Skip to main content

Making the most of your mini-exhibit: Shipping & Receiving

Christina Akers

This blog post is part of a series providing information for organizations hosting the Nano mini-exhibition created by the NISE Network about the use, maintenance, and general ways to enhance your copy of Nano.

Congratulations and thank you for hosting Nano! As you are preparing for delivery of the Nano mini-exhibition to your site, we’d like to offer some helpful suggestions. Whether you are receiving the exhibition from the Science Museum of Minnesota, or if you are sharing the exhibition with another NISE Network partner, hopefully these tips will prove useful!

One of the first places to refer to is the Nano mini-exhibition listing on the website:

You will see a long list of downloadable resources; a hard copy of these resources will also be included with your copy of Nano in the "Host Resources" binder. One of the most important documents here for getting started is the Technical Manual. In our last blog post we left off with the shipping information in this manual:

The "Shipping" section of the manual will also provide the details you need to receive the shipment. Starting on page fifty-two (52) with a list of pallets and dimensions, as well as specific materials used in the packing of the shipment. There is a manifest on page fifty-three (53) and illustrations that follow of each pallet from every angle.

Pop quiz:  how many pallets will you receive?

​If you said four, you are correct! You may have also noticed that based on the height of the tallest pallets, we suggest having at least an eight-foot clearance to ensure easy load-in. So before the shipment arrives, check-in with the person in charge of shipping and receiving at your organizations and take a tour of your dock, if you’re not familiar with it already. Is the door large enough? Is there a lift gate? What's a lift gate?! (image below) ​Without a lift gate on your loading dock, the truck delivering Nano will need to have its own lift gate in order to reach the dock door safely, so be sure to mention this when coordinating your shipment.

Inspecting your shipment when it arrives

When receiving the exhibit directly from the Science Museum of Minnesota, you will be asked to review the "Receiving and Inspecting Freight Shipments" doc beforehand, and then sign a form the day/time of receipt confirming your acceptance of the parcel "as is." Referring to the Shipping section of the Tech Manual, be sure to take a look at the images of each pallet to know what they should look like. We even suggest printing these images to have on hand when the delivery arrives to help you better inspect your shipment.

When Nano arrives, ensure all packaging is intact, and look for any damage or possible missing parts. If you find anything out of the ordinary, please take photos and document issues in detail with the driver before they leave. NISE Net can only assist with documented issues once the exhibit is accepted. PLEASE NOTE:  you will still be expected to accept and sign off on the delivery despite its condition at arrival. The notes and images you take with the driver should be sent immediately to Christina Akers (, who will work with you to resolve issues that arise.

Speaking of driver, the driver is available to assist with delivery, but please do not expect them to unload the entire shipment themselves. It is a good idea to have a few staff on hand to facilitate unloading of the four pallets. Again, at least one of you should be inspecting pallets while the others bring the pallets into your space.

Ferrofluid ships separately!

Though the Tech Manual is a great reference tool, it does get one detail wrong:  your bottle of Ferrofluid will NOT ship with the exhibit! The manifest lists the ferrofluid in box three of "Small, Smaller, Nano" on pallet three. However, your ferrofluid will be mailed directly to you from our vendor, and will not arrive at the same time as the exhibit. Normally this small package will arrive about a week after your exhibit. With that in mind, be sure to provide an address for both shipments, especially if the small box needs to be sent to another address.

One reason the ferrofluid ships separately is because it is so sensitive. Extreme temps will affect how well the suspension works, and if not agitated regularly, the solution will not look or perform as desired. Be sure the address you provide for this small box is one where someone will immediately be able to open the box and work with the material.

Advice for Sharing the mini-exhibition

Finally, for those sharing Nano with another partner, the details are yours to work out between partners, but we do recommend that you keep as much of the original shipping materials as possible to use again when transporting the exhibit. Refer to page fifty-two (52) of the Tech Manual for the list of specific materials used in original packaging. Be sure to share all your insight from accepting the original parcel, and refer them to the same documents here listed. If you choose to transport Nano yourself, there are U-Haul trucks that can easily house the four pallets. If you go this route, just be sure there is at least an eight-foot clearance on the door of the truck before renting.

If you would like sample MOU language regarding sharing of the mini-exhibition, please contact Christina Akers:

Next up… Making the most of your mini-exhibit:  Marketing Guide

If you have any questions about this or any other "Making the Most of your mini-exhibition" blog post, please contact Christina Akers: