For Immediate Release
April 12, 2012
Contacts: Lee Tune, 301 405 4679 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Children Learn about 'NanoFabulous' Science in New UMD Exhibit at Baltimore's Port Discovery
College Park, MD - Beginning today, NanoFabulous, a mini exhibition developed by the University of Maryland, College Park, will help visitors to Baltimore's Port Discovery Children's Museum understand how scientists discover at the nanoscale and create devices from nano-sized building blocks.
The exhibit -- which opens today with tours by elementary school children -- includes unique interactive components developed to invite visitors to explore the processes and techniques that make nanotechnology a reality. The UMD exhibit was developed by professors, graduate students, and educators in the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).
|UMD Physics graduate student Jacob Tosado shows an elementary school student the Lego Scanning Probe Microscope that is part of UMD's NanoFabulous exhibit.|
"The University of Maryland MRSEC is proud to partner with the Port Discovery Children's Museum in presenting this exciting new interactive exhibit on nanotechnology," said Donna Hammer, Associate Director of the Maryland MRSEC and exhibit designer. Our goal is to provide insights into the methods of materials research, and inspire our nation's next generation of scientific explorers and innovators."
"We think this will be a great opportunity for visitors to share the experiences that we have in our laboratories and the excitement of discovering on the nanoscale," said Janice Reutt-Robey, Director of the Maryland MRSEC, which is a key center for UMD's world recognized materials science research.
Visitors to UMD's NanoFabulous will enjoy several activities that promote learning and collaboration:
- Cleanroom: Visitors enter the controlled environment of a simulated high-tech cleanroom and learn how researchers fabricate the Nano devices of tomorrow.
- Lego Scanning Probe Microscope: Visitors see how a scanning probe microscope (made of Legos!) creates an image.
- Probes: Visitors have fun understanding how nano-probes function and are used to measure the surface of materials at the nanoscale.
- Magnification: Visitors discover the microscopic secrets on the surfaces of objects by using magnifiers of different strengths.
- Nearfield Scanning Optical Microscope: Visitors get an up-close view of the working parts of a microscope that uses light to see nanostructures.
The MRSEC has developed learning materials and supplemental programming to be used with Port Discovery's school group visitors. An exciting part of the program series is that UMD researchers will be scheduled to lead lessons and guide families through the exhibits.
NanoFabulous will serve as an addition and enhancement to the Museum's current Nano exhibit which features hands-on components that focus on the basics of nanoscience, real world applications of nano, and the societal and ethical implications of this new technology. Nano was produced by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Network).
"We believe you are never too young to start learning about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and the earlier we can engage children, the more likely they are to develop a life-long interest in STEM," says Nora Moynihan, Port Discovery Children's Museum's Director of Education. "One of our primary goals with Nano is to present nanoscience to children in a fun and engaging way that they can understand, and the University of Maryland College Park's MRSEC team has helped us achieve that."
Major funding for NanoFabulous was provided by the National Science Foundation, with additional funding from University of Maryland, College Park Departments of Physics and Chemistry & Biochemistry. The exhibit will be displayed at Port Discovery from April 10, 2012 through October 2012. For more information, visit www.portdiscovery.org.
# # #
Port Discovery Children's Museum
Port Discovery Children's Museum is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that connects purposeful play and learning. Port Discovery offers 3 floors of educational, interactive experiences designed for children ages birth-10 years of age and has been ranked among the Top 10 Children's Museums in the United States by Child magazine and Forbes.com.
University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
UMD is a leader in materials science and nanotechnology research and MRSEC is a key center of that research. MRSEC carries out nationally recognized fundamental research on surfaces and interfaces of materials with potential impact on the next generation of opto- and nano-electronic devices, and on complex oxides with potential applications in memory, switches and sensors. The research is closely integrated with a continuing educational outreach program that has a direct impact on the education of a diverse population of K - 12 students and teachers.
The University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) is part of a network of national Materials Research centers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The MRSEC's activities focus on three general areas: Materials Research, Research Collaborations and Education Outreach.
University of Maryland