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Nano Bite: August 2011

Welcome to the August Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).

What's new?
→ ASTC Annual Conference
The early-bird registration deadline for the 2011 ASTC Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD is August 26th! The NISE Network will be hosting a number of events at this year's conference and we would love to see you there:
  • Pre-Conference Workshop: The NISE Network is sponsoring a pre-conference workshop on Friday, October 14th 8am-4pm, entitled "Really Great Programming: Best Practices in Development, Delivery, and Evaluation". There is a $25 registration fee, and you can sign up when you register for the conference.
  • Baltimore Welcomes You! Reception - Happy Hour: NISE Net partners are invited to gather together on Friday, October 14th from 5-7pm.
  • Exhibit Hall - Booth #351: The NISE Net will have a booth in the exhibit hall featuring a prototype of the Nano mini-exhibition. Stop by for a visit Saturday the 15th or Sunday the 16th from 10:30am-5:00pm.
  • Partner Breakfast: The NISE Net is hosting a breakfast for staff from institutions that have been involved in our work. Please join us on Monday, October 17th from 7:45-8:45am to hear about our plans for the coming year, learn about new educational products and opportunities to get involved, and talk with other NISE Net partners from across the country. This is a great chance for staff from your institution who have not been as involved in the Network to learn more about what we do. Please RSVP here.
  • Conference Sessions: The NISE Network and lessons learned from our work will be featured in a number of sessions. Go to for more details.

For the full list of NISE Net events at ASTC, go to:

→ RISE Rap Blog Post: National Science Board Reviews Broader Impact Criterion
  • The National Science Board has recently reviewed comments from 5,100 stakeholders on the Broader Impact Criterion and has revised them in order to clarify their intent and 'connection to NSF's core principles.' Click here for an analysis of some of those revisions, and an examination of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's reaction to the updated criterion.
What Else?
 MRS Spring 2012 Meeting Educational Symposium Call for Papers
The Materials Research Society 2012 Spring Meeting in San Francisco, April 9-13, 2012, is having an Educational Symposium. The MRS hopes that those interested will consider participation in the Meeting, and has issued a Call for Papers. Abstracts can be submitted between October 1 and November 1, 2011. For more information, check in with the MRS web site throughout the year.

Nano Employment Opportunity: MRS Outreach Coordinator
The Materials Research Society, located in Warrendale, PA, seeks an experienced education or science outreach coordinator to develop, execute, and manage education, outreach and volunteer programs that support the society's initiatives. Ideal candidates will have at minimum a bachelor's degree in education or equivalent and 3 years experience working in education and outreach science program development. For more information and to apply, email resume, cover letter, salary history, and 3 references to [email protected].

Nano in the News
  • A New Way to Build Nanostructures: The making of three-dimensional nanostructured materials has been a growing area of research, producing materials that are useful for electronics, photonics, phononics and biomedical devices. But the methods of making such materials have been limited in the 3-D complexity they can produce. Now, an MIT team has found a way to produce more complicated structures by using a blend of current 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' approaches.
  • Building an Antenna for Light: University of Toronto researchers have derived inspiration from the photosynthetic apparatus in plants to engineer a new generation of nanomaterials that control and direct the energy absorbed from light. The team combined its expertise in DNA and in semiconductors to invent a generalized strategy to bind certain classes of nanoparticles to one another.
  • Energy Storage Device Fabricated on a Nanowire Array: A team of researchers from Rice University in Houston, TX, has fabricated an energy storage device where all essential components are integrated onto a single nanowire. The nanowire energy storage device could give researchers a better understanding of electrochemistry at the nanoscale, and with optimization could also be used to power nanoelectronic devices.
  • A Homemade Scanning Electron Microscope: Looking for his next DIY project, an engineer has created a homemade Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). While his homemade version currently delivers 50x magnification, commercial SEMs can be used by researchers to examine and manipulate objects at the nanoscale.
Partner Highlight: MOST and the Nano Haiku

What do 17th-century Japanese literature and a science summer camp in Syracuse, NY have in common? Haiku! The Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) in Syracuse, New York has been working to incorporate nano content into their ongoing summer camp program. As part of that effort, they're using the haikus from the Nano Bite to spark discussions about science content! One example of a haiku and the camper's explanation:

Raindrops roll and drop
from a hydrophobic leaf
leaving it clean

Bruno: "I experimented with leaves. There was a leaf called 'lamb's ear.' This leaf attracts water to it and when you dump it in the water, it gets soaked. There was another leaf (Nasturtium) that slid water off and it looked like a lilypad."

Click Here for the complete blog post about MOST and their incorporation of nano content into their summer camps.

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