NanoDays Held at Highland Road Observatory, April 5, 2014
Guests at the 2014 NanoDays learned about nanoscale science and technology during a nationwide festival celebrating the science of ultra small matter. A free family friendly event took place at the Highland Road Park Observatory on Saturday, April 5th, as part of NanoDays, a national event of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering.
When reduced to the width of a human hair or smaller, ordinary materials often take on extraordinary properties. For example, the iridescent colors in butterfly wings are not created by pigments, but instead by tiny patterns on the wings. Similarly, tinted glass in old cathedrals was made by mixing different sizes of gold particles to create a wide variety of colors. But it is just now that we are beginning to understand these fascinating phenomena and their potential uses in every day life. Nanotechnology promises advanced information processing and storage, new medical treatments, and much more.
NanoDays featured several hands-on activities for children of all ages. Visitors were able to see how big they are compared to nanoscale objects, understand how a Scanning Probe Microscope allows scientists to explore the nanoworld, experience the effect of reducing the size of regular objects, and learn about nanomaterials used in the manufacture of stain-free clothes. Children and adults also had a chance to build models of nanoscale structures, play with liquid crystals, and made some fluids magically part in the middle by applying magnets to them.
In parallel with the demonstrations, a public talk provided an overview of the nanoscale world. At 4 pm, Dr. Phil Sprunger, Physics Department, LSU, presented From Atoms Upward: Nanotechnology for improved energy generation, storage and transmission. Faculty, students and staff from: the LSU Center for Computation and Technology; the Department of Physics & Astronomy; and the National Science Foundation-funded Louisiana Alliance for Simulation-Guided Materials Applications (LA-SiGMA) volunteered their time to make this event a success.
NanoDays, organized by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net.), takes place nationally March 29-April 6, 2014, at more than 200 science museums, research centers and universities across the country. For more information please contact Dr. Juana Moreno at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to all who took part in NanoDays!