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).
This program examines and explores social and ethical issues of consumer products from the past, present and future. Audience members are asked to weigh the risks versus the benefits. The audience members are responsible for making choices on what products to buy, question, or not buy for themselves, their families, and their communities in this fun and interactive show.
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.
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.
This is a hands-on activity in which visitors learn about the fundamental component of biology and synthetic engineering: DNA. In the activity, visitors will extract visible DNA from wheat germ, and create necklaces to display their own sample of wheat germ DNA.
This is a hands-on activity for Building with Biology, in which visitors explore the engineering aspect of synthetic biology by solving challenges through building a model cell with standardized genetic parts. Many genetic components can be used as part of the solution to multiple problems. Kits of standardized genetic parts—like "BioBricks"—are already being developed for real-world applications.
"Bio Bistro" is a card-based personal choice activity, in which visitors decide what current and future synthetic biology-based food products they would, would not, or might eat. They share their opinions on why they made each choice, and discuss what problems researchers are trying to solve with these foods, and what they like or don't like about these solutions.
This 7-minute video was developed as part of the Building with Biology project and is designed to help create conversations in museums among scientists and public audiences about the emerging field of synthetic biology and its societal implications.
Using Media to Explore Social and Ethical Issues in Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies (High School curriculum lesson)
This lesson introduces students to social and ethical issues related to nanotechnology. The lesson demonstrates possible social issues through case studeies using popular films, books, and news stories. The lesson is intented to stimulate discussion about social and ethical issues related to nanotechnology as well as, in a broader context, the interaction of science and technology with society.