By Sarah Thomas and Lisa Justice
Come celebrate NanoDays 2014 at Explorit Science Center, Monday, March 24, through Sunday, March 30! NanoDays at Explorit Science Center is part of a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering.
NanoDays is organized by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network, and takes place nationally every spring. This community-based event is the largest public outreach effort in nanoscale informal science education and involves science museums, research centers and universities from Puerto Rico to Alaska.
At the nanoscale — the scale of atoms and molecules — many common materials exhibit unusual properties. Our ability to manipulate matter at this size enables innovations that weren’t possible before. Nanotechnology is revolutionizing research and development in medicine, computing, new materials, food, energy and other areas.
Nano will affect our economy, the environment and our personal lives. Some scientists think that future nanotechnologies and materials could transform our lives as much as cars, the personal computer or the Internet.
But the costs, risks and benefits of this new technology can be difficult to understand, for experts and for the general public. The NISE Network helps museums, research institutions, and the public learn from each other about this emerging field so that together we can make informed decisions.
NISE Net is a national community of researchers and informal science educators dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering and technology. The NISE Net community in the United States is led by 14 organizations, and includes hundreds of museums and universities nationwide.
NanoDays celebrations bring university researchers together with science educators to create new and unique learning experiences for both children and adults to explore the miniscule world of atoms, molecules and nanoscale forces. NanoDays events combine fun hands-on activities with presentations on current research.
A range of exciting NanoDays programs demonstrate the special and unexpected properties found at the nanoscale, examine tools used by nanoscientists, showcase nano materials with spectacular promise, and invite discussion of technology and society.
The local community can experience many of these activities first-hand. Visitors will explore capillary action and non-Newtonian fluids, investigate new nano products and materials, and imagine what society might be like if we all wore invisibility cloaks!
Other activities include using electricity to make a nickel coin look like a penny, and a program about “Robots & People.” Special take home activities during NanoDays:
* Monday, March 24: Horton Hears a Who nano activity
* Tuesday, March 25: UV beaded bracelets activity
* Wednesday, March 26: Capillary Action activity
* Thursday, March 27: Liquid Crystal Display activity
* Friday, March 28: Oobleck activity
NanoDays activities will take place during Explorit’s spring break holiday hours from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and will cost $2 in addition to the price of museum admission.
Explorit’s coming events:
* Explorit’s Beautiful World: Science and Art exhibition is open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and 3 to 6 p.m. every Friday. Admission is $5 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free.
* Summer Science Camp is coming! Registration is open now. Visit www.explorit.org for more information or to register.