Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Engineers help turn science into interactive exhibits

Abstract:
Publicly accessible nanotech exhibits being developed

Engineers help turn science into interactive exhibits

Madison, WI | October 17, 2005

As part of a new National Science Foundation-funded network, University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering faculty, staff and students will work with some of the nation's top science museums to create hands-on exhibits about technology so small that even the tiniest human fingers can't touch it.

The Museum of Science, Boston, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Exploratorium, San Francisco, are leading the $20 million Nanoscale Informal Science Education (NISE) Network, which aims to develop innovative materials and vehicles for increasing Americans' knowledge about and understanding of nanotechnology. UW-Madison will be a direct partner with the Minnesota museum in developing publicly accessible nanotech exhibits.

It's science at the scale of atoms and molecules, where researchers measure devices and materials in billionths of a meter and view their work through some of the most powerful microscopes available.

Translating that scientific research into something museum visitors can see, touch, do-and comprehend-is no small feat, says Wendy Crone, a UW-Madison associate professor of engineering physics and director of education and outreach for the university's NSF-funded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) on Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces.

"We're learning a lot about what works and what doesn't, how to talk to general audiences about these topics and what kinds of interactives - things you can do with your hands - will help people understand the nanoscale," she says. "Nano is so small, you have to work with analogies."

In November of 2004, Crone and her staff and students unveiled the Nanoworld Discovery Center, an interactive public exhibit about nanotechnology that resides on the UW-Madison campus in the Engineering Centers Building. The exhibit was the result of a partnership between MRSEC and Discovery World Museum, Milwaukee.

In one aspect of the exhibit, visitors can relate the absolutely tiny scale of nanotechnology to their own lives. "In the time it takes you to read this sentence," the exhibit reads, "your fingernail will have grown one nanometer."

Among the exhibit's features is a segment about ferrofluids, which are tiny magnetic particles covered by a surfactant. Visitors can use magnets to manipulate these particles that flow like liquid; in real life, ferrofluids damp vibrations and eliminate excess energy in high-end stereo speakers and are useful as liquid O-rings in situations where the friction generated by standard rubber rings is an issue.

Explorers also can interact with life-sized traffic lights to compare incandescent bulbs to light-emitting diodes to learn how nanomaterials can help conserve energy and reduce traffic-light maintenance. In addition, aspects of the exhibit highlight other applications of nanotechnology, including stain-resistant clothing and the tools that scientists use to work on this small scale.

Building on these ideas and topics from MRSEC research, Crone's group will work most closely with the Science Museum of Minnesota, which under the NSF grant will lead the Center for Exhibit and Program Production and Dissemination. "Each museum will draw on the technical expertise available in various partner institutions," she says. "Our expertise is providing publicly accessible science for museum exhibits."

####


Contact:
Wendy Crone
(608) 262-8384
crone@engr.wisc.edu

Copyright © University of Wisconsin-Madison

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

NISE information

Related News Press

Preparing for Nano

Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012

Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012

Nanotechnology shows we can innovate without economic growth April 12th, 2012

Thailand to host NanoThailand 2012 December 18th, 2011

Academic/Education

SUNY Poly NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as American Physical Society Fellow: SUNY Poly Associate Professor of Nanoscience Dr. Vincent LaBella Recognized for Significant Technological Innovations that Enable Interactive Learning December 17th, 2014

Nanomedicine expert joins Rice faculty: Gang Bao combines genetic, nano and imaging techniques to fight disease December 17th, 2014

FEI and Oregon Health & Science University Install a Complete Correlative Microscopy Workflow in Newly Built Collaborative Science Facility December 16th, 2014

Student Nanotechnology Laboratories Network Set Up in Iran December 15th, 2014

Investments/IPO's/Splits

Pixelligent Closes $5.5 Million in Funding: Capital Will Be Used to Support Global Customer Growth December 12th, 2014

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events November 19th, 2014

Eight19 secures £1m funding: Investment to develop production technology, and expand commercial activities for organic photovoltaics November 19th, 2014

Arrowhead to Present at Upcoming Conferences November 15th, 2014

Announcements

Creation of 'Rocker' protein opens way for new smart molecules in medicine, other fields December 18th, 2014

How does enzymatic pretreatment affect the nanostructure and reaction space of lignocellulosic biomass? December 18th, 2014

Silicon Valley-Based Foresight Valuation Launches STR-IPô, a New Initiative for Startups to Discover the Value of Their Intellectual Property December 18th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE