The festival of nanoscience programs created by Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network takes place March 30-April 7, 2013 in over 200 science museums, research centers, and universities across the country.
OK, but . . . uhh. . . what is nanoscience? Nanoscience explores the miniscule world of atoms, molecules, and teeny, tiny forces that can affect them. Here’s an example. You know how when it rains, your clothes get soaked, but water just rolls off the leaves? Scientists looked at the tiniest particles of leaves and discovered how they repel water. Then, they used this information to invent a coating with similar properties to keep the water out, and now we have amazing coated fabric that can do what leaves do naturally.
This coating actually has lots of uses. It is used to make graffiti-resistant paint, a clear coating that makes it impossible for paint to stick to a wall, so no grafitti. It is used to make a protective coating for eyeglasses, cell phones, and electronic tablets so they don’t get scratched or dirty. It is even used in “Magic Sand,” that crazy sand you can buy that doesn’t get wet when you put it in water.
So that’s just one aspect of nanoscience. If you want to find out more cool ways scientists and inventors are using nanoscience, check out your local Science Museum during NanoDays March 30-April 7!