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Exploring Properties: Surface Area

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    NISE Network

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Exploring Properties: Surface Area

This hands-on activity demonstrates how a material can act differently when it's nanometer-sized. Learners compare the reaction rate of an effervescent antacid tablet that is broken in half with one that is broken into many pieces. This activity can be used as part of a NanoDays celebration or on its own.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration

English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)

  • 100 ml graduated cylinders (2)
  • Small plastic measuring cups (2)
  • Pitcher
  • Effervescent antacid tablets
  • Food coloring


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale
      • Rate
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
    • States of Matter
      • Solids
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0532536 and 0940143


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