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How do you teach 6th through 9th graders the meaning of a billion? Students at UNM's Nano Camp began by weighing the amount of salt in a tenth of a gram of salt, then estimating the volume a billion grains would take. The concept of a billion is approached in a number of ways as teachers and professors try to bring the abstract into the concrete world of middle school students.
The three week camp is a pilot project to look at whether a sustained focus on the opportunities and problems posed by dealing with extremely small material will improve the understanding of both the students and teachers. The teachers are learning ways to bring the concepts in nanoscience alive for students they will teach later in science classes in the Albuquerque and the Laguna-Acoma School Districts.
The students are exposed to complex concepts that are more detailed than the science courses normally taught in schools. The course costs are underwritten by a UNM grant from the National Science Foundation.
About University of New Mexico
Founded in 1889, The University of New Mexico now occupies 600 acres along old Route 66 in the heart of Albuquerque, a city of more than 700,000 people. From the magnificent mesas to the west, past the banks of the historic Rio Grande to the Sandia Mountains to the east, Albuquerque is a blend of culture and cuisine, styles and stories, people, pursuits and panoramas.
Offering a distinctive campus environment with a Pueblo Revival architectural theme, the campus echoes the buildings of nearby Pueblo Indian villages. The nationally recognized Campus Arboretum and the popular Duck Pond offer an outstanding botanical experience in the midst of one of New Mexico's great public open spaces.
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