• Most visitors thought the scale ladder showed the (relative) size of objects.
• Less than half of the visitors looked closely at or thought deeply about the nanoscale portion of the scale ladder poster.
• Removing the ruler from the scale ladder did not have a measurable effect on visitors’ interpretation of its main message or their definition of nano.
• When reading a scale diagram to determine the size of a nano-sized object, visitors looked more at the objects that bracket the nanoscale category than at other objects on the ladder.
• Most visitors found the scale ladder helpful in understanding an exhibit about nanostructures, but some visitors felt that the scale ladder was confusing and / or superfluous to the exhibit.
• Visitors were more likely to see the scale ladder’s relevance when it included items specifically mentioned in the exhibit.
• A more diverse (and possibly more familiar) set of objects did not lead to a better understanding of the nanoscale.
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