Staff training materials for Nano & Society workshop. The workshop focused on preparing museum educators to engage the public in conversations about the relationship between nanotechnology and society. Workshop participants learned new hands-on activities, full-length programs, and ideas for facilitating visitor experiences in the Nano mini-exhibition. The workshop provided specific training and skill-building in nano and society content, conversation facilitation, and improving and learning from professional practice (Team Based Inquiry).
The "Nano & Society" poster series provide an entry point for exploring the relationship between nanotechnology and society. They can be displayed on their own, used to spark an open-ended conversation, or paired with suggested activities.
SmallTalk is a podcast series chatting about nanotechnology with leading scientists, thinkers, artists, writers, and visionaries, and look at quirky nanoscience stories in the news. Dr. Stephanie Chasteen, of the Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute, hosted this series in 2007. Podcase Episodes: • Nature’s Playing Field: Nanotechnology and Medicine Dr. Tejal Desai, UCSF and Dr. Thomas Murray, Hastings Center Running Time: 00:30:48 • Nanotechnology’s Role in Making Cheap Solar Power
A guide to creating informal public conversations about Nanoscience
This 50-minute program includes an introduction to the nanoscale science, conversation time for the participants and 2 ten-minute plays that stimulate conversation about the impact the field of nanoscale science may have on our lives. It also gets the audience thinking about how we should respond -- both individually and collectively -- to those potential impacts. This theater program was performed at the Science Museum of Minnesota and as an outreach program for high school students. The plays have also been performed individually as part of forums.
Theoretical Physicist, Michio Kaku addresses the question of the possibility of utopia, the perfect society that people have tried to create throughout history. These dreams have not been realized because we have scarcity. However, now we have nanotechnology, and with nanotechnology, perhaps, says Dr. Michio Kaku, maybe in 100 years, we'll have something called the replicator, which will create enormous abundance. (5:42 min)
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. We wanted to know where they thought the world was 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.
This guide is focused on “three big ideas” that can provide a framework to help museum staff and visitors feel empowered to reflect on the relevance of nanotechnology in their lives through open-ended conversation. The guide considers how new nanotechnologies may affect people and the societies they live in and create. The three big ideas are illustrated with related videos and hands-on activities and further explored through very brief case studies of three nanospecific technologies, providing further examples of conversations that might occur on a museum floor.
Improv exercises empower educators to facilitate positive, learning conversations with visitors. Incorporating improv exercises into staff and volunteer training helps create a supportive and upbeat environment for educators to practice and strengthen essential skills. Included are tips on how to lead improv exercises with your staff and guides for 13 separate improv activities you can use.
"Exploring Nano & Society - Invisibility Cloak" is a hands-on activity in which visitors learn about refraction and how it can be used to make a glass stir rod "disappear" in a cup of baby oil. They also learn how nano researchers are trying to make invisibility cloaks by manipulating the refraction of light. Conversation around this possible new technology leads visitors to explore how technologies and society influence each other.