Guest Contributor: Eilis McGrath

We are delighted to welcome Eilis McGrath from the AMBER centre in Trinity College as a contributor to to talk about NanoWOW, who is working with teachers in the field of nanoscience, one of the fastest emerging aspects of science. In this article, Eilis tells us how teachers can get involved in the project. Her details are at the end of the article.

Did you know that Ireland is ranked 3rd in the world for nanoscience research and 6th for Materials Science research? The AMBER Centre based in Trinity College Dublin and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, have developed lesson plans to introduce these exciting fields of science to Primary schools. NanoWOW encourages children to think like scientists, with practical activities requiring them to do their own research.

131112_JB1_481 About Nanoscience

  • Nanoscience is the science of the very small. It is having huge impacts in the scientific community and Ireland is at the forefront of this research.
  • Nanotechnology is already having major impacts from new technology and advanced medicines to sports equipment and sun creams.
  • How are our computers and phones getting smaller and faster? Nanoscience!
  • Would the children in your class like to replace their school books with one sheet of flexible, electronic paper? How would this be possible? Nanoscience!
  • What has the potential to provide fast germ detection and allow instant diagnosis of diseases? Nanoscience!
  • The aim of our NanoWOW pack is to inspire children at this early age to view science in a positive light and encourage take-up of these subjects at second level and beyond.

What is in the NanoWOW Pack?

There are nine lessons within NanoWOW – three core lessons and six optional lessons. The lesson plans introduce the world of nano and materials science, provide an understanding of the properties of materials and how properties can change on the nanoscale and make the children aware of a new, super material called graphene. In addition NanoWOW gives the children opportunities to work like scientists; through discussion, investigations and activities and it aims to foster their curiosity about how nano materials might impact their lives in the future.

The lessons in the pack are designed to promote science as a fun yet developmental and tentative subject. They show the children that science is a human endeavour and that we can learn from the history of science. The content demonstrates how through research and investigations scientists are actively trying to solve global issues; this teaches the children that science and society is linked. Lessons in the resource pack include: Introduction to Nanoscience, Scale, Properties, NanoWOWs, Exploring nano images, Nano and Nature and a lesson on the super material graphene. Lessons have teachers’ notes, Powerpoints, links to videos and further reading.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of the lessons please contact Éilis McGrath, Outreach Officer, AMBER – [email protected] / telephone 01-8964621.

5 thoughts on “Guest Contributor: Eilis McGrath”

    • Sorry, Nigel, just seeing this comment now. Thinking about doing this in my own school. Good to hear it was a success

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