Students will synthesize and prepare serial dilutions of gold and silver nanoparticles in order to determine their individual toxicity on brine shrimp. The brine shrimp are used as a model organism to examine the potential toxicity effects of nanoparticles.
There are two activities in this lesson, the Fly Prison and the Water Maze. The Fly Prison is a hands-on modeling activity designed to introduce students to the area of nanotechnology and give them a basic understanding of how researchers build very small devices by the self-assembly of molecules. The Water Maze is a follow up activity to give the students a chance to practice and demonstrate what they have learned.