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Nano Bite: July 2010

Welcome to the July Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).
Hello, Summer! 
Ice Cream! It's not new, but it is timely: Brad's Recipe for Super-Smooth Ice CreamBrad Herring of the Museum of Life and Science in North Carolina shared with us his recipe for using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream with nanosized ice crystals.  
Summer Programming! A number of our partners are including nano in their summer programming or running nano programs.  Here are six:
  • The Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY is integrating two mornings of nano programming into every two-week camp session. Sciencenter camp activities are designed for girls and boys entering grades 2 - 6 in the fall of 2010. Sciencenter educators plan an assortment of active, physical games, focused classroom experiences, special presentations, and free exploration of the museum and the science park. More information can be found at
  • The Children's Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) in Troy, NY is partnering with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to offer two week long sessions of Nano Camp! One week will be all inclusive, and the second week is a ladies-only GIST (Girls in Science and Technology) program. More information can be found at
  • The Arts and Science Center in Pine Bluff, AR held a weeklong nano camp in early June using some of the NanoDays kit activities.
  • The Museum of Science, Boston is hosting its fourth round of science communication workshops for NSF-funded REU (Research Experience for Undergraduate) students from Boston-area nano research centers, and is working with the Discovery Center Museum and the UW Madison NSEC and MRSEC to adapt this set of workshops for integration into their REU programs. The goal of these workshops is to help to cultivate a new generation of nano and materials science researchers aware of the broader context of their research and equipped with the skills to communicate effectively on interdisciplinary research teams and to engage broader audiences.
  • In about a month, the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) REU will gather at the University of Minnesota for their network-wide convocation.  All 80 NNIN REU interns will present a talk and a poster.  Plus, all 18 International REUs, the iREUs, will be attending having just gotten home from Belgium, Germany or Japan!  Finally, staff from every site, along with many of the interns' parents and friends, attend.  It's an exciting event where staff and interns meet and find out what everyone has been up to over the summer. The presentations are web-cast and details and schedules can be found at
  • The Summer Institute for Physics Teachers is currently going on at Cornell's Center for Nanoscale Systems. The course, open to high school physics teachers, includes lectures are given by Dr. Julie Nucci and many Cornell faculty on topics such as electronics, photonics, nanotechnology, and particle physics. Lab tours provide a glimpse into state-of-the-art academic research.  The lab activities, which are co-developed by high school physics teachers and Cornell scientists, are presented by teachers.
What else?
Check out our new program Biomimicry: Synthetic Gecko Tape through Nanomolding.  The hands-on activity gives visitors a glimpse of one of the methods used by researchers to make synthetic gecko tape.  Visitors make their own synthetic gecko tape with micron-sized hairs that mimic the behavior of the gecko foot and test how much weight their gecko tape can hold using LEGOs. The activity was designed to fit into a classroom/camp program, but can be adapted for a museum floor.
We've got some new videos up on our website!  Two of them, What Happens in a NanoLab and How Small is Nano, are available in the Media section of the catalog as products.  The NISE Net also plans to develop a set of training videos showing NISE Net educators presenting our public programs.  You can find early prototype versions under the "resources" tab of some of our existing programs (for example, Treating Tumors with Gold, Flying Cars, and Nanoparticle Stained Glass).  Re-shooting, revising, and captioning the new videos is part of our effort to make more training resources available to educators in the Network.
   Call for Network-Wide Meeting Session Ideas
We're in the early planning stages for our Network-Wide Meeting, scheduled for October 26 - 28 in San Francisco, and we want to hear from you.  We're planning a series of sessions focused on the ways that our partners are integrating nano topics into their outreach work (in a variety of contexts, including nano in afterschool programs, homeschool workshops, REU and RET trainings, summer camps, and more).  The sessions would involve short presentations followed by Q&A and discussion.  If you have work you'd like to share, or if there are session topics you'd be particularly interested in, please let me know at [email protected].   We want to make sure we take advantage of and learn from all the amazing work you're doing!
   20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
The  legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability was signed into law on July 26th twenty years ago.  The NISE Net has worked to create products that meet the needs of a diverse group of visitors, including people with and without disabilities, and through that work has developed universal design guidelines for both exhibits and public programs.  You can find the guides in the Tools and Guides section of the NISE Net catalog (
  Providing Input to the 2010 Strategic Plan of the National Nanotechnolgy Initiative
The National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO) is holding a workshop in Arlington, VA today and tomorrow. The Stakeholder Workshop is intended to obtain stakeholder input regarding the goals and objectives of an updated NNI Strategic Plan, currently in development and scheduled for completion by December 2010.  You can find out more about the workshop and see the preliminary agenda and list of speakers at

This workshop will be webcast live. You can register for this online webcast at
Nano Haiku
Surface to Volume
new science with a nano
Golden Ratio

by Luke Donev of the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, TX
Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Vrylena Olney at [email protected]