Nano Bite: July 2011

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

What's new?
 
→ New to the Catalog

→ New to the Website
  • Find a Scientist: Many scientists are eager to collaborate locally on educational projects or serve as advisors and content experts. To find a scientist to collaborate with near you, follow the steps listed here.

Evaluation Studies Available
There are some exciting new evaluation reports available in the NISE Network Catalog:
  • Year 5 Summative Evaluation of Exhibits and Programs studies the impact of a set of NISE Net exhibits and programs on museum visitors. Among the findings:
    • Many visitors associate "nano" with small, even before seeing nano in the museum.
    • Visitors find relevance in the exhibits and programs, and may find more ways to connect their everyday lives to nano when they encounter it in the future.
  • The 2010 Delivery and Reach Study looks at the nano educational activities that NISE Net partners are doing and estimates the public reach of the Network. Some of the findings are that we have been successful at connecting with different institutions and supporting the delivery of nano education programs and activities, and that a number of mechanisms (including NanoDays) have supported that success.
  • Review of NISE Network Evaluation Findings - Years 1-5 is a review of the findings from over 240 evaluation reports from the first five years of the Network. The review is divided into six chapters:
    • Connecting ISE Professionals with Nano Informal Science Education
    • Connecting the University-Affiliated Individuals with Nano Informal Science Education
    • Engaging the Public in Learning about Nano through NISE Network Educational Products
    • Engaging the Public with Societal and Ethical Implications Content through NISE Network Products
    • Making the Unfamiliar Interesting and Relevant for Museum Visitors
    • Reaching Public Audiences
The  chapters are intended to stand alone, so you can can read the entire report, or just a single chapter that might relate particularly to your work.
 
The Evaluation team would like to thank all of the Network partners who contributed to these studies. It is with your help that the Network continues to grow and learn together.

 
What Else?
 
 Partner Highlight: NanoDays Collaborations
  • Each Spring, hundreds of NISE Net partners across the country plan and host local NanoDays events. Partners hosting NanoDays filled out reports afterward letting us know about their experiences. This blog post takes a closer look at the collaborations that our NanoDays partners reported this year.

Nano Employment Opportunity
  • The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and affiliated Nature Research Center (NRC) is looking for a new Science Communication Director. The director will be based in Raleigh and communicate science education efforts at the NRC, teach at North Carolina State University, conduct research on museum education/outreach activities, and host interns, citizen scientists, and colleagues on both campuses. For more information about the position, please click here.
Hidden Power: Energy, Electricity, and Efficiency
The Franklin Institute, in partnership with the Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science and through funding by the National Science Foundation, is offering a free set of floor demonstrations to interested museums that will be selected upon review of application. The program includes 8 cart-based, interactive, visitor-tested demonstrations with a focus on applications of materials science relevant to energy, electricity, and efficiency. For more information about the program and application, go to: http://www.mrsec.psu.edu/museum/fourth/

Nano in the News
  • Working in Harmony: Researcher-designed nanoparticles can communicate with each other inside the body to target tumors more efficiently. In this new type of cancer drug delivery system, a first wave of nanoparticles homes in on the tumor, then calls in a much larger second wave that dispenses the cancer drug. This communication between nanoparticles, enabled by the body's own biochemistry, boosted drug delivery to tumors by more than 40-fold in a study.
     
  • Nanotechnology is Key to Recovering Usable Fingerprints from Old Evidence: Researchers have made an important step towards recovering usable fingerprints from old evidence and surfaces long considered too difficult by crime scene investigators. The new method uses antibodies designed to target amino acids and can detect aged, dry and weak fingerprints that cannot be captured using traditional fingerprinting methods.
     
  • First Graphene Integrated Circuit: IBM researchers have built the first integrated circuit (IC) based on a graphene transistor. The circuit, built on a wafer of silicon carbide, consists of field-effect transistors made of graphene. The researchers say that graphene, which has the potential to make transistors operate that operate at higher speeds, could one day supplant silicon as the basis for computer chips. 
     
  • Tiny Ring Laser Accurately Detects and Counts Nanoparticles: Whispering-gallery microlasers can count and measure nanoscale synthetic or biological particles. A particle disturbs the lasing "mode" to split it into two frequencies, and the frequency split acts as a ruler that allows the particle to be measured. The microlasers can detect particles 10 nanometers in radius, and their resolution is about one nanometer.
     
  • Science Buzz - Passing on an airline that only inspects 20% of its planes: Just in time for the summer heat, Leigha Horton of the Science Museum of Minnesota has posted this latest piece to the Science Buzz blog exploring nanoscience in sunblock. Click here for some surprising and timely insights about sunblock and the cosmetics industry in general.
Nano Haiku

Acid-binding antibodies
And gold nanoshells
Detect latent fingermarks

 
 

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

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