Introduction to Nano Science (NANO*1000)

Code and section: NANO*1000*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Jeff Roberts


Course Information


Jeff Roberts
Office: TBA
Office hours: TBA


Mon, Wed, Fri. 11:30am - 12:20pm over Zoom


We will not be using a textbook, but will be referring to your other science course textbooks as well as resources in the library and on the web.

Course Material

This course is designed to be an introduction to the field of nanoscience, to establish an educational community, and to aid all of you in your transition to the university learning environment. It is also the objective of the course to demonstrate the connection between nanoscience and the other sciences and mathematics. The hope is that the interdisciplinarity of nanoscience will create a context for the study and learning of all scientific disciplines.

We also hope that you will find the learning environment to be unique and stimulating and provide you with learning skills and perspectives that will help you throughout your university career and on into a lifetime of learning.

Professional and Academic Integrity

You are entering a career as a scientist. The success of modern science demands that everyone approach their studies and research with complete integrity. No falsifying of data. No claiming as your own the work of another. A scientist of integrity begins with a science student of integrity. The University of Guelph is committed to helping you develop your professional integrity. As such, you are asked to pursue your studies with complete integrity. We will investigate what this means and help you to see how to achieve this now and throughout your career. The University has developed a site to help you understand academic integrity and how to apply it in your studies. You can find that material here.

Class Preparedness

Be sure to have Microsoft Excel downloaded and installed, and always have a pen, paper, and calculator next to your computer during class. We want to be using these a lot because you will often be working in small groups. Learning is all about participation. We are going to try to give you many opportunities to be engaged in your education. Please come every time to class and come prepared to be an active participant.

Learning Resources for Students

Here is a collection of resources, services, and technologies designed to help make the transition to university learning smooth and successful. Visit the library’s website to get help with studying, writing, and learning how to use the library to research your subjects of interest. Get Assistance!

Course Content

The course has three major aspects to it:

  1. Peer instruction through POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning). Here you will be working in class in small groups to learn together about the science and issues related to nanoscience and nanotechnology. Each day you will connect to CourseLink (the University’s course management system, also known as Desire to Learn or D2L) and work together addressing a variety of ideas.
  2. We will have 5 guest speakers who are working in the area of nanoscience. They will come on five Fridays and speak to you about their personal journey that brought them to nanoscience and life as a scientist. You will need to take a few notes and write a paragraph about how their experiences and activities are influencing your own perspective on your future education and career.
  3. You will select a nanoscience topic on which to write a 1500 word essay describing these things to an educated layperson. We will discuss how to find, read, and analyze scientific papers and how to incorporate their findings into your work in a manner that preserves the integrity of the scientific communication process. Your papers will all be submitted electronically and reviewed by myself and your peers in a double- blind manner. You will be able to take the reviewers comments and edit your paper before final submission. You will all be reviewing three peer’s papers and your comments will also be evaluated by me for grades.

Below is a calendar and a table of various due dates.

Semester at a Glance Fall 2020

Month Class Week Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri
Sept 0 7 8 9 10 11 - First Class
  1 14 - POGIL 15 16 - POGIL 17 18 - Using Excell
  2 21 - POGIL 22 23 - POGIL 24 25 - Guest LEcture #1
  3 28 - POGIL
- Response #1 Due
29 30 - POGIL 1 2 - Anatomy of a Paper
Oct 4 5 -Strategic
Search Strategies
6 7 - POGIL 8 9 - Guest Lecture #2
  5 12 - Fall Break 13 14 - POGIL
- Response #2 Due
15 16 - Academic Writing and
  6 19 - POGIL 20 21 - POGIL 22 23 - Guest Lecture #3
  7 26 - POGIL
- Response #3 Due
27 28 - POGIL 29 30 - POGIL
Nov 8 2 - POGIL 3 4 - POGIL 5 6 - Guest Lecture #4
  9 9 - POGIL
- Response #4 Due
10 11 - Performing Peer Review 12 13 - POGIL
- Manuscript 1st draft due
  10 16 - POGIL 17 18 - POGIL 19 20 - Guest Lecture #5
  11 23 -POGIL
-Response #5 Due
24 25  -POGIL 
- Peer Reviews Due
26 27 - POGIL
Dec 12 30 - POGIL 1 2 - POGIL 3 4 - Fall Break make-up.
Last Class Day
Final Manuscript Due
Last day to drop F20 course
  13 7 - Exams Begin 8 9 10 11
  14 14 15 16 17 18 - End of Exams

Course Evaluation

Three Academic Modules based on POGILs, totalling 60% of final grade (6 x 10%)

Assignment Date Topic Value
Quiz 1 and 2 various dates Solar Photovoltaics 2 x 10%
Quiz 3 and 4 various dates Water Purification 2 x 10%
Quiz 5 and 6 various dates Integrated Circuits 2 x 10%

Guest Lecturer Module, totalling 10% of final grade

Assignment Due Date Topic Value
Response Paper #1 Monday, Sept. 28 at 11:59 P.M. Guest Lecture Session 1 2%
Response Paper #2 Wednesday, Oct.14 at 11:59 P.M. Guest Lecture Session 2 2%
Response Paper #3 Monday, Oct 26 at 11:59 P.M. Guest Lecture Session 3 2%
Response Paper #4 Monday, Nov. 9 at 11:59 P.M. Guest Lecture Session 4 2%
Response Paper #5 Monday, Nov. 23 at 11:59 P.M. Guest Lecture Session 5 2%

E-Journal Project, totalling 30% of final grade

Assignment Due Date Topic Value
Paper for e-Journal Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 11:59 P.M. Peer Review 7.5%
Paper for e-Journal Friday, Dec. 4 at 11:59 P.M. Content and Expression 15%
Paper for e-Journal Friday, Dec. 4 at 11:59 P.M. Citations and References 7.5%

University Policies

E-mail Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their <> e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the undergraduate calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration.

Drop Date

The last date to drop one-semester courses, without academic penalty, is Friday, December 4th. For regulations and procedures for Dropping Courses, see the Undergraduate Calendar.

Copies of out-of-class assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.


The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Accessibility Services as soon as possible. For more information, contact SAS at 519-824-4120 ext. 53244

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University
community – faculty, staff, and students – to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring. University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor. The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Recording of Materials

Presentations which are made in relation to course work—including lectures— cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a classmate or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.


The Academic Calendars are the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies and regulations which apply to undergraduate, graduate and diploma programs.


Please note that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may necessitate a revision of the format of course offerings and academic schedules. Any such changes will be announced via CourseLink and/or class email. All University-wide decisions will be posted on the COVID-19 website and circulated by email.


The University will not require verification of illness (doctor's notes) for the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021