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Nano Bite: April 2012

Welcome to the April Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).
What's new?

Tell Us About Your NanoDays!
  • Fill out a report! If your organization received a physical kit this year, the report is required. If you co-hosted an event with another organization using a single kit, only one of you is required to fill out the report. The online NanoDays report is available here:
​If you hosted a NanoDays event but did not receive a physical kit this year, we would still love to hear about your event; feel free to fill out a report!

The reporting deadline for NanoDays is May 1. As a thank you for filling out the report on time, your name will be entered into two drawings for a fabulous set of educational materials to use with your visitors! Winners will be notified by the end of May.
  • Share photos from your event! We are always happy to receive photos from your event as long as we have copies of the NISE Network signed release forms for everyone in the picture. This year in particular, we are collecting photos of NanoDays staff and volunteers from around the country. For more details on how to submit, and a link to the release forms, please go to: /blog/post/send-us-pictures-your-nanodays-team.

 New to is now available in Spanish at! For education professionals, we also have more than 50 activities, resources, and guides translated into Spanish listed at: /spanish-language-translations.

New DIY (Do It Yourself) activities are also now available on for the public to try at home. Activities include: Invisible Sunblock, Rainbow Film, Mitten Challenge, and more!

 New Catalog Table of Contents at!
Check out our new Catalog Table of Contents, an interactive, alphabetical list of all the educational products in the NISE Net Catalog. The chart includes the activity name, catalog section (such as programs, exhibits, media), target audience, the nano topics covered, and more.

The Scale of the Universe

This interactive animation is a modern version of the classic Powers of Ten video. It takes you all the way from the (estimated) outer reaches of the universe down to the length of a Planck. Somewhere in the middle, the animation lets you explore the nanoscale. Click on different objects as they zoom by to learn more.

For more on the powers of ten and scale, check out the NISE Net's Exploring Size - Powers of Ten Game and Scale Ladder Diagram.

What Else?

Seasonal Activities
Now that NanoDays is behind us, you may be looking for ways to incorporate nano programming into other seasonal events at your organization. Some upcoming annual events include: World Health Day (April 7), Earth Day (April 22), National Poetry Month (April), and National Children's Book Week (May). For a full listing of ideas to incorporate nano content into seasonal events, please visit: Let us know if you have other ideas to add! Email Vrylena Olney with suggestions.

  • NISE Net Easter Eggs! Way back in April 2005, the NISE Net was being conceptualized and the first proposal was coming together. One attempt at a diagram to represent the structure of the NISE Net came to be known as the Easter Egg diagram. Check out this timely blog post from Larry Bell showing the early vision for the Network, and see how much things have changed in 7 years!
 2012 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting
The 2012 MRS Spring Meeting is taking place April 9-13 in San Francisco. This year's meeting will include an Educational Symposium, public outreach center activities, hands-on nano coffee hours, stage presentation, and student mixer all featuring NISE Net activities. Professional Development opportunities include the Making the Most of Broadcast Media Workshop, Mastering Science Presentations seminar, and a technical poster design seminar.

AAM 2012 Annual Meeting & Expo
As part of the American Association of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting & Museum Expo, the Science Museum of Minnesota is hosting an event on April 30th that will include NISE Network information, hands-on activities, and live stage programs. Find out more at:

 Association of Children's Museums Interactivity 2012
The ACM Interactivity 2012 Conference will take place May 10-12 in Portland, Oregon. The conference will include several sessions sharing NISE Network activities and learning as well as a booth in the exhibit hall featuring the Nano mini-exhibition, information, and activities. The NISE Network will also provide activities and demonstrations featuring nanoscale science, engineering, and technology activities appropriate for young museum visitors on May 10th at a special OMSI evening event.

Stanford Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers - Nanotechnology
The Center for Probing the Nanoscale (CPN) at Stanford University is accepting applications for its annual Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers on July 23-27, 2012. At the Institute, teachers learn about the physical concepts underlying nanotechnology and nanoscience in simple terms. Teachers receive a hands-on activity kit with many fun activities that bring nanoscience into the classroom. For more information and to apply by May 7, visit or email Maria Wang, CPN Associate Director.

Partner Highlight
Children's Museum of Indianapolis
This January, seventeen middle school and pre-service teachers from around central Indiana descended upon The Children's Museum of Indianapolis for the Museum's first nano-infused teacher workshop. Armed with a curriculum of half-NISE Net/half-NSTA materials, Becky Wolfe and John McCollum engaged these teachers in the conepts of nanoscale science, engineering and technology. For more on the Children's Museum's teacher workshops, read this Partner Highlight by Christina Akers of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the regional hub leader for the Midwest region.

Nano in the News
  • Meet Robojelly, the Hydrogen-Powered Jellyfish-Shaped Immortal Underwater Surveillance Robot: Researchers have created a soft robot that can mimic the motion and shape of jellyfish, using nickel-titanium shape memory alloys wrapped in multi-walled carbon nanotubes in a nano-platinum catalyst powder. The powder creates heat when exposed to hydrogen and water, which causes the shape memory alloy to change shape - creating an artificial muscle that could move indefinetely in the same manner as a jellyfish.
  • Scientists Revolutionize Electron Microscope - New Method Could Create Highest Resolution Images Ever: A new method, called Electron Ptychography offers a new way to image nanoscale objects by reconstructing the scattered electron-waves of the microscope after they have passed through the sample using computers. The new method dispenses with the lenses typically found in electron microscopes, which had previously been the most constraining factor in high-quality imaging at that scale.
  • Massive Extraterrestrial Rock Hit Earth 13 Millenia Ago, According to Nano-Evidence: About 13,000 years ago, a chunk of a comet or asteroid hurtled into the atmosphere at a shallow angle, superheating the atmosphere around it as it careened toward the surface. The air grew hot enough to ignite plant material and melt rock below the object’s flight path. Within a few microseconds, atmospheric oxygen was consumed and the freed carbon atoms condensed into nanodiamond crystals. Based on a study of these nanodiamond crystals, researchers are offering new insights on the Earth's ancient climate.
  • New Way to Stop the Bleeding: MIT engineers have developed a nanoscale biological coating that can halt bleeding nearly instantaneously, an advance that could dramatically improve survival rates for soldiers injured in battle.
Nano Haiku
Stop bleeding quickly
With nano-layered band-aids
Saving soldier's lives

Karine Thate of the Museum of Science was inspired by MIT's Paula Hammond, a speaker at NanoDays for the Museum of Science this year, and the lead scientist on the New Way to Stop the Bleeding research.

Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Eli Bossin at [email protected]