Nanotechnology teaching material for junior high school chemistry teaching: Design research approach
Keywords:nanochemistry, design-based research
The aim of this research was to design nanotechnology teaching material that is interesting to the pupils, and brings out the significance of chemistry and technology in society as well as supports the development of scientific literacy. The research was conducted as a design research that included four phases: 1) theoretical problem analysis, 2) design, 3) design outcome and its evaluation, and 4) further development of the outcome. During the theoretical problem analysis, previous research literature was studied and design goals for this research were set. According to previous research, it was noted that students are interested in visualizations of nanotechnology and its applications in everyday life. The designed material was an educational video because the aim was to make it technically usable and easily distributed. The material is being distributed to the users through interactive blog.
Based on previous research, visualizations of nanotechnology were chosen as the central design theme for the material. The evaluation of the outcome was also based on the same theme. The material was evaluated by a qualitative case study, the data for which was gathered through research interviews. The evaluators were students, aged 16 to 19, from whom information was gathered on how interesting the designed material was and why it was interesting to them. Based on the evaluation, macro-scale visualizations were the most interesting because they helped in conceiving the size scale. Also visualizations of nanotechnological structures and its everyday applications interested the students. Structural visualizations helped in conceiving the structures of materials and everyday visualizations were familiar from their own life, which was considered motivating. Based on this research, it can be noted that nanotechnology is an interesting, interdisciplinary subject, which is well suitable to be integrated into chemistry teaching. The designed material is freely available for everyone online: http://nanoteknologia.blogspot.fi.