As a high school science teacher and a member of ACS, I use C&EN as one of my primary sources for keeping up with current science.
Last summer, I thought this would be a great resource to bring awareness of cutting-edge science to my classroom for the 2010–11 academic year. It would also help to answer the inevitable question: “When are we ever going to need this in the real world?” I also hoped it would spark discussion and, in some, even a desire to become a part of the exciting world of research science.
As the academic year wraps up, I conclude that sharing some of the articles that have appeared in C&EN has been a resounding success. “Fighting Friction” was a class favorite (C&EN, Oct. 11, 2010, page 14). Students appreciated the real-world applications of the theory that was presented by the text, while also being introduced to new ideas—particularly nanotechnology. None of the students had even heard of nanotechnology at that point!
This almost unbelievable unfamiliarity with nanotechnology touched off a year that has been filled with exposure to how nanotechnology has quietly begun to infiltrate our everyday world and how it may have a profound effect on our future. We wrap up the semester with “Moving Up the Food Chain,” examining how nanomaterials may impact our health and environment (C&EN, March 14, page 44).
From my students and me, thanks for the most stimulating year of science any of us has had in a long time.