"Nanotechnology Spin-a-Prize!" introduces visitors to the basics of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology (“nano”) through a game show format. Visitors learn that nanometer-sized things are small and often behave differently than larger things do, and that work in this emerging field leads to new knowledge and innovations. Visitors also consider the ways that nanotechnology will affect our lives.
In this story time program, visitors actively listen to "Horton Hears a Who!" by Dr. Seuss. Before the story is read, children make paper “elephant ears” to wear. After the story, they use their sense of smell to explore scent molecules that are too small to see. This story time can also be presented in Spanish by using the Spanish-language story book.
"Exploring Properties - UV Bracelets" is a hands-on activity in which visitors use ultraviolet light to change the color of beads that contain photochromic dye. They learn that the UV beads change color as a result of nanoscale shifts in the shape of the dye molecules.
"Exploring Tools - 3D Imaging" is a hands-on activity in which visitors use 3D glasses to discover what ordinary objects look like under magnification. They learn that researchers use special tools and techniques, including 3D imaging, to work on the nanoscale.
"Exploring Size - Moving Molecules" is a hands-on activity in which visitors use an air cannon toy to spin pinwheels. They learn that air is made up of molecules, which are tiny nanometer-sized particles.
"Exploring Products - Liquid Crystal Displays" is a hands-on activity in which visitors investigate temperature-sensitive liquid crystal sheets and liquid crystal displays from a calculator. They learn that liquid crystals change color as a result of nanoscale shifts in the arrangement of their molecules.
"Exploring Tools - Mystery Shapes" is a hands-on activity in which visitors use their sense of touch to investigate hidden objects. They learn that researchers use special tools, including scanning probe microscopes, to detect and make images of nanoscale objects.
"Exploring Properties - Invisibility" is a hands on activity in which visitors investigate how glass objects can be "hidden" in some liquids. They learn that researchers can use nanotechnology to engineer new materials that interact with light in special ways.
"Exploring Products - Computer Hard Drives" is a hands on activity in which visitors use floating ring magnets to store data. They learn that computer hard drives are one of the most common applications of nanotechnology.
"Exploring Materials - Memory Metal" is a hands on activity in which visitors compare the properties of a memory metal spring to an ordinary spring. They learn that the way a material behaves on the macroscale is affected by its structure on the nanoscale.