NISE Network product

This cart demonstration introduces the nanomaterial aerogel, a glass nanofoam. Visitors learn how aerogel is made, how well it insulates, and learn about its other unique properties. They see real aerogel and feel how well it insulates.



Big Idea: 
Aerogels use tiny spheres of glass to trap air, giving the material amazing new properties.
Learning Goals: 
  • Aerogel is a product of nanotechnology.
  • Aerogel is a great insulator, used in a few special applications.
  • Aerogel was invented in the 1930s, but wasn't used much until new applications were developed.
  • Many materials exhibit startling properties at the nanoscale.
NISE Net Content Map: 
  • Nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanoengineering lead to new knowledge and innovations that weren't possible before.


Developed for the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.

Creative Commons license image Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

Development Process: 

NISE Network products are developed through an iterative collaborative process that includes scientific review, peer review, and visitor evaluation in accordance with an inclusive audiences approach. Products are designed to be easily edited and adapted for different audiences under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. To learn more, visit our Development Process page.