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A lotus leaf showing off its hydrophobic properties. Water is balled up on its surface.


A collection of NISE Network resources related to plant science including hands-on activities and resources. Topics include include biomimicry technology that can imitate natural phenomena and processes such a self-cleaning surfaces and fabrics inspired by the lotus leaf effect observed in some plant leaves.

Stain Resistant and Hydrophobic Surfaces Inspired by Lotus Leaf Effect in Plants

Exploring Products - Nano Fabrics acitivty components including signs, guides, and mini pants coated with nano materials

Exploring Products - Nano Fabrics

In this activity, learners investigate the hydrophobic properties of pants made from nano fabric and ordinary fabric.
Family engaging with sand, plants, and pants

Sand, Plants and Pants

In this activity, learners explore how the application of nano-sized particles or substances can change a bigger material’s properties.
A lotus leaves in a small, man-made concrete pond.

Zoom into a Lotus Leaf video

In this video, learners get an up close look at the tiny nanostructures that give the leaf its unique superhydrophobic behavior.
A screenshot of the zoom into a nasturtium leaf interactive starting with a nasturtium leaf.

Multimedia Zoom Into a Nasturtium Leaf

This downloadable and online interactive allows learners to travel from the familiar scale of nasturtium leaf to DNA deep within the plant's cell.
A person holding an ice cream cone with the text "NANO: I've never had that problem."

Nano and Me Videos

In these short videos, learners are introduced to simple fundamentals about the nanoscale; topics include the differences between macro and nano silver, gold, aluminum, latex, gravity, and stain free pants.
The supervillain Dr. Blot dressed in a crazy costume

I Got No Stains on Me

In this O Wow Moments video, Mr. O explores how nanotechnology is used to create clothes that are stain resistant.
Facilitator showing learners the lotus leaf effect

Lotus Leaf Effect

In this activity, learners explore how some leaves are self cleaning and repel water due to their nanoscale features.
Teen girl with braces in a pink shirt holds a large kale leaf

What’s Nano About Toilets?

In this 30-second video, viewers quickly learn how nanocoatings inspired by nature can keep things clean.
What is nano about museum labels thumbnails of signs featuring signs of hot-chocolate, hamburger, glass of water, a window, and a toilet

Nano Museum Labels (Graphic Signs)

These museum graphic labels highlight everyday connections to nanoscale science including: chocolate, food packaging, water, a window, paint, a toilet, a soap bubble, fashion, a sock, a pencil, a butterfly, a gecko, a laptop, an elevator, and a local city.
Children looking at Gecko with magnifying glass


A collection of biomimicry resources and examples of how technology can imitate natural phenomena and processes. Public engagement biomimicry activity examples include: self-cleaning surfaces and fabrics inspired by the lotus leaf effect observed in some plant leaves, sticky materials inspired by gecko feet, photonics crystals using structural color similar to the iridescent properties of some insects, bird feathers, and shells.
Photo of a large interactive exhibit that has two chambers where learners can drop water onto cabbage leaves and observe droplets rolling off

Bump and Roll exhibit

An exhibit that was part of the Nanotechnology: What's the Big Deal? exhibition that demonstrates nanomaterial properties using an everyday object: a leaf of cabbage.

More Resources

Hands On Activities

Citizen Science 

Gardens and Outdoor Spaces

Annual Events

Working with STEM Experts Guide cover including an image of expert  puring a liquid and using a strainer with a girl and her family at a museum public event

Finding STEM Experts