Materials World Modules

An Inquiry & Design-Based Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Program

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  • MWM promotes STEM education
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  • MWM promotes hands-on, inquiry and design-based learning
  • MWM promotes STEM education


Materials World Modules (MWM) are hands-on, inquiry and design-based units for middle and high school students. Based on materials science and nanotechnology principles, this interdisciplinary approach engages students, adds relevance to traditional curriculum, and has been shown to improve science knowledge for all students.

» download MWM folder (PDF, 5MB)

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MWM News

MWM Introduces Relevance of Nano in Everyday Life at NSTA Chicago (Apr. 2015)

MWM participated in the 2015 NSTA’s national conference held in Chicago and presented a hands-on nanoscience/nanotechnology workshop on March 14, 2015. Dr. Matthew Hsu, MWM content developer, shared some ideas about connecting nanotechnology to using adhesives and heating stuff in a microwave oven that teachers could take home to their students to help them discover how nanotechnology is already working in their lives.

NSTA ch3He began the hour-long workshop with a brief introduction to the potential impact of nanotechnology and its key role in helping to solve global health, energy, and environmental challenges. The hands-on session focused on how nanoscale phenomenon is most critical in how and why everyday object stick or adhere to one another. After a short presentation on Newton’s adhesive glasses and other researchers’ ideas about contact forces between smooth, electrically neutral objects, it was concluded that adhesion actually occurs at nanometer distances via van der Waals interaction. Dr. Hsu then challenged the workshop teachers to apply the concept of van der Waals forces acting over nanoscale distances to make things stick. Teachers were given two glass slides and 2 sheets of thin PVC clear plastic films and duplicate Newton’s efforts in making glass slides to bond to each other.

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MWM store

Online Store Featured Modules

solar cells
Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
intro to nano
Intro to the Nanoscale
Smart Sensors
Biodegradable Materials
Sports Materials
Food Packaging

MWM Standards Alignment

MWM and NGSS standards

National Science (AAAS, NSES) and Math (NCTM) standards – as well as selected state Science and Math standards – have been mapped to the activities and design project(s) of most MWM modules. If you are interested in finding out whether the activities you are considering for your classroom meet the relevant standards, check out the following pages:

MWM Short Intro Videos

Video with English Subtitles
Video with Chinese Subtitles

imwmInteractive MWM

Try our Intro to Nano online module. See your scores and activity data in real time.

MWM Overview at Youtube

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@ Materials World Modules, 2016