"Nanotechnology: What's the Big Deal?" is a broad overview of the unique challenges and opportunities presented by nanoscale science, and dives into the super tiny scale of nanotechnology.
"Exploring Size - Scented Balloons" lets visitors use their sense of smell to explore the world on the nanoscale. They learn that we can smell some things that are too small to see, and that a nanometer is a billionth of a meter.
"Exploring Size - StretchAbility" is a hands and feet-on game that explores the different sizes of things in the world. Visitors learn that a nanometer is a billionth of a meter.
"Exploring Size - Measure Yourself" is a hands-on activity in which visitors mark their height on a height chart and discover how tall they are in nanometers. They learn that although being a billion nanometers tall sounds impressive, it doesn't mean they're super tall: it means a nanometer is super small. Visitors can also measure their hands in nanometers.
"Exploring Size - Tiny Ruler" is a hands-on activity investigating just how small a billionth of a meter is. Visitors attempt to cut a paper ruler down to a nanometer-sized sliver. They learn that nano is too small to see, and certainly too small to cut with a pair of scissors!
Fact or Fiction? employs graphic panels and constructible toy “nanobots” to teach visitors what’s real in nanotechnology, and what remains science fiction. Learn about the potential risks and benefits that could come with nanoscale robots, and the challenges that still prevent us from creating them. Build a toy nanobot—what could it do if it were real?
Nanolab is an immersive exhibit space, with activities and interactive components suitable for visitors of all ages. NanoLab explores how nanoscientists use special devices and laboratories to build and manipulate materials on the nanoscale. Visitors can dress up like a scientist, play with interactive exhibits, examine clothing and objects used in real labs, watch a video on nanoscale research, and explore the resource area for materials on nanotechnology and the basics of nanoscale science.
“Cutting it Down” is a cart demo that communicates scale through a hands-on activity. Visitors learn that the nanometer size scale is very, very small—and that we can’t use macroscale tools to manipulate nanoscale materials. During the program, visitors are challenged to cut a small strip of paper in half as many times as they can—or until they reach the nanoscale, which ever comes first.
The purpose of this activity is to help students conceptualize the magnitude of a nanometer compared to other metric units of length. At the end of this activity, students will be able to state the size of a nanometer, convert between nanometers and other metric units of length, and give concrete examples of nanotechnology use in everyday life. At the conclusion of this unit, students will create a 7-10 minute class presentation to demonstrate their learning.
"Exploring Size - Moving Molecules" is a hands-on activity in which visitors use an air cannon toy to spin pinwheels. They learn that air is made up of molecules, which are tiny nanometer-sized particles.