This award from the Division of Chemistry (CHE) supports Prof. Carl Batt from Cornell University in his development of educational materials to teach members of the public about nanoscience. The award activities will include the development of an interactive space ("Nanooze: A Chemistry Extravaganza") to engage members of the public with nanoscience -- to be housed at Disneyland -- as well as the development and dissemination of print and web-based materials, including the "Nanooze" magazine. The work includes assessment of the various activities. The site at Disneyland will reach a large number of citizens, and the demographics of those impacted are likely to be quite different from those who might be exposed to similar exhibits at science museums.
Nanoscience is the study of matter in the scale between the atomic/molecular and the macroscopic. Matter in this size regime show interesting and unique properties -- properties that enable new kinds of materials and devices. Work like that of Prof. Batt is aimed at introducing a broad cross-section of American society to this burgeoning area of research. In addition, connecting young people with current areas of science enables the Foundation to more effectively encourage young people to pursue careers in the science and technology sectors.
The exhibit "Nanooze Labs" was opened in September 2011 at Innoventions in Disneyland (Anaheim CA). The exhibit is based upon the lessons learned by the PI from prior efforts at Disney World (Take a Nanooze Break) and optimized for the showcase in Anaheim. Included in the exhibit are interactive components that allow the guest to look at common objects under magnification, zoom through a series of digital images of objects going from life size to 100,000 times magnification and also explore chemical structures for everyday things like water and glass. In June 2012, a live show "Nanooze News" was opened in Nanooze Labs which features a Disney cast member and a news story about nanoscale science and engineering. Still in development is a massive LED lit interactive periodic table which will serve as the back drop for the show. The exhibit attracts approximately 5 million guests each year. There Nanooze, a kids magazine supported by the NSF is also distributed. That magazine was the platform for a four issue series to celebrate the International Year of Chemistry. Issues were framed by the four key concepts that were used to create the exhibit. 1. All things are made of atoms. 2. Molecules have shape and size. 3. At the nanometer scale, molecules are in constant motion 4. At the nanometer scale, molecules have interesting properties. These issues are being distributed to approximately 100,000 students in the US. In addition efforts are currently underway to translate these into Spanish to complement the web site www.nanooze.org