Imagine and discover a world you can’t see!
Opens October 20, 2012
Nano is an interactive exhibition that engages family audiences in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Hands-on exhibits present the basics of nanoscience and engineering, introduce some real world applications, and explore the societal and ethical implications of this new technology.
Over 50 Nano exhibits are currently on display across the United States.
What happens when things get smaller?
Small, Smaller, Nano: visitors explore progressively smaller magnetic materials — magnetite sand, iron powder, and ferrofluid.
What’s new about nano?
Build a Giant Carbon Nanotube: visitors work together to build a giant model of a carbon nanotube.
Where can you find nano?
I Spy Nano: visitors try a series of interactive challenges, then search a complex image for examples of real nano products and phenomena.
What does nano mean for us?
Balance our Nano Future: visitors balance blocks on a tippy table, which represents the challenge of working together to build a stable nano future.
Seating and Reading Area
Static vs. Gravity: visitors spin disks containing small and large plastic beads, comparing the relative effects of static electricity and gravity on different size beads.
Reading Area: visitors sit comfortably while learning more from books and reading boards.
Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology (or “nano,” for short) is a new, interdisciplinary field of research and development. Just within the past couple decades, scientists have developed methods and tools that allow them toexplore some of the most fundamental aspects of our natural world, and to develop new materials and technologies. Some experts think that nanotechnologies may transform our lives—similar to the way that theautomobile and personal computer changed how we live and work.
The great potential of nanotechnology comes from its tiny size. Nano research and development happens at the scale of atoms and molecules. Some things have different properties at the nanoscale, which allows scientists and engineers to create new materials and devices.
Nano isn’t just in the lab—we can already find it in our homes, stores, and hospitals. In the next 10 years or so nanotechnologies and materials will become even more present in our lives. We’ll find nano in everyday products such as computers, food, cosmetics, and clothing. Nano might also be part of solutions to big problems, helping address needs such as clean energy, pure water, and cancer treatments.
It’s important for everyone to be informed about nanotechnologies, because they’ll be an important part of our future. Like any technology, nanotechnologies have costs, risks, and benefits. Since nanotechnologies are still developing, we can influence what they are and how they’re used. We all have a role in shaping how nanotechnologies will play out in our future.
Nano is a big and exciting field of study and there’s a lot to know. But the most important concepts of nanotechnology are also some of the most important concepts for understanding our natural world, the process of science and engineering, and the ways that society and technologies are interconnected.
Click here for the Nano Educator's Guide.
This project was supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Nos. ESI-053 536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.
Nano was created by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Network) with Support from the National Science Foundation.