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Nano Bite: June 2013

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

What's New?

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 for more details on these conversations and links to sign up on the NISE Network's events page: Recordings of past online brown-bag conversations are also archived on the events page.
  • Partnerships to Reach New Audiences with NISE Net Mini-Grants - Tuesday, July 2nd, 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern: Creating meaningful partnerships to reach new audiences can be a challenging endeavor. Join us in a conversation as we explore what some institutions have done with mini-grant awards in developing partnerships. Tell us more about some of the great work you've been doing and how you've met some of your challenges head on.
  • Nano Show and Tell: Nano in Consumer Products - Wednesday, July 17th, 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern: What products have nano in them and are they available for anyone to buy? By providing examples of real nano products, this online brown-bag may help you with ideas to augment current demos, spark the creation of new demos, or provide conversational items with visitors. Participants are invited share any nano consumer products used at home or in your science center.
  • Mini-Grants 2014 Brainstorming and Guidelines - Tuesday, August 13th, 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern: Have a great idea you want to turn into a NISE Network mini-grant project? You're not alone! Please join us for a brainstorming session for the 2014 mini-grant application cycle. We will discuss the mini-grant program and have an opportunity for you to converse with colleagues and regional hub leaders about your project ideas. We also welcome previous mini-grant awardees with advice for future applicants to join in this conversation.
New in the Catalog
→ Liquid Body Armor
The classic experiment "Oobleck" is used to demonstrate how scientists are using the properties of non-Newtonian fluids to create flexible fabrics that might protect military personnel, police officers, football and hockey players, and intrepid museum educators. The cart activity can be found in the catalog

NanoDays 2013

→ NanoDays Report Drawing Winners:
Thank you to everyone who filled out a NanoDays Report! We have two randomly drawn winners who submitted their online NanoDays reports by the May 1st deadline. Both will be receiving additional educational materials to use with their visitors (non-winners may want to consider changing your name to Jennifer before NanoDays 2014):
  • Jennifer Crispin, Operations Coordinator, Impression 5 Science Center, Lansing, MI
  • Jennifer Wistisen, Education and Programming Director, The Science Zone, Casper, WY
The NanoDays team is currently going through the reports. They'll be sharing their findings in the coming months, and will post a summary on when it is complete.

If you have not yet submitted a report, please do so ASAP at: /blog/post/nanodays-2013-reports-tell-us-about-your-events.

What Else?

Association of Children's Museums (ACM) Interacitvity 2013 Slide Presentations
If you were unable to attend the ACM conference this past month in Pittsburgh, slide presentations for the professional development sessions Building Relationships with Researchers and Engaging Young Children in Emerging Science - Sharing Our Experiences with Nanoscience are available at: /events/acm/association-childrens-museums-acm-interactivity-2013.

2013 MRS Fall Meeting Education Symposium Call for Papers
The Education Symposium has become a most valuable staple within the Technical Programming portion of the MRS Meetings. The yearly symposia have proven to be significant opportunities for the sharing of research and networking between education and research communities. The deadline to submit abstracts for this symposium is June 19, 2013. Additional information about the symposium can be found at:

Nano Employment Opportunity: West Virginia University Education Coordinator
West Virginia University currently has an opening for an education coordinator for their NanoSAFE program. The NanoSAFE program has had an ongoing NISE Net partnership with the Children's Discovery Museum of West Virginia. For details about the position, go to:*DD54A0F70144D880.

Fun with Nano Numbers!
How long is a nano-marathon, and why doesn't the NISE Net give out nano-grants instead of mini-grants? Becky Wolfe from the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and Vrylena Olney of the Museum of Science, Boston ran the numbers. Read more at: /blog/post/fun-nano-numbers.

Partner Highlight

Nano Extravaganza in New York's Capital Region!
In February of 2013, longtime NISE Net children’s museum partner, the Children's Museum of Science and Technology in Troy, NY (CMOST), announced that it will become part of SUNY's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). Under CNSE's leadership, more than $5 million will be invested to transform the Children's Museum into a world-renowned science center for young people—a hub for 21st century learning and discovery!

The museum has been partnering with CNSE to engage the public in nanotechnology for many years. CMOST summer campers participate in field trips at labs at the NanoCollege; CNSE students and scientists facilitate educational outreach activities and lead workshops; and the two organizations partner with other groups in the area to put on a region wide NanoDays celebration. The investment from CNSE will support new and exciting programming, more interactive displays, hands-on activities and other initiatives. Existing collaborations at CNSE CMOST will continue and be enhanced through this transition, and the museum hopes to use this opportunity to maintain and build stronger regional relationships.

CNSE CMOST features the Nano mini-exhibition, and it made incredibly creative use of many of NISE Net’s graphic resources in its exhibition signage.  Throughout the many hands-on, interactive exhibits in the museum, visitors can find multiple nano connections, such as "nano hot spots," a specially designed nano scavenger hunt, and nano-related floor programming.

For more information on the expanded partnership between CMOST and CNSE, read the full Partner Highlight by Ali Jackson of the Sciencenter, the regional hub leader for the Northeast region
Nano in the News
  • Atoms Star in World's Smallest Movie from IBM: Researchers at IBM have created the world's smallest movie by manipulating single atoms on a copper surface. Using a scanning tunnelling microscope (STM), the researchers moved dozens of carbon monoxide molecules in the stop-motion animation.
  • One Box of Girl Scout Cookies Contains $15 Billion Worth of Graphene: Scientists can make graphene out of just about anything with carbon - even Girl Scout cookies. Graduate students from Rice University proved it when they invited a troop of Houston Girl Scouts to their lab to watch a graphine-from-shortbread cookie demonstration. The inspiration came from a meeting where it was mentioned that the lab had produced graphene from table sugar, and Girl Scout cookies happened to be served at the meeting.
    • ​The NISE Net activity Exploring Materiels - Graphene is a hands-on activity in which visitors use tape and graphite to make graphene and test the conductivity of graphite.
  • Beautiful 'Flowers' Self-Assemble in a Beaker: By manipulating chemical gradients in a beaker of fluid, a researcher from Harvard University has found that he can control the growth behavior of crystals to create precisely tailored nano-structures that look like flowers. 

Nano Throughout the Year
As summer approaches check out the NISE Net's summer camp resources at:

Nano Haiku

World's skinniest boy
In the world's coldest playground needs
World's tiniest coat

Vrylena Olney of the Museum of Science, Boston shares her haiku about the above article about the world's smallest movie, referencing the fact that the movie was made at -260 degrees celsius. Also worth checking out is the video: Moving Atoms: Making the World's Smallest Movie.

Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Eli Bossin at [email protected]