Recommended Grade Levels: 10-12+
Tips for using the site with students
Before using this activity in class (or at home with your kids) go through the activity once to make sure it works correctly on your computer(s).
If the activity does not load after clicking the 'start' button, you may be asked to download a Flash Player from Adobe.com. Please click yes as this allows you to view the Edheads Nanoparticles and Brain Tumors activity. If you are using school computers, you might need to contact your tech support team to download the Flash Player.
If you are using an iPad or other iDevice, our games will not play without downloading an app or browser. We recommend the Photon browser available at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photon-flash-player-for-ipad/id430200224?mt=8.
Your computer(s) will need to have some sort of sound output. Either speakers or headphones will work well. We strongly recommend head phones in class or particularly in a computer lab setting. Students with hearing impairments can read the text at the bottom of the screen. If you are having difficulty hearing, check the audio settings on your computer.
We strongly recommend that students use a real mouse, as the touch pads on laptop computers are more difficult to use for this activity and slow students down significantly.
If the teacher would like students to fill out a worksheet while doing the activity, that can be printed here. The worksheet is NOT necessary to complete the activity, but is a way for students to show they have done the activity or for teachers to track student progress.
Students in the target grade-range will take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete the entire activity. If the teacher chooses to do so, you could skip particle 1 or particle 2. Please note that there are questions on the worksheet regarding these particles, so if you are skipping those sections of the activity, you will need to also mark those questions off the worksheet before copying or notify your students that they will not be answering those questions.
Printable activities for use in class
For an assessment tool, teachers may want to have students put their names on the Worksheets and turn them in. These should indicate if students completed the assigned activity. There is also a paper version of the chemical equation balancing activity and quiz;
A paper version of the chemical equation balancing activity (both standard and advanced) can be found here.
Answers to the chemical equation balancing activity can be found here.
A quick 10 question quiz can be found here.
Answers to the quiz questions can be found here.
After students use the site, additional in class discussion questions (which can also act as assessment tools) can be asked:
- What other current uses can you think of for nanoparticles? Students can research this question as a home work or in-class assignment.
- What are other chemicals or molecules that can pass the blood brain barrier? There is also a barrier between a pregnant woman and her fetus. This could be researched and discussed in class.
- What are the steps to getting a new drug or chemical treatment (like this one to cause brain tumors to fluoresce and be magnetic) approved by the FDA? Answer:
Pre-clinical or animal testing,
Testing on a small set of humans after an Institutional Review Board or IRB, approves the research. The IRB is in place to protect the people upon which the research is conducted. The first phase is typically done on healthy people to determine what the most common side effects of the drug or treatment are. Phase One focuses on safety and toxicity.
Phase Two focuses on the effectiveness of the drug or treatment and is conducted on a small group of people, typically no more than several hundred, that suffer from the disease or condition to be treated. Patients with the disease that are given the treatment are compared to those given a placebo or those given a different, already approved treatment. Phase two must prove that the treatment has a more significant impact on the patients than the placebo or alternate treatment. Most drugs do not make it past phase two clinical trials.
If the drug or treatment gets past phase two, then it will be given to a much larger group of people, typically numbering in the thousands. This phase is to determine how the drug or treatment performs when given to a widely diverse patient population and in combination with other drugs the patient might be taking. This will determine if the new drug/treatment has an adverse side effects when combined with commonly prescribed medications or when given to people that are genetically different from the phase two test population.
A new drug application is submitted to the FDA with the information above included. If the drug has passed all the previous tests, then the FDA will approve the drug for market, but the makers of the drug must still submit reports for years to come to the FDA.
- Why do problems crop up after new drugs or treatments are on the market, given the set of steps required for a new drug to be approved by the FDA?
- Where do you see nanotechnology going in the future? What new products or technologies do you think are possible using nanoparticles? What ideas do you have for using these tiny particles?
- In the examples given in the game, cadmium was used in the first two particles that were rejected, for one reason or another. Then the surgeon said that cadmium was not a good substance to use, since it causes cancer itself. So carbon dots were used instead in the final, successful nanoparticle, which should prove to be safe to use given all present knowledge. Discuss the ethical considerations here. Would it have been acceptable to inject cadmium-based nanoparticles in some patients, given the severity of their disease? Is it OK to inject carbon dots into patients now, given that knowledge of what nanoparticles might do is not complete? Would students opt to use this treatment to increase the success of a surgery to remove a brain tumor now (knowing the consequences of the tumor and traditional methods of surgery) without knowing what the long term consequences of using the nanoparticles might be?
Ohio Science Standards
Historical Perspectives and Scientific Revolutions
26. Use historical examples to explain how new ideas are limited by the context in which they are conceived. These ideas are often rejected by the scientific establishment; sometimes spring from unexpected findings; and usually grow slowly through contributions from many different investigators (e.g., biological evolution, germ theory, biotechnology and discovering germs).
27. Describe advances in life sciences that have important long-lasting effects on science and society (e.g., biological evolution, germ theory, biotechnology and discovering germs).
28. Analyze and investigate emerging scientific issues (e.g., genetically modified food, stem cell research, genetic research and cloning).
Science and Technology
1. Cite examples of ways that scientific inquiry is driven by the desire to understand the natural world and how technology is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems.
2. Describe examples of scientific advances and emerging technologies and how they may impact society.
Nature of Matter
2. Explain that humans have used unique bonding of carbon atoms to make a variety of molecules (e.g., plastics).
|Historical Perspectives and Scientific Revolutions||
12. Describe advances in life sciences that have important, long-lasting effects on science and society (e.g., biotechnology).
Science and Technology
1. Explain how science often advances with the introduction of new technologies and how solving technological problems often results in new scientific knowledge.
2. Describe how new technologies often extend the current levels of scientific understanding and introduce new areas of research.
3. Research how scientific inquiry is driven by the desire to understand the natural world and how technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems.
4. Explain why basic concepts and principles of science and technology should be a part of active debate about the economics, policies, politics and ethics of various science-related and technology-related challenges.