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Nano Bite: June 2009

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

What's new? Summer is fast approaching!

Whether you’re planning for summer camp or pulling together floor activities, there are plenty of ways to work a little nano into your programming this summer.  NISE Net partners are using our favorite NISE Net activities, and trying out some of the great ideas from our partners at the University of Wisconsin-Madison MRSEC.

The Museum of Life and Science made Nano Ice Cream for NanoDays and will be making it throughout the month of July.  Liquid nitrogen cools ice cream so quickly that the frozen crystals are nano-sized, leaving you with super-smooth ice cream.  Brad Herring is working on adding the program into the catalog, but until it's up, you can check out his recipe and notes on the Nano Bite blog.
  The Science Museum of Minnesota is offering "Nanotechnology: What's It All About?", a week-long summer camp for kids ages 9 - 12.  Campers explore just how small a nanometer is with Exploring Measurement—Human Body, Cutting It Down to Nano, and Sizing Things Down.  Then they experience the challenges and tools associated with working on the nanoscale with The Mitten Challenge Activity and How Can We See What We Cannot See?  They check out some of the cool properties of nanoscale materials with DNA Nanotechnology, Lotus Leaf Effect, Exploring Materials—Nano Fabric, and Exploring Properties—Surface Area.  And they consider the risks and benefits of nanotechnology with Wheel of the Future.   SMM camp staff have added in in-depth explorations of socks with nanosilver, ongoing dialogue with guest scientists, and more!  To learn more, contact Annie Thompson, [email protected].
Not ready for a full-on nano camp?  There are lots of ways to integrate nano into summer camps with different science themes.  Arizona Science Center is making magnetism more intriguing by introducing kids to ferrofluid, from the activity Exploring Materials—Ferrofluid, and kicking off an engineering week by examining different cool materials, including the sensors from Exploring Materials—Liquid Crystals.  Jeannie Colton can tell you more: [email protected].  
  The Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY, has a little nano sprinkled throughout all their programming this summer.  At summer camp, Shrinking Robots! is featured in a day on building challenges, and thin films are explored during a day on light and color.  Floor staff are presenting nano activities in the exhibit galleries, including Memory Metal.  And nanoscientists from Cornell University will give guest presentations on their research for museum visitors.  For more information, contact Rae Ostman at [email protected]
  The Buffalo Museum of Science is also integrating nano throughout their summer programming. Museum visitors are using NanoDays activities such as Exploring Properties—Gravity on the exhibit floor and in a physical science activity station.  And, of course, Buffalo summer campers will also enjoy nano activities every day!  Douglas Borzynski has the details on these programs and more featuring NISE Net programs and activities: [email protected]
  I'll be posting these camp examples, plus others, on the Nano Bite blog this week, so send your nano camp suggestions and stories my way (or leave them in the comments).

What else?

Two new blogs on
Larry Bell, the NISE Net PI, is blogging his adventures and insights on Larry at Large.  Don't miss his first post, "NISE Net is the new grey goo!"  The second new blog is RISE Rap, with posts by Carol Lynn Alpert of the Museum of Science, Boston on Research Center/Informal Science Education (RISE) partnerships.  Her first post is "Why fund the NISE Net?"  You can find all the blogs at
What stank about NanoDays?
Beck Tench has been blogging about NanoDays and creating visualizations of some of the data from the NanoDays reports.  In one recent post, she asks, "what did you do that wasn't in the kit?"  In another, she was interested in finding out what went well and what you might do differently next time around.  The Da Vinci Science Center would have improved the flow of visitors beginning at a "welcome" table, among other things.  Read the rest of their thoughts, and add your own, here.
Even more nano jobs
The Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS) at Arizona State University is looking for a coordinator for private sector outreach.  Click here to download the full description, the deadline is 8/24/09.
Adaptations of the Nanoparticle Stained Glass activity
The Sciencenter made some changes to the Nanoparticle Stained Glass cart activity in the catalog for NanoDays.  To find out what they did (and their most frequently asked question), check out Rae Ostman's comment.  While you're there, take a look at some of the changes we've made to the catalog, it's had a bit of a makeover.

Nano Haiku

Nano radio
Playing in unseen smallness
Can anyone hear?
by Karen Pollard of the Science Museum of Minnesota (And for those of you who were wondering, you can hear the nano radio!  Listen here.)