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NanoDays - More Details

Public programs, hands-on activities, and professional development resources about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology and their impact on society.

NanoDays is an annual, nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology and their impact on society. NanoDays events have taken place at science museums, research centers, and universities across the country from Puerto Rico to Hawaii. NanoDays events can engage people of all ages in learning about this emerging field of research, which holds the promise of developing revolutionary materials and technologies.

NanoDays kit contents activity components

NISE Network is no longer creating and distributing new NanoDays resources

The NISE Network is no longer creating and distributing new NanoDays kits; the last kit we created was in 2015.  The NanoDays Collection book published in 2016 is the most comprehensive version of NanoDays materials. We encourage you to hold NanoDays events and use NanoDays materials year-round. Digital versions of NanoDays materials are available to download.

NanoDays Collection book cover featuring a family of learners observing materials

NanoDays Collection book

The NanoDays Collection book completed in 2016 is a complete compendium of NanoDays activities and resources. This resource contains digital files for all NanoDays activity guides, signs, and training videos for NanoDays activities, in English and Spanish. These materials materials, and much more, are available for download:



Girl looking at iridescent peacock feather with nanoscale color

NanoDays educational materials

Training tools:

Marketing materials:

Educational Materials

NanoDays Digital kit archives

Archive of all NanoDays digital kits available as digital downloads (2009-2016)

NanoDays future dates 

Girl using nano sand activity
  • NanoDays activities can be used anytime throughout the year.
  • NanoDays events are often held from the last weekend in March through the first weekend in April. Future dates for NanoDays are:
    • 2021: March 27-April 4
    • 2022: March 26-April 3
    • 2023: March 25-April 2
  • Calendar of STEM-related seasonal events and holidays
    Ideas for incorporating current science, engineering, and technology content into holidays, seasons, annual events, and special events.
  • National Nano Day (October 9th)
    National Nanotechnology Day (#NationalNanoDay) is an annual celebration and pays homage to the nanometer scale, 10–9 meters.

NanoDays guide cover - NanoDays: A NISE Network Guide to Creating Activity Kits, Building Communities, and Inspiring Learning

NanoDays development process

NISE Net has several guides that explain our process for developing educational programs, hands-on activities, and NanoDays kits:

NanoDays participating organizations

Hundreds of organizations have hosted and participated in NanoDays events. We have a complete listing of physical NanoDays kit recipients from 2008-2015. Additional organizations participated by partnering with physical kit recipients or downloading and using the digital kit materials. 


NanoDays event showing nasturtium lotus leaf effect

What could YOU do for NanoDays?

NanoDays events bring scientists together with museums and other informal education organizations, creating unique learning experiences. The resulting educational experiences engage people of all ages in a miniscule world where materials have special properties and new technologies have spectacular promise. 


magic sand activityMany NanoDays celebrations will combine simple hands-on activities for young people with events exploring current research for adults. One popular activity involves visitors working together to build a giant balloon model of a carbon nanotube. (Real carbon nanotubes, which are 1/50,000th of the width of a human hair, have extraordinary strength and unusual electrical properties that make them useful in electronics and materials science.)



Cornell researcher Sharon Gerbode talks about "squishy science" at Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY
Cornell researcher Sharon Gerbode talks about "squishy science" at a NanoDays event held at the Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY

Other NanoDays activities demonstrate different, unexpected properties of materials at the nanoscale, such as sand that doesn't get wet, tiny particles of gold that appear red in color, and water that won’t spill from a teacup.

Some NanoDays participants host public forums, discussions about the risks and benefits of particular appllications of nanotechnology. Many participating universities host public tours of their laboratories that work with nanoscale science and technology.

For lots of ideas about what you could do for NanoDays, please see the NanoDays planning guide. 


NanoDays song

Alex Fiorentino, former NISE Net programs team member and Museum of Science Boston Education Associate, sent us this clip of his NanoDays song. Enjoy!