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Nano Bite: March 2013

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

NanoDays 2013, March 30-April 7
 NanoDays 2013 Training Videos
We now have training videos for all 2013 NanoDays activities and programs! These videos are perfect for staff and volunteer training. A direct link to all the videos is available here:
. For more information and links to the individual videos, take a look at this blog post: /blog/post/nanodays-2013-training-videos-now-available

→ Last Minute NanoDays Promotion?
You can find links to all promotional and marketing materials here:

→ NanoDays 2013 Digital Kit is Available
If you did not receive a 2013 Physical Kit, the NanoDays 2013 Digital Kit is available for download by anyone. The 2013 Digital Kit has the files for instructions, lesson plans, supply lists, marketing materials, and multimedia files for the NanoDays 2013 activities.

Share your NanoDays Photos
We are always excited to see photos of your NanoDays 2013 events - in particular we love to get photos of your NanoDays team. Please see this blog post for detailed information: /blog/post/nanodays-2013-sharing-photos-your-event.

→ Reporting After Your Event is Over
If you received a 2013 Physical Kit, you must fill out a report after your event is over. The NanoDays report is now available here: 

What's New?

Online Brown-Bag Conversations
The NISE Network has launched a series of online brown-bag conversations focused on helping NISE Network partners share their work and learn from others in the Network. The aim of the online brown-bag conversations is to increase the number of professional development opportunities available to NISE Net partners, create more channels for Network partners to learn from each other directly, and create ways for partners to follow-up on ideas or efforts that emerge at in-person meetings. You can find details for all of the NISE Network's online brown-bag conversations on the events page. Details and sign-up links for the upcoming conversations before NanoDays are below:

New in the Catalog
→ Linked Resource: Small Science, Big Decisions
The objective of this facilitated activity is for participants to come to a consensus over the distribution of federal funds for nanotechnology in different research areas. Participants are assigned a specific area of nanotechnology research and are provided with background materials in that area. They go through the materials of their assigned area and choose three benefits to research in that area and three perceived risks. They share these benefits and risks with the whole group, and then collectively the group decides how to distribute funds among the areas.

Featured Finding
How does the public make decisions about societal and ethical issues (SEI) in science? We’ve been researching past Nanotechnology Forums and the Would You Buy That? program to identify patterns in how the public responds to the facilitation approaches we have used in our SEI programming over the past six years. Keep an eye out for more findings in the coming months on and in the Nano Bite!
  • Both the forums and "Would You Buy That" facilitated by layering information, where participants made a decision based on initial information, then reflected on that decision using new information. In both cases, layering successfully led to further, richer conversation.
What Else?
2013 Materials Research Society (MRS) Spring Meeting
For information about NISE Net activities taking place at the 2013 MRS Spring Meeting April 1-5 in San Francisco, CA, click here: /events/materials-research-society-mrs/2013-mrs-spring-meeting

Association of Children's Museums (ACM) Interacitvity 2013
If you or your colleagues are attending this conference, please join the NISE Network for a variety of events and sessions at ACM 2013 in Pittsburgh, PA. For details, go to: /events/acm/association-childrens-museums-acm-interactivity-2013

American Alliance for Museums Annual Meeting and Museum Expo 2013
The NISE Network invites partners to gather informally for a happy hour at the AAM meeting May 20, 2013 in Baltimore, MD. Details are available at: /events/other/aam-annual-meeting-and-museum-expo-2013

Science Xplained: Spidey Science
In this Science Xplained, Dr. Ainissa Ramirez describes the science behind making webs and walking on walls. By studying spiders, engineers can create materials that are bulletproof and can build robots that can climb the side of a building.

Stanford Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers - Nanotechnology
The Center for Probing the Nanoscale at Stanford University is accepting applications for its annual Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers on July 22-26, 2013. For more information and to apply by May 7, visit: Inquiries may be directed to Maria Wang, Associate Director, Center for Probing the Nanoscale.


Partner Highlight

Arkansas Discovery Network
The NISE Net hosted a series of 4 Nano & Society workshops this past fall that focused on preparing museum educators to engage the public in conversations about the relationship between nanotechnology and society. In addition to learning new hands-on activities, full-length programs, and ideas for facilitating visitor experiences in the Nano mini-exhibition, workshop participants received specific training in nano and society content, conversation facilitation, and utilizing Team-Based Inquiry (TBI).

Following their involvement in the train the trainer-style workshop, Jill Kary from the Arkansas State University Museum, Joel Gordon and Thomas Lipham from the Museum of Discovery held a Nano presentation on February 4th for 19 educators from the Arkansas Discovery Network. The Arkansas Discovery Network, founded in 2006 with funding from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, is a unique, six-museum partnership with the Museum of Discovery acting as the statewide hub. It has served more than 2 million Arkansans through programs, a mobile museum, teacher workshops and free access scholarships.

For more information on the work of the Arkansas Discovery Network, read the full Partner Highlight by Aaron Guerrero of the Children's Museum of Houston, the regional hub leader for the South region.

Nano in the News
  • Nanoparticles Loaded with Bee Venom Kill HIV: Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom have been shown to destroy HIV while leaving surrounding cells unharmed. The finding is an important step toward developing a gel that may prevent the spread of HIV.
  • Weapons Maker Finds Cheap Way to Get Clean Water: Engineers at Lockheed Martin have found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce potable water. Using sheets of graphene, the process would filter saltwater through the membranes with holes small enough to block the salt molecules in the water.

Nano Throughout the Year
→ In addition to NanoDays events, there are lots of other seasonal events taking place this Spring where you may be able to integrate nanoscale science, engineering, and technology content. Events coming up soon include World Health Day, National Robotics Week, and Earth Day.  Check out for ideas.

Nano Creative Writing

I can’t remember who decided that it was a good idea to make all 13 NanoDays training videos in one day, but we did it! Ali, our tireless producer, acquired a space at the Sciencenter for us to film and assembled all of the activities. Kevin, our ultra-intrepid on-camera superstar, displayed absolute brilliance with his computeresque knowledge of each activity. If you can find the time to watch all 13 videos you might try scanning the background to see which objects have moved.

Happy Viewing!

Brad Herring of the Museum of Life & Science wrote the above paragraph that includes links to all of the new training videos for NanoDays 2013 activities.

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

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