Celebrate NanoDay at Discovery Center Museum March 29

Online Staff Report

Rockford’s Discovery Center Museum presents NanoDay 2014, part of the seventh annual nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future.

The largest public outreach effort in nanoscale informal science education, NanoDays events, organized by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net), will take place March 29-April 6 at science museums, research centers, and universities across the country from Puerto Rico to Alaska.

Saturday, March 29, Discovery Center Museum will host NanoDay with special demonstrations and activities from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visitors can investigate real-life applications of nanotechnology, including clothes that stay clean, sunglasses that turn clear and socks that never smell bad. Discovery Center staff will offer live science demonstrations related to nanoscience. In addition, students from Beloit College will have several hands-on activity stations for visitors. All activities are included with museum admission.

NanoDays celebrations bring university researchers together with science museum 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 for young people with presentations about current research for adults. NanoDays activities demonstrate unexpected properties of materials at the nanoscale — sand that won’t get wet even under water, water that won’t spill from a teacup, and colors that depend upon particle size.

Many scientists and engineers believe advances in nanotechnology have the potential to bolster the U.S. economy with 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.

Through activities like NanoDays, the NISE Net is building partnerships between science museums and research centers to increase the capacity of both kinds of institutions to engage the public in learning about nanoscale science and engineering.

For more about NanoDay at the Discovery Center, call the museum at (815) 963-6769 or visit discoverycentermuseum.org. Discovery Center is inside Riverfront Museum Park, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Admission is $8 adults, $8 children ages 2-17, and free for ages 1 and younger and museum members.

Posted March 26, 2014

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