives and learner outcomes, problem sets, student guides, recommended reading, illustrated procedures, worksheets, and background information.
This collection is part of TryEngineering.org, a website maintained by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Editor's Note:The humble lotus leaf is one of nature's most water-repellant surfaces. That's because its surface sculpture has a very high static contact angle with water droplets. It features randomly oriented tiny wax tubules on top of convex-shaped cells. See Related Materials for links to an article from Scientific American describing how the lotus leaf has inspired the production of waterproofing materials, and for a link to a helpful scholarly article on Sculptured Biological Surfaces with Anti-Adhesive Properties.
Metadata instance created
July 27, 2012
by Gnana Subramaniam
December 27, 2012
by Caroline Hall
Last Update when Cataloged:
December 4, 2010
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
1. The Nature of Science
1B. Scientific Inquiry
6-8: 1B/M1b. Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
1C. The Scientific Enterprise
6-8: 1C/M7. Accurate record-keeping, openness, and replication are essential for maintaining an investigator's credibility with other scientists and society.
9-12: 1C/H4. Science disciplines differ from one another in what is studied, techniques used, and outcomes sought, but they share a common purpose and philosophy, and all are part of the same scientific enterprise. Although each discipline provides a conceptual structure for organizing and pursuing knowledge, many problems are studied by scientists using information and skills from many disciplines. Disciplines do not have fixed boundaries, and it happens that new scientific disciplines are being formed where existing ones meet and that some subdisciplines spin off to become new disciplines in their own right.
3. The Nature of Technology
3B. Design and Systems
6-8: 3B/M2a. All technologies have effects other than those intended by the design, some of which may have been predictable and some not.
6-8: 3B/M3a. Almost all control systems have inputs, outputs, and feedback.
6-8: 3B/M4a. Systems fail because they have faulty or poorly matched parts, are used in ways that exceed what was intended by the design, or were poorly designed to begin with.
4. The Physical Setting
4D. The Structure of Matter
6-8: 4D/M1cd. Atoms may link together in well-defined molecules, or may be packed together in crystal patterns. Different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances and determine the characteristic properties of substances.
9-12: 4D/H8. The configuration of atoms in a molecule determines the molecule's properties. Shapes are particularly important in how large molecules interact with others.
9-12: 4D/H10. The physical properties of compounds reflect the nature of the interactions among its molecules. These interactions are determined by the structure of the molecule, including the constituent atoms and the distances and angles between them.
12. Habits of Mind
12D. Communication Skills
6-8: 12D/M8. Explain a scientific idea to someone else, checking understanding and responding to questions.
9-12: 12D/H7. Use tables, charts, and graphs in making arguments and claims in oral, written, and visual presentations.
<a href="http://www.thephysicsfront.org/items/detail.cfm?ID=12297">International Business Machines. TryEngineering: Nano Waterproofing. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 4, 2010.</a>
International Business Machines. TryEngineering: Nano Waterproofing. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 4, 2010. http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=61 (accessed 1 August 2014).
TryEngineering: Nano Waterproofing. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2010. 4 Dec. 2010. International Business Machines. 1 Aug. 2014 <http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=61>.
%0 Electronic Source %D December 4, 2010 %T TryEngineering: Nano Waterproofing %I Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers %V 2014 %N 1 August 2014 %8 December 4, 2010 %9 application/pdf %U http://www.tryengineering.org/lesson_detail.php?lesson=61
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This article by Kerstin Koch, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Science, describes how surface sculptures play a key role in water repellancy. Provides an excellent explanation of how the lotus leaf surface structure acts to reduce adhesion of liquids (includes SEM image of the cellular structure).