NanoDays 2014

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The NanoDays are upon us!
But wait…what does that mean?

What are NanoDays?
NanoDays is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future. NanoDays events are organized by participants in the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network.

 What is Nano science?
nanotechnologydef
To put it simply, Nanoscience is the science and technology that is conducted at the nanoscale (which is about 1 to 100 nanometers).

Whoa that’s tiny!…Right?

Right! Here’s a handy chart to help illustrate just how tiny things are at the nanoscale.

 

chart from nanogov.com
chart from nanogov.com

And here are a few pictures and facts to help explain how tiny nano is:

nanoant
image from nanozone.org

 

image from nanozone.org
image from nanozone.org

A human hair is approximately 80,000- 100,000 nanometers wide.
One nanometer is about as long as your fingernail grows in one second.

So what’s the big deal?
Nanotechnology is helping renovate and create new, better, more efficient (and greener) technologies for things like solar energy, biology, and vehicles.

And the Thinkery is having a few special events this Saturday to celebrate!

Kitchen Lab:

  1. “Exploring Materials – Oobleck” investigates the properties of a cornstarch and water mixture. Visitors will test its ability to protect from impacts and discuss how similar nanomaterials help to protect us!
  2. “Exploring Properties – Capillary” Action explores  how liquids flow in narrow spaces. Visitors will examine how this behavior allows liquids to flow against gravity!
  3. “Exploring Properties – Invisibility” investigates how glass objects can be “hidden” in some liquids!

Innovators Workshop:

  1. “Exploring Materials – Ferrofluid” demonstrates that a material can act different when its nano-sized! Visitors will investigate the properties of ferrofluid and magnetic sand to learn how the size of each effects their behavior.
  2. “Exploring Fabrication – Electroplating” explores the effects of nanometer – thin layers of materials. Visitors will coat a nickel coin with copper using the electroplating process!
  3. “Exploring Products – Computer Hard Drives” invites visitors to use floating magnet rings to store data and to learn how this relates to computers!

Be sure to visit: http://thinkeryaustin.org/programs-events/special-events/ for more information!

How can you explore Nano at home?

There are a lot of great resources for nano activities you can do at home! We’ve already shared a few great websites, but here are a few more to get you exploring.

Nisenet image collection is a really cool collection of images of many different things at the nanoscale.
quest.nasa.gov is a great place to find activities for different age groups all about nano technology.
nano.gov is a great place for further clarification, news, and activities on nanotechnology!

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about how tiny things are at the nanoscale and hope to see you on Saturday at the Thinkery to explore and learn more!

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