Students will roleplay as lawmakers for the city of Nanoville, who are trying to decide whether to pass a new law that requires all new cars to be built with nanocomposites. This activity was designed to illustrate the effect that technology has on society, and how society makes decisions regarding technology. The students groups representing different segments of society, environmentalists, local industry and business leaders, healthcare administrators, local residents, and nanocomposite manufacturers, will discuss the possible effects of nanotechnology on the interests of the people they represent. The class is asked to consider both pros and cons of using nanotechnology and to make a decision at the end.
Handout: Student Identity Sheets and Worksheets
Handout: Nanocomposites Article
- Introductory pictures
- Scenario fact sheet – “Welcome to Nanoville!”
- Group identity worksheets – Environmentalists, Industry and Local Businesses, Health and Safety Workers, Residents, and Nanocomposite Manufacturers
- Poster paper and markers for each group of students