Skip to main content

Nano Bite: November 2010

Welcome to the November Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).
What's New? 
→ Apply for a NanoDays 2011 Kit!
The online application for 2011 NanoDays kits is now live. More information on the kits including links to activities and eligibility requirements can be found at and Margret Glass' blog post.
 Nanoscience and Engineering in the News: Graphene Researchers Win the Nobel Prize in Physics
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene." Graphene is a flat sheet of carbon with a thickness of just one atom. It is the thinnest and strongest material ever discoveredconducts electricity as well as copper, and is a better heat conductor than any other known material.     You can read more about graphene on the Nobel Prize website here:   There's also a PBS News Hour video about graphene.  This is where I learned that Andre Geim is the first Nobel Prize winner to also have won an Ig Nobel Prize, awarded for his work levitating a live frog   Finally, the NISE Net has a program on four other forms of carbon available for download from the catalog here:
→ Lots of New Materials in the NISE Net Catalog!
Small Steps; Big Impact: A Guide for Science Museum Leaders Developing Education Outreach Partnerships with University-Based Research Centers has just been published on the web.  The guide includes step-by-step advice on finding, recruiting research center partners, grant writing strategies for funding the partnerships, methods for strengthening the partnerships, and advice for dealing with those last-minute grant-deadline phone calls. It also includes lots of resources such as primers on nanotechnology, nano pedagogy, new roles for science museums, grant sources, partnership resources, and bibliographies.  The guide is also a blog - so please contribute your own case studies and proven strategies!      
New Programs 
There are three new programs in the catalog
  • Sand, Plants and Pants is a hands-on activity exploring how the application of nano-sized particles or substances can change a bigger material’s properties. Visitors investigate the hydrophobic properties of plants, nano-fabric pants and magic sand.
  • Macro, Micro and Nano Memory is a memory game that teaches visitors about the macroscale, microscale and nanoscale, the objects within those scales and the way we measure these objects.
  • The Sweet Self-Assembly program focuses on the creation of macrocapsules using self-assembly techniques. Participants make edible macrocapsules using techniques similar to those being used in laboratories to make nanocapsules or "smart drugs".
Evaluation Reports
There are two new evaluation reports on activities in the catalog:
What Else?
Network-Wide Meeting in San Francisco
Approximately 225 people participated in the NISE Network's Network-Wide Meeting this year. The program featured keynote speeches from Kathy Sykes and Andrew Maynard and a variety of sessions and workshops focused on nanoscale informal science education. More resources and materials from the sessions and workshops will be listed on in the coming weeks. Read Andrew's reflections on the meeting and download his presentation on his blog 2020 Science.
 New Blog Posts on
Clark Miller, of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University, has posted a new blog entitled "Why Nano Matters: Saving the World?" The post examines one potential contribution from nanotechnology that could help to counteract climate change.
Several new blog posts in addition to this one can be found at:
NSTA Nano Symposium
On Saturday, March 12th the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Society for College Science Teachers (SCST) will be co-sponsoring a Symposium on Nanotechnology as part of the NSTA National Conference in San Francisco. The symposium will include a panel, workshops, and a concurrent poster session. NISE Net staff will be participating in the panel, providing an informal science educator's perspective and will be presenting a workshop focusing on NanoDays.
All are invited to submit proposals for the poster session on that Saturday morning.
The focus for the poster session is:
Tools for Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology for Health and Life
Nanotechnology Curriculum across Disciplines
Informal Education in Nanotechnology
Submissions for the poster session are due by December 1.
For more information or to request the submission form, email: [email protected]
  Nano Education Position Available
The West Virginia University Nano Initiative is looking to hire an Education Coordinator. The ideal candidate would oversee educational programs at the K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels for WV Nano. Interested candidates should go to the WVU Research Corporation HR page:  and click on "Education Coordinator (NANO302)" from the menu on the left. Review of applications will begin December 1, 2010.
 Partner Activities: NanoDays in Italy
The Piccola Accademia hosted their own NanoDays event in Gagliato, Italy this past summer. Using the digital NanoDays Kit, a few other special activities developed specifically for "NanoGagliato", and after observing NanoDays at the Children's Museum of Houston, this was the first NanoDays event held in Italy. A documentary filmmaker also came to the event and his film has been posted on Youtube.
Nano Haiku
Plain old adhesive
tape grabs atom-thick carbon.
Fame, fortune follow.
by Vrylena Olney of the Museum of Science. This Haiku refers to the most recent Nobel Prize winners in Physics. To find out more about how Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselev used adhesive tape to get graphene, download the "Information For the Public" factsheet available on the Nobel Prize website.
Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Eli Bossin at [email protected]