Nano Bite: December 2011

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

What's new?

NanoDays Physical Kit Applications Close December 8
There are only a few more days to apply for NanoDays 2012 Physical Kits! NanoDays is our annual week of community-based educational outreach events to raise public awareness of nano across the United States, and will be March 24 through April 1, 2012. If you're interested in receiving a physical kit containing all the materials and resources you need to start planning your event, fill out an online application before the December 8 deadline. You can find the complete list of the contents of the 2012 Physical Kit, here. The eligibility guidelines for the NanoDays Physical Kit is available here.
 
The 2012 kits include a slew of new resources, educational activities, and more. Some examples:

Looking for ideas for NanoDays 2012? Here are a few more highlights from NanoDays past:
  • The North Dakota State College of Science participated in a NanoDays event for a group of home-schooled students in the Fargo area. The REACH homeschooled group organized a science fair with a potluck dinner, and staff from ND State College set up NanoDays kit activities. Students, parents, siblings, and friends from the homeschooled group participated in their science fair and had the opportunity to explore hands-on nanoscience activities. For more on North Dakota State College of Science's NanoDays, contact Carrie Leopold.
     
  • Visitors at the Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, IL played with many of the NanoDays activities from the 2010 and 2011 kits at activity stations. Students and faculty from the NSEC at UW Madison stopped by to run aerogel, nitinol, and mysterious mixture card demos. Favorite characters from past years NanoDays events, Macro Man and Nano Boy, took the year off, and instead educators performed Attack of the Nanoscientist. For more on the Discovery Center Museum's NanoDays, contact Mike Rathbun.
     
  • The Miami Science Museum NanoDays included activities and presentations from Florida International University, seven ongoing table-top demonstrations using most of the activities from the NanoDays kit, and also the Attack of the Nanoscientist and Flying Cars theater presentations. For more on the Miami Science Museum's NanoDays, contact Karlisa Callwood.
     
  • Hinds Community College in Raymond, MS hosted a NanoNight at a local elementary school. College student volunteers helped parents, teachers, and students go through ten stations with activities from the 2011 kit. A few days later, Hinds Community College, along with Jackson State University, Milsaps College, Mississippi College, and Holmes Community College participated in a NanoDays at the new Mississippi Children's Museum, where their student volunteers again guided museum visitors through the activities provided in the kit. For more on Hinds Community College's NanoDays, contact Pamela Clevenger.

 New in the Catalog: Does Every Silver Lining Have a Cloud?
This 6-minute video features researchers at the Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology at Duke University explaining the relationship between nanomaterials, in particular nanosilver, and their potential impact on the ecosystem.

 
What Else?

Guides and Resources Available to Help Engage Underserved and Underrepresented Audiences
The Inclusive Audiences team has made resources available to help increase professional and institutional capacity to effectively engage underserved and underrepresented audiences, including girls, bilingual audiences, and persons with disabilities.
  • Spanish Language Translations: Based on input from partners, the NISE Network has adapted our most popular products for Spanish-speaking audiences! These links provide Spanish versions of several NISE Network programs, as well as other selected resources. We have made a special effort to translate the NanoDays activities, and this year Spanish translations will be included as part of the NanoDays Physical Kit.
     
  • Translation Process Guide: Interested in learning more about the NISE Net's translation process or translating materials into other languages? The NISE Net translation team created a Translation Process Guide describing the NISE Net translation process, providing tips on things like choosing translators and science content reviewers, and includes a quick reference of Spanish-English translations of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology terms. Parts of the guide focus on English to Spanish translations, but the overall guide is written to be applicable to other languages.
 
Partner Highlight
 
Las Cruces Museum of Natural History
Located within a public school system where 73% of the students are Hispanic, the Las Cruces Museum of Natural History (LCMNH) in Las Cruces, New Mexico strives to find new and successful ways to reach their vastly diverse and often underserved audiences. In collaboration with Scientifically Connected Communities (SC2) at New Mexico State University, the LCMNH received a NISE Network 2011 mini-grant allowing them to create a series of bilingual teacher and student resource kits focusing on different themes of nanoscience. For more on Las Cruces' Suitcase Science program, read this Partner Highlight by Tim Hecox of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the regional hub leader for the West region.

 
Nano in the News
  • Seven Religious Reactions to Nanotechnology: This paper, published in the on-line journal NanoEthics is a survey of religious position papers and other religious statements that address nanotechnology. Chris Toumey, of the University of South Carolina NanoCenter explores how religious individuals and institutions think about nanotechnology, and how a new technology evokes a variety of hopes and fears. Readers of the Nano Bite can email Chris directly for a free (PDF) copy of the article.
     
  • Single-Molecule 'Electric Car' Taken for Test Drive: Scientists have demonstrated what could be described as the world's smallest electric car - made of a single, carefully designed molecule. The molecule has four branches that act as wheels, rotating when a small electric current was applied to them. With 10 electric bursts, the car was made to move six nanometers!
     
  • New Material Promises Faster Internet: Researchers have synthesized a single-crystal nanowire from a compound of erbium. Erbium is typically used to dope optical fibers to amplify the signal. The new single-crystal nanowires contain 1,000 times more erbium atoms in the compound than previously possible, allowing for an eventual increase in the speed of computing and internet operation.
     
  • New 'Super-Black' Material Absorbs Light Across Multiple Wavelength Bands: A team of NASA engineers has developed a carbon-nanotube coating that absorbs 99 percent of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared light that strikes it. This "super-black" material could be used in spaceflight, where stray light would be absorbed, allowing for more accurate light readings from scientific instruments.

Nano Haikus

Big ones, little ones
Every box is filled with fun
Yay for NanoDays!

KC Miller, of the Science Museum of Minnesota is looking forward to the 2012 NanoDays Kit!

NanoDays kit app
Get yours in today or else!
Thank you - Bucky Ball

Christina Akers, also of the Science Museum of Minnesota is channeling her alter ego, Bucky the Ball in a friendly reminder to apply for a NanoDays Physical Kit before the December 8 deadline.

Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Eli Bossin at ebossin@mos.org

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