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Nano Bite: August 2013

Dear {FIRST_NAME|NISE Net Partner},

Welcome to the August Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).

What's New?

→ Planning for Mini-Grants
The NISE Net 2014 Mini-Grant application will open by September 1. Planning to apply? You can check out the list of past recipients here for more ideas. We'd also encourage you to join us on August 13th at 1pm eastern for an online brown-bag Q&A and brainstorming session focused on the mini-grants.

Online Brown-Bag Conversations
In the coming months, the NISE Network will continue to offer a series of online brown-bag conversations focused on helping NISE Network partners share their work and learn from others in the Network.
  • Keep an eye out in the coming months for brown-bags on Nano for School Groups, a followup to the Universal Design for Public Programs Workshop, and Nano in Food. Details on past and future brown-bags can be found here:

New in the Catalog
Summative Study of the Nano Mini-Exhibition
Wondering how many people will come into contact with the NISE Net mini-exhibitions? Or what visitors are learning from the mini-exhibition? The Summative Study of the Nano mini-exhibition was just posted to The study took place during the spring and summer of 2012. After being observed during their Nano mini-exhibition experience, 455 visitors across six different partner institutions participated in surveys and interviews with NISE Net evaluation team members. Check out the summary of findings - as well as the complete report: /catalog/evaluation/public_impacts_mini-exhibition_study_year_8_summative_evaluation
  • ​One finding from the study was that visitor dwell times at the mini-exhibition were over 4 times greater than the field average:

    • ​The average time spent by a visitor group within the Nano mini-exhibition was 6:07 (min:sec), and the median time was 4:00. Dividing the standard square footage of 400ft for the mini-exhibition footprint by the median dwell time leads to a Sweep Rate Index (SRI) of 100, which is approximately four times greater than the field average (Serrell, 1998; Yalowitz & Bronnenkant, 2009). Even if the mini-exhibition is installed in a larger space, the SRI is still well above average (at 500sq ft., the SRI is 125, still more than three times greater than the field average).    

More information on the Nano mini-exhibition can be found at:
New Linked Products in the Catalog
  • Animations on the Nano Scale: Australian animated videos on nano scale (Part 1) and nano properties (Part 2).
  • NANO Supermarket Exhibit and Website: Go to the NANO Supermarket to explore speculative nanotech products that may hit the shelves within the next ten years: medicinal candy, interactive wall paint, programmable wine and more.

What Else?

Planning Ahead for the ASTC 2013 Annual Conference
The NISE Network will have many activities and professional development opportunities at the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) annual conference. For details, go to: /events/astc/astc-annual-conference-2013

Partner News

Port Discovery in ACMs Hand to Hand 
The latest Association of Children's Museums (ACM) Hand to Hand includes an article titled "Bringing Nanoscience to the Community" about Port Discovery's ever-expanding involvement in the world of nano, and their partnership with the University of Maryland's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

Nano in the News
  • This New Device Can Sterilize Medical Tools Using Solar Power Alone: A Surprising Science blog post about a newly developed device, called a solarclave, that harnesses the power of the Sun - along with the unique characteristics of specific nanoparticles - to sanitize medical equipment and other instruments without any need for an external electricity source.
  • This Mona Lisa Replica is Thinner Than a Human Hair: A team of researchers has created the "Mini Liza," a 30-micron thick version of the Mona Lisa. The project shows that complex chemical reactions can be applied on a microscopic scale, which could have implications for the production of nano-tech devices.

Nano Throughout the Year
If you are planning activities for the Fall, we have some nano-themed suggestions for programs and activities for back-to-school events, National Chemistry Week, Earth Science Week, and Metric Day. Check out the complete list at:


Nano Haiku

Make more steam using sunlight,
Clean scalpels and poop

This haiku by Vrylena Olney refers to the two potential uses of the solarclave from the article above: sterilizing medical equipment and sterilizing human and animal waste to reduce the spread of disease.

Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Eli Bossin at