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Surface Area to Volume Ratio

Module Abstract

This simple activity conveys one of most profound aspects of nanoscience – that for a given volume of material the total surface area increases non-linearly as the volume is divided into smaller and smaller pieces.  This concept is being applied to creating better batteries and catalytic converters.  Students will measure the time it takes tablets broken into different numbers of pieces to dissolve.  Calculations of surface area and volume can also be performed.

Module Resources and Documents

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Module Information, Procedures and Resources

PowerPoint Slides 

Module alignment to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) & Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
NGSS Alignments Surface Area to Volume Ratio

List of Required Materials

Most necessary classroom materials for the experiment connected to this module are available to educators at no cost until May 1, 2020.  A user account is required to download material and request supplies: simply fill in all the profile fields on your Profile. The full list of items needed for this module is below.  Those available through Nano-Link until May 1, 2020 are marked with an asterisk.

REQUEST MODULE SUPPLIES (offer good until May 1, 2020)

*Alka-Seltzer tablets
Stir Sticks
Stop watch