Skip to main content

Nano Bite: January 2014

Happy New Year! Welcome to the January Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).

Upcoming Activities!
Get Ready, Get Set, Nano! NanoDays 2014 Kits are Assembled and Shipped
Are you ready for the upcoming NanoDays 2014 taking place March 29 - April 6, 2014? NanoDays is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impacts on the future. With over 200 science museums, research centers, and university across the country participating, this event is seriously the "biggest event for the smallest science!"

Here is a great list of information and resources for all your 2014 NanoDays needs - enjoy!

- Physical kits. Find out what activities are being included in this year’s physical kits! 
- Digital kits. If you did not receive a 2014 physical kit, the NanoDays 2014 digital kit is available starting January 15th to download activity lesson plans and instructions, supply lists, marketing materials and includes multimedia files.
- NanoDays event planning guide. This is a great tool for organizing an event and offers suggestions for collaborative opportunities and program ideas.
- NanoDays 2014 training videos. Wow, did you know that there are over 25 NanoDays training videos available online! And in case you missed it, we also have training videos for activities in the NanoDays 2013 kit [view more].
- NISE Net Promotional Materials, Logos, and Publicity Images

Go Ahead, Mark Your Calendar Now for the Spring 2014 Brown-Bag Conversations
The first brown-bag of the New Year, "Nano for Summer Camps," is kicking off on Thursday, January 9, 2014 from 10-11am PST / 1-2pm EST. If you’re interested in discovering new ways to introduce nanoscience into your camps, then consider joining this conversation to learn about tips and best practices for incorporating nano into summer camps. Bring your ideas, experiences, and questions for the presenters.

View the full Spring 2014 Brown-Bag Schedule at

Brown-Bag: Nano for Summer Camps
When: Thursday, January 9, 2014; 10-11am PST / 1-2pm EST
RSVP for this brown-bag by clicking here

Brown-Bag: Hosting a Bilingual NanoDays
When: Wednesday, January 15, 2014; 11-12pm PST / 2-3pm EST
RSVP for this brown-bag by clicking here

Brown-Bag: What's Coming in Your NanoDays Kit
When: Tuesday, February 4, 2014; 10-11am PST / 1-2pm EST
RSVP for this brown-bag by clicking here

Brown-Bag: The Science Behind NanoDays - Part 1
When: Wednesday, February 19, 2014; 11-12pm PST / 2-3pm EST
RSVP for this brown-bag by clicking here

Brown-Bag: Nano and Society
When: Tuesday, March 4, 2014; 10-11am PST / 1-2pm EST

RSVP for this brown-bag by clicking here

Brown-Bag: Sheltered Instruction
When: Tuesday, March 11, 2014; 11-12pm PST / 2-3pm EST
RSVP for this brown-bag by clicking here

Brown-Bag: The Science Behind NanoDays - Part 2
When: Tuesday, March 18, 2014; 10-11am PST / 1-2pm EST
RSVP for this brown-bag by clicking here

New in the Catalog
NanoDays 2014 Physical Kit
NanoDays 2014 Planning Guide developed by Sciencenter
Zoom into a Microchip video developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science
Changing Our Relationship with Science developed by Museum of Life + Science [Vimeo link]
This film asks scientists from Harvard, Princeton and Duke University to imagine the future of science and technology and the scientific enterprise as a whole. Scientists described where they think the world is headed not in three, or five years, but in thirty, or fifty years. No one knows what the world will be like in 2050, because we haven’t built that world yet. And scientists and engineers won’t build it alone. The more powerful science becomes, the more important it is for society to change their relationship with science and engage in the conversation about what we value in this world.

What Else?

2014 NISE Net Mini-Grants Awarded!
The NISE Net received a record number of 81 applications for the 2014 Mini-Grant Program, all of which were extremely competitive and bursting with creativity. The NISE Net is excited to announce that a total of 41 mini-grants have been awarded to institutions from across the country big and small; congratulations to the 2014 awardees. View full list of mini-grant awardees here!

2013 MRS Fall Meeting
The NISE Net community kept busy at this fall's MRS Meeting with a booth, multiple stage presentations, hands-on activities during coffee breaks/evening receptions, and several appearances by the the Amazing Nano Brothers. Many attendees stopped by the booth to inquire about the opportunities with the NISE Network and participated in hands-on NanoDays activities.

A special thanks to all the responders to the NISE Net's Evaluation & Research Annual Partner Survey 2013! Over 350 people completed the survey this year, which provides the NISE Net with key insights into the partner experience. Look for survey findings featured in upcoming Nano Bite e-newsletters.

Have you checked out NanoNerds on YouTube yet? This is a nanotechnology podcast from the Museum of Science, Boston, which recently published the podcast, "Making Super Strong Materials with Nano."

The DIY Nano App (for iPhone and iPad) is a great, late stocking stuffer and is a winner of the Fall 2012 Parent's Choice Award. This free app allows families to experience and learn about nanoscale science, engineering and technology from anywhere! Available for download from the App Store.

Job Opportunity: Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago - Manager, Guest Experiences

Conferences and Meetings

If you're planning to present at a conference on NISE Net-related projects and want to make the community aware of these activities, please notify Kayla Berry at Upcoming meetings and conferences that include NISE Network participation are indicated with an asterisk.
Nano in the News
Researchers Develop New Cloaking Technology
Although researchers have been developing ways to make cloaking objects a reality for years, the reality is that the invisibility cloak is still a thing of the future. However, recently two researchers from the University of Toronto have found a new way to cloak an object using tiny, flexible nanoantennas. The idea is not making objects invisible to the human eye but rather making them undetectable by radar. The nanoantennas radiate an electromagnetic field that prevents waves from reflecting back to the radar detector. What do you think the implications of cloaking technology will be on society? Consider the following.
        - See NISE Net Media "Invisibility Cloak"
        - See NISE Net "NanoDays 2014 Physical Kit"
        - See NISE Net Program "Exploring Properties - Invisibility (NanoDays 13,14)"
        - See NISE Net Tools and Guides "Nano and Society Training Materials"

Carbon Nanotubes on a Spider Silk Structure may be able to Conduct Electricity

Did you ever think a spider's silk web would be considered as a tough, conductive material used in electronic applications? One researcher from Florida State University found that water can be used to attach powdery carbon nanotubes onto spider silk, resulting in a high-grade, electrically conductive material with many functions such as a humidity sensor, a strain sensor, an actuator, and as an electrical wire.
        - See NISE Net Media "Science Xplained: Spidey Science video"
        - See NanoNerds YouTube Podcast "Making Super Strong Materials with Nano"
Nano Throughout the Year
A list of nano activities for use throughout the year is available on the NISE Net’s list of seasonal activities. This January consider the following activities: Predictions for the New Year: Flying Cars stage presentation, Snowflakes, National Bird Day (January 5), Nuclear Science Week (January).

Nano Haiku

Harnessing nature
Create new technologies
Using spider silk

This month’s haiku was submitted by Brad Herring from the Museum of Life + Science.

Follow the NISE Net on Social Media!

Read the Nano Bite e-newsletter online at /newsletter/nano-bite-january-2014.

Forward this message to a friend