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Nano exhibit opens on campus Monday

September 11, 2016

From left, Chris Rolfsmeier, Hannah Jamison and Henry Kennell explore one of the interactive stations at the Nano exhibit in Chadron State College’s Math and Science rotunda. The display is free and open to the public Sept. 12-Dec. 9. (Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College) From left, Chris Rolfsmeier, Hannah Jamison and Henry Kennell explore one of the interactive stations at the Nano exhibit in Chadron State College‚Äôs Math and Science rotunda. The display is free and open to the public Sept. 12-Dec. 9. (Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)

CHADRON – Imagine and discover a world you can’t see with your naked eye.

“Nano,” a 400-square-foot exhibit sponsored by Nebraska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), opened Monday in the Chadron State College Math and Science rotunda. The building is open to the public Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the exhibit will be open until Dec. 9.

The hands-on interactive stations for all ages designed to invite exploration of nano phenomena and real world applications and implications. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.

Dr. Mike Leite, physical and life sciences professor and director of the Eleanor Barbour Museum, is excited about the exhibit.

"This exhibit is one of the best opportunities we've had for the museum to reach out to the entire community. It's truly a science exhibit. By that I mean it's interdisciplinary: not just geology or biology or physics. The emphasis is on technology, but there's lots of interesting ways science is applied here," Leite said.

Leite encouraged families and area schools to bring students to the exhibit, especially during Earth Science Week, Oct. 9-15.

Interactive panels in the display, co-sponsored by the Eleanor Barbour Cook museum and the Department of Physical and Life Sciences, are designed for families to learn about the extremely small scales of science, technology and engineering.

“It’s a great opportunity for families to find out about nanoscience as an area of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” said Terese Janovec, NCMN’s assistant director and education/outreach coordinator.

The exhibit has some surprises, said Sarah Zulkoski, outreach coordinator for Nebraska’s EPSCoR. At the “Small, Smaller, Nano” display, guests are invited to play with magnets to explore how material behaves differently at different sizes. At the “Build a Giant Carbon Nanotube” zone, exhibit guests can use foam construction pieces to make a large model of a tiny but amazing structure called a carbon nanotube. The “Where Can You Find Nano?” area allows visitors to look, listen and touch to discover the nano environment that surrounds humankind.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, the exhibit was awarded by NISE Net—the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network – to University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience and Nebraska EPSCoR.

—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator

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