Teaching two basic nanotechnology concepts in secondary school by using a variety of teaching methods
A nanotechnology module was developed for ninth grade students in the context of teaching chemistry. Two basic concepts in nanotechnology were chosen: (1) size and scale and (2) surface-area-to-volume ratio (SA/V). A wide spectrum of instructional methods (e.g., game-based learning, learning with multimedia, learning with models, project based learning, and storytelling and narratives) was implemented to support students' understanding. Students' interviews and the content of students' final projects were used and analyzed to learn how using a variety of teaching methods influenced students' understanding of basic concepts in nanotechnology. In addition, the study examined which methods enhance students' understanding and which do not, according to students' perceptions. Students felt that most of the teaching methods facilitated their learning, with the exception of two activities: the Hungarian cube, and nano effect simulation; these two activities were very abstract and confused the students. Finally, we formulated recommendations regarding methods for teaching nanotechnology in the future.