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Nano Bite: March 2012

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

→ NanoDays is Just Around the Corner!
NanoDays takes place across the country from Puerto Rico to Hawaii March 24-April 1 this year. Over 200 institutions are planning to participate, and if you are looking for a nearby partner to collaborate with for the big event, you can search for participants by region. If your institution did not receive a 2012 Physical Kit, there is still plenty of time to download the 2012 Digital Kit
  • Send us pictures of your NanoDays team! Whether your team includes an army of local graduate students, or a handful of museum educators, or a mix of volunteers, scientists, and industry partners, we want to see who they are! If you would like to have a picture of your NanoDays Team on the NISE Net website, snap a photo (be sure to have everyone in the photo sign a release) and send it our way. Here's how:

    1. Email your photos to [email protected] with the title in the subject line and a description of the photos in the body of the email (don't forget to tell us what institution you're from). You can send them in one batch (they'll all get the same title and description) or in separate emails. This automatically posts them to the NISE Net Flickr account. Please only send photos for which you have releases!
    2. Email a pdf of all the releases together to Eli Bossin at [email protected]. Once we get the releases, we'll tag the photos "NanoDays 2012."
    3. Look out for the photos on!
  • All three shipments of materials should have arrived by now for those who were awarded 2012 Physical Kits. The Physical Kit consisted of three shipments: 1) the large, main box; 2) the puzzle blocks box; and 3) the small nano gold and sieves box. If any of the Kit appears to be missing, please contact KC Miller.

Promoting Your NanoDays Event
There are a number of resources available to help publicize your NanoDays event.
 Material Marvels with Ainissa Ramirez
Two new videos from everyone's favorite Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale! Dr. Ainissa Ramirez discusses how graphene, a layer of carbon on atom thick, will revolutionize our lives. And in another segment of Material Marvels, she demonstrates how materials behave strangely when they are at the nanoscale.

NISE Net Mini-Grants

The NISE Network has made available a limited number of small stipends to support initiatives by NISE Net partners to engage their local audiences in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology topics. The first round of mini-grant projects from NISE Net year 6 (2010-2011) have been completed, and year 7 (2011-2012) mini-grants have been awarded with projects already underway at 42 new institutions across the country. For a full list of the year 6 project descriptions, see the NISE Network mini-grants page.

What Else?

Nano Love
In case you missed it on the website, Michael Wilson (aka "Coma Niddy"), who also happens to be an Explainer at the New York Hall of Science, posted a Valentine's Day nano-themed music video!
  • Continuing the Valentine's Day theme, researchers at the University of Birmingham, in the UK have created the world's smallest atomic valentine. The tiny heart-shaped molecule made of palladium and gold atoms depositied on a carbon film measures approximately 5 x 3.5 nanometers.

  • For more ideas for incorporating nano content into other seasonal and annual events, go to Nano Throughout the Year!

 2012 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting
The 2012 MRS Spring Meeting will be held from April 9-13 at San Francisco's Moscone West convention hall. The annual MRS meetings are essential events for discovering and presenting the very latest developments in materials research. There will be a number of NISE Net-related events at this year's Spring Meeting, including an Educational Symposium, the Student Mixer, and the always popular Hands-On Nano Coffee Hours! For the complete list of NISE Net activities at this year's Meeting, click here.

 Association of Children's Museums Interactivity 2012
The ACM Interactivity 2012 Conference will be hosted by the Children's Museum of Portland and located at the Hilton Portland May 10-12. The NISE Network has several events planned for the Conference, including activities at the OMSI Evening Event, the Nano mini-exhibition will be on display, and there will be several Conference Sessions. Click here for the full list of NISE Net activities at ACM Interactivity 2012.

Partner Highlight
Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art
Remember your first NanoDays? The Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art (RIMOSA) is getting ready for their first ever NanoDays this year, and they're excited! RIMOSA is a new "museum without walls" in Providence, RI focused on the building blocks of both art and science: curiosity, observation, experimentation and communication. RIMOSA is planning to hold their NanoDays at the Wanskuk Public Library and at the Rhode Island School of Design's Nature Lab. They'll incorporate activities from the 2012 Physical Kit and use some of their own resources to develop learning labs that highlight nano in nature and new nanomaterials! For more on RIMOSA's plans, read this Partner Highlight by Ali Jackson of the Sciencenter, the regional hub leader for the Northeast region.

Nano in the News
  • Single Molecule's Electric Charges Seen in First Image: Researchers at IBM have shown off the first images of the "charge distribution" in a single molecule, showing an intricate dance of electrons at the nanoscale. The measurement could shed light on a range of "charge-transfer" processes that are common in nature.
  • Power Felt Gives a Charge: Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed a fabric they call Power Felt made of carbon nanotubes locked up in flexible plastic fibers. The fabric uses temperature differences - room temperature versus body temperature, for instance - to create an electrical charge. Researches hope the material could be used in automobiles, sports wear, and medical monitoring devices.
  • Smart Paint Could Revolutionize Structural Safety: A low-cost smart paint that can detect microscopic faults in wind turbines, mines and bridges before structural damage occurs is being developed by researchers at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow. The paint is formed from waste fly ash and aligned carbon nanotubes. The paint is interfaces with wireless communication nodes with power harvesting and warning capability to remotely detect any unseen damage such as micro-cracks in foundations.
  • Single-Atom Transistor is End of Moore's Law; May Be Beginning of Quantum Computing: The smallest transistor ever built has been created using a single phosphorus atom. The atomic-sized transistor could lead the way to building a quantum computer that works by controlling the electrons and thereby the quantum information, but that application is still theoretical.
Nano Haiku
New nano breakthrough:
Using Felt to charge your phone,
Be free from outlets!

Vrylena Olney of the Museum of Science shares her excitement about Wake Forest's Power Felt.

Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Eli Bossin at [email protected]
Read the Nano Bite e-newsletter online at /newsletter/nano-bite-march-2012.