Thirsty for Gold

In the last portion of the six-part unit, teams perform an experiment with gold nanoparticles to determine which sport drink has the most electrolytes. The nanoparticles are used as chemical sensors and fluoresce in different wavelengths based upon cluster size. Pupils develop a basic understanding of how the nanoparticles function using chemistry and physics principles.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Research how people have used gold and silver nanoparticles in the past
Classroom Considerations
  • You need to decide whether the class will synthesize the nanoparticles or whether you will purchase them
  • After finishing the activity, assign the poster project to have an end-of-unit assessment
Pros
  • The handout provides background information that will help the teams
  • Directions tell the teacher how to prepare the materials needed to create the nanoparticle
Cons
  • The gold colloid needed for the activity is expensive
NGSS