Nanoscientists and engineers use special tools called scanning probe microscopes to “see” the nanoscale features on a material’s surface by feeling around with a sharp probe tip. In this activity, students analyze the a mystery landscape by probing. This activity has been used in a wide variety of settings, ranging from middle- and high-school classroom to professional development workshops for K12 educators.
- Shoe boxes containing mystery landscapes
- Probes (kabob skewers or chopsticks work well), marked out with 1 cm increments
- Rulers (if students need to mark out increments on probes)
- Materials for building 3D models (e.g. sugar cubes, marshmallows, Legos)