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|Nasturtium Leaf Image: Amy Snyder. |
The Lotus Effect describes water droplets rolling off leaf surfaces, removing dirt and contaminants in the process. This phenomenon can also be seen in the more common nasturtium. Scanning electron microscope images show that nasturtium leaves are covered by waxy nanocrystal bundles. The uneven surface created by these tiny structures traps air between water and leaf, causing the water to roll off. Research on such nanoscale effects has inspired revolutionary new materials, including water- and stain-resistant fabrics.
March 26th and 27th, ScienceWorks hosts NanoDays. Explore the nano world with hands-on activities and a new nano exhibit donated to us by OMSI, all at ScienceWorks on Saturday, March 26th from 11am-4p and Sunday, March 27th from 12-4pm. Visitors will investigate super thin materials used in solar cell technology, forces stronger than gravity, and sand that doesn't get wet—even under water! Other activities include using your nose as a nanodetector and measuring yourself in nanometers. Don't miss the nano presentation by SOU Professor, Ellen Siem 1pm on Saturday and the exciting MENTOS MADNESS demonstration at 1pm Sunday.
NanoDays at ScienceWorks is part of a nationwide festival of hands-on educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering. Nanotechnology has the capability of providing affordable, clean energy, highly effective medical devices, personalized drugs, new environmental cleanup techniques and more. Many scientists and engineers believe advances in nanotechnology can bolster the U.S. economy with products like these and many others.
NanoDays is organized by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net), and takes place nationally from March 26 through April 3, 2011. This community-based event is the largest public outreach effort in nanoscale informal science education and involves science museums, research centers, and universities from Puerto Rico to Alaska.
NanoDays celebrations bring university researchers together with science educators to create unique new learning experiences for both children and adults to explore the miniscule world of atoms, molecules, and nanoscale forces. Most NanoDays events combine fun hands-on activities with presentations on current research. A range of exciting NanoDays programs demonstrate the special and unexpected properties found at the nanoscale, examine tools used by nanoscientists, showcase nano materials with spectacular promise, and invite discussion of technology and society.
More about Nano and NISE Network
Many scientists and engineers believe that advances in nanotechnology have the potential to bolster the U.S. economy through innovations providing clean, secure, affordable energy, techniques to clean up hazardous chemicals in the environment, and medical devices and drugs to detect and treat diseases more effectively and with fewer side effects. Despite this promise, the public knows little about research and development being carried out today by 25 departments and agencies of the federal government and by universities and corporations in their own communities.
Originally launched by the Museum of Science in Boston, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and San Francisco's Exploratorium, the NISE Network is now led by 14 museums and universities across the nation. In 2005, an initial grant funded formation of NISE Network to collaboratively develop and distribute innovative approaches to engaging Americans in nanoscale science and engineering. The NISE Network has won its second five-year $21 million grant from the National Science Foundation allowing partners to continue the work of the NISE Net into the next decade.
Through activities like NanoDays, the NISE Network is actively building partnerships between science museums and research centers to increase their capacity to engage the public in learning about nanoscale science and engineering. In addition to the individual museums and research centers, two major professional organizations-the Materials Research Society and the Association of Science-Technology Centers—support the NISE Network and annual NanoDays activities.
For more information about NISE Net or to download a digital NanoDays kit please visit www.nisenet.org/nanodays.
For more information about Nano please visit www.whatisnano.org
This project is based on work supported by the NSF under Award Numbers ESI-05322536 and 0940143. NanoDays™ is trademarked by North Carolina State University and used by NISE Net with permission.
ScienceWorks, now celebrating its ninth year, is a science center and vital regional resource featuring over 100 exhibits, themed weekends and ongoing family and adult programs. The nonprofit museum is open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday noon - 4 p.m
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