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Nano Bite: July 2009

Welcome to the July Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).
What's new in the Network?
The Visualization Lab (Viz Lab) Image Collection is now up on  The collection includes a selection of copyright-free, vetted scientific photographs/microscope images available for download as well as a study of how visitors understand these images.  There are some cool stuff, including a series of gecko feet, nasturtium leaf, and Blue Morpho butterfly wing images at different magnifications.
  When Nanoscientists Attack
There's a new program in the catalog: Attack of the Nanoscientist!  The ten minute play features a supervillain from the future attempting to conquer the audience using...Nanoscience?  It's a good opportunity to get some use out of your evil-nanoscientist-from-the-future costume and practice your maniacal laugh.
Bubbles and Slime: Two Nano Activities for the Summer
Campers at the Austin Children's Museum will be learning about molecules and mixing up a batch of polymer slime this summer.  You can find the recipe on their blog, and check out the Nano Bite blog for some background information about nano and polymers and links for more information.  In addition, visitors to the Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY are blowing bubbles and exploring the nanoworld at the same time.  Visitors to the outdoor science park investigate the properties of bubbles, structures that self-assemble from soap film.  They also create large soap films, observing that the colors of the film depend on its thickness.  Summer campers are using clear nail polish to make rainbow-colored thin films that won't pop.  Instructions for the activity can be found here on the Dragonfly TV website.
What else?
A Nano Job at the Science Museum of Minnesota
The Exhibits Division at SMM is hiring a Project Leader for the NISE Net.  The Project Leader will be responsible for leading SMM's internal NISE Net team, providing strategic project management for the network, and leading the work of  The full description will be posted soon at  Please spread the word and keep your eyes out for good candidates.

Grant News
In May, the NISE Net submitted our proposal to the National Science Foundation for funding for the next five years of the network (which we informally call "6 - 10").  At this point, we're waiting to hear what questions NSF would like us to respond to about our proposal and plans.  We'll get official word if the NISE Net grant is extended for five more years sometime after the start of the new fiscal year in October.  If you have questions about the process or the proposal, contact Vrylena Olney or Larry Bell.
Congratulations to SciWorks in Winston-Salem, NC, Queens Library in Queens, NY, and Simmons College in Boston, MA.  These institutions won a free registration to either the Association of Science-Technology Centers 2009 Annual Conference in Fort Worth, TX or the 2009 Materials Research Society Fall Meeting in Boston, MA, plus a travel stipend as a thank you for getting their NanoDays reports in early.  (And if you haven't submitted your report yet, please do so here!)
Nano Haiku
So hard to imagine
Tiny atoms one by one
Make new properties