About Media

Media formats include images, video, audio, print, and multimedia. These formats can be incorporated into public educational experiences, integrated into training programs, and used for promotional purposes

Media Formats

Media Visualization Themes

Promotional Materialsnano mini-exhibition logo

A variety of promotional and marketing materials are available for educators and scientists to use when promoting educational events and activities around the topic of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. These materials include logos, color and font specifications, photos, ads, and other promotional pieces.

​Please refer to FAQ #17 www.nisenet.org/faqs to learn about the different types of images on this website and how the different permissions and attributions apply to the image you are interested in.

Scientific ImagesRed Blood Cell Closeup - courtesy Janice Carr, CDC

A curated collection of digital scientific images related to nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. These scientific images may be incorporated into other educational experiences such as programs and exhibits.

Images at the nanoscale and microscale are a powerful way to represent a world too small to see with just our eyes.

The NISE Network has obtained permission from the creators of these scientific images to host these images online and make these images available to NISE Network partners to use for non-commercial educational uses. Please refer to the "Credits" section for each image to learn more about how you may use this product as well as how you should attribute each image.

​Please refer to FAQ #17 www.nisenet.org/faqs to learn about the different types of images on this website and how the different permissions and attributions apply to the image you are interested in.

Available on this site:

Red Blood Cell Closeup - courtesy Janice Carr, CDC

Videonano and me video

Videos include standalone educational products, audiovisual clips, and instructional training videos that can be incorporated into public educational experiences such as programs and exhibits as well as into training programs.

Available on this site:

Videos for public audiences:

Videos for professional audience

Training videos are available for many NISE Net educational products:

Tiny Tech Audio podcast logo

Audio and Podcasts

Podcasts are pre-recorded programs that can be downloaded and played on digital media players. Although podcasts primarily include audio content, they may also include images and video. Podcasts range in time from one minute to an hour.

Available on this site:

whatisnano website with laptop


Websites include a collection of other web pages that also cover nanoscale science, engineering and technology content. These sites include a variety of resources including digital products, images, graphics, videos, online games and activities, and databases.

The NISE Network created this site, as well as whatisnano.org, to help foster public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.  In addition, we’ve provided links to other helpful websites that also promote nanoscience awareness.

Available on this site:

multimedia hand zoom

Interactive Media and Games

These multimedia resources include online games and interactive media experiences that can be downloaded or played over the Internet.

Available on this site:


Print Media and PostersKey Concepts Poster - gecko

Digital images, graphics, and printed media include signs, posters, banners, books, and other products that can be downloaded and printed out or presented on electronic displays.

Available on this site:

Visualizations at the Nano Scale

The nanoscale world is so small that we can't directly see or experience it. At one hundred thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair, nanoscale particles are governed by unfamiliar physical forces. How do we visualize this world and the forces that dominate it? The NISE Network has created some different ways to visualize just how small the nanoscale is.

Whether creating an exhibit on the color of a butterfly wing or participating in a forum on the health risks of nanomedicine, working with topics in nanoscience requires context to give meaning to sizes and scales. 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 (Viz Lab) carried out a series of experiments to develop effective scale ladders as well as guidelines for their design and use. Diagrams are highly simplified figures, designed to quickly convey ideas or relationships using lines or shapes. Diagrams are particularly useful in exhibit graphics and presentations, when viewers need to quickly grasp a concept. Illustrations, by contrast, provide very realistic renderings of objects and often take more time to interpret.

butterfly zoom image


Zooms show the same object at different size scales. They can take many forms, from the classic Eames' film "Powers of Ten" to an exhibit label with a series of still images. Zooms are frequently used to engage the public with objects that are beyond our perception, transporting viewers from everyday objects to the less familiar small objects (such as cells or atoms). In this journey from the large scale to small scale, zooms give viewers a sense of relative size and convey that things are made of smaller parts.

illustration poster butterfly

Given the effectiveness of zooms in transporting the visitor from their world to the unfamiliar landscape of the nanoscale, the NISE Network has created several interactive media zooms and videos that allow viewers to explore objects across multiple scales.

Illustrations are artworks designed to present or enrich content. They play an especially important role in science, where they can be used to show objects or phenomena that are beyond our perception. The NISE Network has created a series of zoom poster illustrations that show familiar objects across ten orders of magnitude in a single illustration: the human bloodstream, a butterfly wing, and a computer chip. To help visitors see the connections between objects from vast size scales, these illustrations make use of perspective commonly used in landscape paintings: large objects are on the horizon, and small objects are in the foreground. This innovation earned the 2008 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge from NSF and Science Magazine. These illustrations are available as stand-alone images, banners, annotated posters, or combined in a single poster that highlights "Everything is Made of Atoms."

Available on this site:


Scale Laddershow small is nano scale ladder poster

The NISE Network has created scale ladder diagrams, posters, and interactive media that can quickly convey the size of the nanoscale by showing how objects are related by size. 

Available on this site:


carbon molecular models

Physical Models

Physical models are three-dimensional, tangible representations of real-world or theoretical objects. They have a long history of use in both formal and informal education settings, from chemistry models used in the classroom to dioramas in natural history museums. Physical models are a particularly rich avenue for exploring the structure and geometry of the nanoscale in informal settings. They can be a hands-on, open-ended, and cost-effective way to demonstrate molecular structures. 

Available on this site:

Immersive SimulationsImmersive exhibit

A computer simulation is a computer model that shows the behavior or properties of an object or system over time. Computer simulations provide access to systems, objects, or phenomena that cannot normally be manipulated, such as hurricanes, traffic patterns, or the behavior of atoms. With advances in computing power, simulations are increasingly used in science, particularly in modeling nanoscale phenomena. Simulations provide a way to visualize not just the object being studied, but it's behavior.

In collaboration with scientists and artists, the NISE Network partnered with Scott Snibbe of Snibbe Interactive and Zack Booth-Simpson of Mine-Control to create immersive simulation exhibit experiences at the nanoscale.

Available on this site:

Nano Artists in Residence

How do we picture a world we can’t see? How do we envision a place where gravity is barely relevant and everything is in constant motion? The nanoscale is so tiny it cannot be seen directly, and its dominant forces are different than those we are used to in everyday life. To address this challenge, the NISE Network Visualization Laboratory at the Exploratorium invited artists and scientists to explore ways of representing the nanoscale through a series of commissions, installations, and residencies in 2006. Drawing from a spectrum of artistic media and approaches, the results of these experiences are documented on this archival report. The report includes perspectives by Tom Rockwell and Pamela Winfrey from the Exploratorium and profiles of the following artists:

  • Eric Heller, professor. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Stephanie Maxwell, professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York
  • Santiago Ortiz, Madrid’s European Institute of Design, Spain
  • Ruth Jarman and Joseph Gerhardt, Semiconductor, United Kingdom
  • Scott Snibbe, Snibbe Interactive
  • Victoria Vesna, media artist and professor, UCLA School of the Arts, Los Angeles, California

Available on this site: