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What is Nanotechnology?

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What is Nanotechnology?

In this activity related to nanotechnology, learners observe some of the effects that result from creating a thin layer of material several nanometers thick. They also learn about thin film interference and how it applies to bubbles and oil spots on roads.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Clear nail polish
  • Black construction paper
  • Rectangular aluminum pans
  • Newspapers
  • Water


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Reflection and Refraction
      • Sunlight and Color
      • Vibration and Waves
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
      • Diffraction and Interference
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Education, Science Friday


  • All Rights Reserved, Science Friday, ©2010


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  • Thumbnail nano by olral on 2014-09-04