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It’s a small world

Nano Family Fun Day exposes young minds to tiny technology that has a big impact

The CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology will open its doors for free on Nano Family Fun Day Saturday, Nov. 23.

The CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology will open its doors for free on Nano Family Fun Day Saturday, Nov. 23. Melissa Renzi

Kids will also get a demonstration of clean room gowning with a chance to try on “bunny suits.”

Deborah Onslow, CEO at CMOST, said it’s important to teach the kids at a scaled-down level.

“We explain it in a way that a child can understand,” she said.

Fisk admitted that at the elementary level, it can be a little bit of a stretch for the younger ones.

“However our bigger goal is to expose kids to science and get them curious,” Fisk said. “If we can engage them and encourage them to explore the world around them, we can break down those barriers.”

Fisk said parents can also benefit from the experience.

“There is a hook to get the kids in, but there is also an education factor that happens with the adults,” she said. “Sitting where we are in the tech valley, educating folks on the nanoscience happening in our backyard is really critical.”

But, the hands-on experience doesn’t end after Nov. 23. The museum and the nanocollege have made sure the opportunity for young minds to interact with nanotechnology goes on all year.

In October 2012 the children’s museum partnered with the nanocollege and launched a permanent display with the goal of introducing kids to nanoscience. The interactive exhibit is available at the museum and provides a firsthand experience for families. Visitors are able to build giant carbon nanotubes and use spy skills to find examples of nano products and phenomena in interactive challenges, build a stable nano future on a tippy table and spin disks to compare the effects of static electricity and gravity.

The world of nanotechnology can also be found in local libraries at various times throughout the year when CNSE CMOST brings Nano Days on the road. Presentations, experiments and demonstrations are conducted that explore different topics and concepts in nanotechnology. In past presentations, kids had the opportunity to play with model fuel-cell cars and experiment with working photovoltaic panels, which power small items such as a calculator, small fan or radio.

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