"Exploring Fabrication - Self-Assembly" includes several full-body interactive games visitors can play to model the process of self-assembly in nature and nanotechnology. Visitors learn that self-assembly is a process by which molecules and cells form themselves into functional structures.
This interactive zoom, inspired by Eames "Powers of Ten," allows visitors to travel from the familiar scale of their hand down to DNA deep within a cell. This zoom is designed as a stand-alone visitor experience, or to be used as part of a presentation to orient visitors to the size of the nanoscale.
“DNA Nanotechnology” is a facilitated, hands-on activity exploring deoxyribonucleic acid, a nanoscale structure that occurs in nature. Visitors extract a sample of DNA from split peas and put it in an Eppendorf tube to take home. They learn that nanoscientists study DNA to understand its biological function, and that they also use it to make other nanoscale materials and devices.
"DNA Fingerprinting Activity" is a complete lesson with experiments and PowerPoint presentations that uses beads to explore self-assembly and DNA fingerprinting. Several experimental approaches to working with materials that are both too small to be seen and too numerous to be counted are covered. (Restriction Fragment Length Polymerization, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Short Tandem Repeat DNA Analysis, and gel electrophoresis.) This is a product from the National Center for Learning and Teaching in Nanoscale Science and Engineering (NCLT) NanoEd Resource Portal.