Typically completed by 10-14 year olds, students work collaboratively on a five hour project or challenge in self-managed groups. During the project, they use a CREST Discovery passport to record and reflect on their work. Afterwards, students communicate their findings as a group presentation.
Each pack provides teaching guides, kit lists, example timetables and suggested starter activities to help you run your day. Find out more about CREST Discovery Awards.
Tissue engineering It is very common for people to have a knee or a hip transplant. Often these are made of strengthened metals such as titanium. However, nanotechnology could be used to repair bones, joints, and it could even find a role in organ transplants. Nanoparticles could be used as the basis of a new organ or bone tissue, with growth taking place on top of the nanostructure. The types of materials suitable for this application, particularly when it comes to bones, include graphene and carbon nanotubes. These are very strong but also very light materials.
Nanotechnology Fact file: Computing Many of the leaps forward in computing have been through the successful miniaturisation of a part of a computer. With the increased use of nanotechnology there are improvements being made that in the not-too-distant future will mean faster computers that are able to store lots more information than the average desktop computer available today. Computer processors The materials traditionally used to make many components within a computer, in particular the processor, can heat up. This is because there are so many powerful components in such a small space. This heat can limit the number of components that can be used, and this restricts the processor speed. However, if nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes were used, then the processors could be lighter weight and would not get as hot. This would allow for the processors to become even faster. It would also have the effect that the computer would need less power to run, extending the battery life of lots of different computing devices. Computer memory The typical ways of storing information are being challenged as computer companies, such as Hewlett Packard and IBM, search for ways to store more information on a smaller scale, including researching ways that nanotechnology might help. Specifically, they are building networks using nanowires. These are tiny, tiny (nano) wires made of iron and nickel, with different sections being magnetic and non-magnetic. You can store information on these tubes coded in magnetic and non-magnetic parts, which is small-scale and also low cost.