In 2014 we expanded our STEM/Nano learning experiences to new rural areas where audiences are underserved in terms of science opportunities. Partnering with Hastings Museum we showcased 14 nanoart pictures created from actual research at the University along with several nano activity kits from June-August. Museum staff were trained to make presentations to thousands of visitors over the summer. Hastings Channel 5 covered the exhibit. The exhibit was held in conjunction with National Geographic’s new IMAX movie “Unseen World.”
The Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience (NCMN), Nebraska EPSCoR, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) held Lincoln’s third annual NanoDays event in April at Gateway Shopping Center. UNL faculty, staff, and students and science educators presented games and activities that demonstrate the special and unexpected properties found at the nanoscale and the promise that nanoscience holds for transforming our daily lives. NanoDays is organized by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network and takes place nationally each year.
The University of Nebraska State Museum hosted its annual Astronomy Day celebration. NCMN participated in the event, which included a booth with information and hands-on activities about new types of protective fabrics that withstand bullets, metals that change shape on their own, and space elevators which are now a possibility because of new and innovative materials. Over 500 visitors attended the event.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
A joint presentation and tour was given by Professors David Sellmyer, Yongfeng Lu and Christian Binek for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. NCMN provided the Institute’s members stimulating information designed specifically for lifelong learners 50 years and older. About 25 learners enjoyed interesting activities focused on Materials and Nanoscience research, equipment, and future applications.
Nano Science Café
The Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln presents NanoScience Café’s at local venues throughout the year. Science cafes are live events in casual settings like pubs or coffeehouses, where scientists engage the public in conversations about current science topics. UNL professors from Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering departments have given creative and interesting presentations about new discoveries related to stem cell research, DNA sensors, self-assembly at the nanoscale, nanowave properties, bone replacement, and other nanoscience topics. Cafes allow people of all ages a fun and relaxed environment to learn about matter at the nanoscale and its future applications.
Speakers Bureau at UNL
NCMN is now working with UNL's Speakers Bureau as an outreach partner to promote Science Demonstrations in the Materials/Nanoscience area. Faculty members can contact Barb Bowers, UNL Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org if they are interested in presenting science talks or demonstrations to schools and in other community venues. The Speakers Bureau will contact schools and provide administrative and advertising help. Travel expenses are covered.