Nanoscale Science and Technology Education

The rapid development of the area of Nanoscale Science and Technology (NST) calls for additional perspectives that would change the focus of the scientific and educational community regarding the recommended concepts of NST that ought to be taught on a high school level.

We have examined different aspects of NST education related to the interconnections between scientific content, the school science curriculum, teachers’ knowledge and professional development, teaching materials, students’ interest and motivation, and issues involving outreach of authentic science:

  • Identification through a Delphi study the essential concepts and applications in NST recommended to be taught in high school science. This identification of essential concepts has a theoretical contribution to the field of NST education and has important implications regarding designing NST high school programs.
  • Examination of how teachers learn advanced contemporary content and how they can integrate it into their teaching practice within the field of NST.
  • The development, implementation, and examination of a three-stage model in several advanced topics.  The model provides chemistry teachers with opportunities to enhance their knowledge of contemporary scientific areas and supports them in adapting it for use with their students. I have found that in order to integrate advanced content into school, in addition to teachers' knowledge, it is essential to enhance their self-efficacy beliefs. 
  •  Examination of using informal outreach activities and settings in order to expose teachers and students to an authentic NST research environment. Such environments include scientific research conferences and Electron Microscope experiments in which high school teachers and students participated. 

By generalizing the findings related to nanotechnology, it will be possible to incorporate other important contemporary research fields into school science programs. 

In a chapter, that was published in October 2021, I summarized the research that was conducted in my group in the field of nanotechnology education (chapter 2). 


Relevant Publications of my research group 2010-2021:

Blonder, R., Joselevich, E., & Cohen, S. R. (2010). Atomic force microscopy: Opening the teaching lab to the nanoworld. Journal of Chemical Education, 87, 1290-1293.

Blonder, R. (2010). The influence of a teaching model in nanotechnology on chemistry teachers' knowledge and their teaching attitudes. Journal of Nano Education, 2, 67-75. doi:10.1166/jne.2010.1004

Blonder, R. (2011). The story of nanomaterials in modern technology: An advanced course for chemistry teachers. Journal of Chemical Education, 88, 49-52. doi:10.1021/ed100614f

Blonder, R., & Dinur, M. (2011). Teaching nanotechnology using student-centered pedagogy for increasing students’ continuing motivation. Journal of Nano Education, 3, 51-61. doi:10.1166/jne.2011.1016

Blonder, R., & Sakhnini, S. (2012). Teaching two basic nanotechnology concepts in secondary school by using a variety of teaching methods. Chemistry Education: Research and Practice, 13, 500-516. doi:10.1039/C2RP20026K

Blonder, R., & Rap, S. (2012). It's a small world after all: A nanotechnology activity in a science festival. Journal of Nano Education, 4, 47-56. doi:

Jones, M. G., Blonder, R., Gardner, G. E., Albe, V., Falvo, M., & Chevrier, J. (2013). Nanotechnology and nanoscale science: Educational challenges. International Journal of Science Education, 35, 1490-1512. doi:10.1080/09500693.2013.771828

Blonder, R., Parchmann, I., Akaygun, S., & Albe, V. (2014). Nanoeducation: Zooming into teacher professional development programs in nanotechnology in four European countries. In C. Bruguière, A. Tiberghien & P. Clément (Eds.), Topics and trends in current science education (Vol. 1, pp. 159-174). Pintforce, the Netherlands: Springer.

Blonder, R., & Sakhnini, S. (2015). The making of nanotechnology: exposing high-school students to behind-the-scenes of nanotechnology by inviting them to a nanotechnology conference. Nanotechnology Reviews, 4(1), 103-116. doi: 10.1515/ntrev-2014-0016

Sakhnini, S., & Blonder, R. (2015). Essential concepts of nanoscale science and technology for high school students, based on a Delphi study by the expert community. International Journal of Science Education. 37(11), 1699–1738. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2015.1035687

Schwarzer, S., Akaygün, S., Sagun-Goko, B., Anderson, S., Blonder, R. (2015). Using Atomic Force Microscopy in out-of-school settings: Two case studies investigating knowledge and understanding of high school students. Journal of Nano Education. 7, 10–27. doi: 10.1166/jne.2015.1079

Blonder, R., & Mamlok-Naaman, R. (2016). Learning about teaching the extracurricular topic of nanotechnology as a vehicle for achieving a sustainable change in science education. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 14, 345-372. doi: 10.1007/s10763-014-9579-0

Sakhnini, S., & Blonder, R. (2016). Nanotechnology applications as a context for teaching the essential concepts of NST. International Journal of Science Education, 38(3), 521-538. doi:10.1080/09500693.2016.1152518

Blonder, R., & Sakhnini, S. (2016). What are the basic concepts of nanoscale science and technology (NST) that should be included in NST educational programs. In K. Winkelmann & B. Bhushan (eds.) Global perspectives of nanoscience and engineering education.(pp.117-127), AG Switzerland: Springer International Publishing

Blonder, R., & Sakhnini, S. (2017). Finding the connections between a high-school chemistry curriculum and nano science and technology. Chemistry Education Research and Practice. 18, 903-922. doi:10.1039/C7RP00059F

Gardner, G. E., Jones, M. G., Albe, V., Blonder, R., Laherto, A., Macher, D., & Paechter, M. (2017). Factors influencing postsecondary STEM students’ views of the public communication of an emergent technology: a cross-national study from five universities. Research in Science Education, 47(5), 1011-1029. doi:10.1007/s11165-016-9537-7

Sakhnini, S., & Blonder, R. (2018). Insertion points of the essential nanoscale science and technology (NST) concepts in the Israeli middle school science and technology curriculum. Nanotechnology Reviews, 7(5), 373-391. doi:10.1515/ntrev-2018-0026

Blonder, R. & Mamlok-Naaman, R. (2019). Teaching chemistry through contemporary research versus using a historical approach. Chemistry Teacher International. 0(0). 1-16. doi:10.1515/cti-2018-0011

Yonai, E., & Blonder, R. Use your own words! Developing science communication skills of NST experts in a guided discourse. (2020). International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 10(1), 51-76. doi: 10.1080/21548455.2020.1719287

Yonai, E., & Blonder, R. (2020). Scientists suggest insertion of nanoscience and technology into middle school physics. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 16(1), 010110.

Blonder, R., & Yonai, E. (2020). Exposing school students to nanoscience: A review of published programs. In K. D. Sattler (Ed.), 21st Century Nanoscience – A Handbook: Public Policy, Education, and Global Trends (Vol. 10). Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis (CRC Press). ttps://

Jones, M. G., Blonder, R., & Kähkönen, A.-L. (2020). Challenges in nanoscience education. In K. D. Sattler (Ed.), 21st Century Nanoscience – A Handbook: Public Policy, Education, and Global Trends (Vol. 10). Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis (CRC Press).

Yonai, E., Shimoni, E., Kahil, K., & Blonder, R. (2021). Authentic science learning during COVID-19: The adaptive design of a SEM outreach activity. The Biophysicist.

Blonder, R. (2021). Introducing contemporary research topics into school science programs: The example of nanotechnology. In A. Hofstein, A. Arcavi, B.-S. Eylon, & A. Yarden (Eds.), Long-term research and development in science education: What have we learned? (Chapter 2). Brill.