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Guidelines for the Design and Use of Scale Ladders

Professional development training tool to prepare staff and volunteers to facilitate activities that use scale ladders and diagrams to explain how extraordinary small nano is.

DESCRIPTION

To understand why the nanoscale is different, we need to appreciate just how small it is. One common way to represent the nanoscale visually relies on scale ladders, diagrams that show how objects are related by size. Using existing research on understanding size and scale, the Visualization Laboratory carried out a series of experiments to develop a scale ladder and guidelines for their design and use. These guidelines are based on several rounds of formative evaluation, and provide insight into what aspects of a scale ladder are most critical in communicating with visitors, and how they might be used most effectively in educational settings.

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DESCRIPTION

To understand why the nanoscale is different, we need to appreciate just how small it is. One common way to represent the nanoscale visually relies on scale ladders, diagrams that show how objects are related by size. Using existing research on understanding size and scale, the Visualization Laboratory carried out a series of experiments to develop a scale ladder and guidelines for their design and use. These guidelines are based on several rounds of formative evaluation, and provide insight into what aspects of a scale ladder are most critical in communicating with visitors, and how they might be used most effectively in educational settings.

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OBJECTIVES

NANO CONTENT MAP

Nanometer-sized things are very small, and often behave differently than larger things do.

Credits

YEAR CREATED
2009
OWNING INSTITUTION

Exploratorium

FUNDING

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.

PERMISSIONS

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.

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