February 15, 2013 (Vol. 33, No. 4)
Strong Points: A focus on applications of nanotechnology
Weak Points: Site cluttered with advertisements
“Nanotechnology can be a complicated topic.” So reads the opening sentence on the homepage of UnderstandingNano.com, a website dedicated to making the concepts of nanotechnology accessible to students and the general public. A strength of the content of the site is that rather than focusing on abstract concepts, the emphasis is on applications of nanotechnology. The applications that are highlighted span a wide range of topics such as medicine, electronics, energy, chemical sensors, and defense. The site design, while nicely organized, is cluttered with advertisements, which detract from the educational content. However, if you can look past this annoyance, there is plenty of interesting information to be found on the site. Teachers will find a limited number of lesson plans and student handouts for the middle and high school levels, and there is also a resources page that provides links to a number of other nanotechnology-focused sites.