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This activity introduces students to size and scale. These concepts are important in forming the necessary cognitive framework for making sense of nanoscience.

Size and scale are important in understanding the ‘big science ideas’ in nanoscale science.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • describe, using appropriate language, the size of a range of different objects
  • compare the sizes of objects with other objects
  • explain that there are enormous scale differences in our universe
  • understand that there are worlds that are too small to be seen with the naked eye.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • extension idea
  • image cards
  • scale ladder.

Nature of science

To communicate in science, we need to use correct terms, vocabulary and conventions. One of the conventions involves the use of ancient Greek or Latin words to develop terms. For example, nano comes from the Greek term ‘nanos’, meaning dwarf, and macro comes from the Greek term ‘makros’, meaning long.

    Published 8 December 2013