GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Fourth and fifth graders at Orchard Avenue Elementary School put down their reading books and picked up their rulers to learn all about nanotechnology. It's part of IBM's Discover Engineering initiative to get students excited about careers in engineering and science at a young age.
"This is an age where students being to gain some of the building blocks to start to think about things in an analytic way," Erin Neil, IBM.
Neil taught the students about the nanometer and went through different activities to give them hands on experience about working with the unit of length.
The first activity was to measure three items in the classroom and convert the measurement from millimeters and centimeters to nanometers.
"I chose to measure a sharpie a milk carton and the width of the little part of the ruler," Ethan Davis, Orchard Avenue Elementary.
Students then switched gears to learn about scanning probe microscopes. Regular microscopes rely on light to look at an object, but there's special equipment to focus on something as small as a nanometer.
Although the kids didn't have the microscopes, they were able to get the full experience anyways.
Each year the Discover Engineering program invites schools to Boulder to experience stem techniques, but this is the first time they have visited a school here at home and officials said they hope to keep it going for years to come.