THE BIONANOMOLECULAR KIT (BNK)
1 C4D, Universitat de Girona (SPAIN)
2 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:What is a molecule? A molecule is defined as a unit of two or more atoms held together by covalent bonds ….To understand what a molecule is, first of all we need to know what atoms mean, and also what a covalent bond stands for. However, almost everybody knows that all matter is made by molecules, even very young people, with no knowledge of either atoms or bonds.
Childrem from 4 to 12 have sometimes heard something about molecules. For sure, people from 12 to 16 have been taught some chemistry and science students at secondary school, 16-18, should know what a molecule is. All these people would like to learn more about molecules, especially about BioNanomolecules, but the explanation one can give them should be different depending on the previous knowledge and ages. This is the main purpose of our project, to build a BionanoMolecular Kit (BNK), in order to reach different public, from children, going through young people to senior citizens .
The BioNanomolecular Kit is based on different tools to show what Bionamomolecules are and why are they important. For very young people, children over 4 years old, one can use Happymais® (an easy used and ecological toy) to build three atomic molecules (they can build a glass of water molecules). For children over 11-12 years old, the use of the well known molecular models is a good option, or they can start using molecular origami. Young people from secondary school are able to use many other techniques to build molecules, like balloons, clay, etc.. The Nanomoleuclar Kit is based on a different material and age molecular builder. All these materials and detailed explanation can be found in the BioNaoMolecular Kit web page. (http://KitBioNano.net)
This project is based in an interactive web page (Dancing with BioNanomolecules, DBN) which has as a main goal to show what a computational chemist can do. Nowadays, almost all chemists are using computers to model molecules, being a very good tool to show what a molecule is. However, young people are so used to computer graphics programs that they are in need to use touchable tools to learn. The combination of the DBN web page along with the touchable kit (BNK) has proved to be a very interactive tool to learn about BioNanomolecules at different levels.
This project can be fit into Educational Projects, not only as an undergraduate experience, but also to enhance general science learning.
Keywords: chemistry, teaching, innovation, bionanotechnology, primary and secondary school.