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About NanoSense
The goal of the NanoSense project is to promote the learning of science concepts that account for nanoscale phenomena. Though these concepts do not represent new scientific understanding, per se, the characteristics and properties of substances exhibited at the nanoscale level is a relatively new focus. We are working closely with chemists, educators, and nanoscientists to generate a set of nanoscience activities to help students visualize physical, chemical, and biological principles that govern the behavior of particles on the nanoscopic scale. These materials also build on previous efforts in our NSF-funded ChemSense project.

Some of the research questions the project is addressing include:

  • Will students' understanding of nanoscience concepts improve over time? For example, will their understanding of the effects of size and the forces that apply at nano (versus macro) scales improve?
  • Will they understand the significance of high surface-to-volume ratios and the surface dominance of reactions at the nano scale?
  • Will students' ability to understand the applications of nanoscale engineering improve over time?
  • Will they appreciate how technologies can alter their lives and society?
  • Will they understand the interplay between science and technology?
  • How do teachers use these tools and activities to support student discourse and understanding?

See our papers and workshops for more information. Please contact us if you have suggestions or feedback related to our materials.

NanoSense is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-0426319.

Principal Investigators
NanoSense is led by Co-Principal Investigators Patricia Schank and Tina Stanford at the Center for Technology in Learning, SRI International.


The Center for Technology in Learning's (CTL) mission is improving learning and teaching through innovation and inquiry in computing and communication. SRI International, a nonprofit research institute, is a pioneer in the creation and application of innovative solutions for governments, businesses, foundations, and other organization.

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