Exploring Size - Ball Sorter

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"Exploring Size - Ball Sorter" is a hands-on activity in which visitors use sieves with different-sized holes, to sort balls by size. They learn that researchers are developing new technologies that can sort nano-sized things, including filters with nano-sized holes.


Big Idea

A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

Learning Goals

A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

New nanotechnologies include water filters with nano-sized pores and medications that use the human body’s natural filtration system.

Nano Content Map
Nanometer-sized things are very small, and often behave differently than larger things do.
Nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanoengineering lead to new knowledge and innovations that weren't possible before.
Nanotechnologies—and their costs, utility, risks, and benefits—are closely interconnected with society and with our values.


Year created

Developed for the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.


Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US).
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Development Process
NISE Network products are developed through an iterative collaborative process that includes scientific review, peer review, and visitor evaluation in accordance with an inclusive audiences approach. Products are designed to be easily edited and adapted for different audiences under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. To learn more, visit our Development Process page.