Carbon nanotubes have become an interesting phenomenon over the past couple of years as electrical devices and electro-mechanical systems have dramatically shrunk in size. Accidentally discovered by Sumio Iijima while he examined carbon fullerenes, these needle like structures, he later named “Carbon Nanotubes”, have become the basis for nanoscale science across the world.
Generation-Nano.Org is a developed to teach nano-scaled science to a K-12 audience. The website holds games and exercises developed with Adobe Flash categorized as missions, to explain critical concepts of nanotechnology in an easy to understand form. The Carbon Nanotube Mission is comprised of three games with supporting interactive videos. The Strength Game compares the tensile strength of carbon nanotubes to other common materials. From this activity students understand the robustness of carbon nanotubes as a material. Honey Comb Map allows the student to build the carbon nanotube from scratch. Students are given chiral numbers which they use to locate folding points on a graphene map. Conductivity Sorter shows how to determine the electrical conductivity using the chiral numbers of a carbon nanotube. Students heighten their mental math skills by quickly classifying carbon nanotubes as metallic or semi-conductive as they roll off a conveyor belt. The Carbon Nanotube Mission is targeted for junior high and high school students, although adults will find these activities educational and engaging.