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This April, the graduate student component of the Nano Institute worked closely with the Utah Science Center to put on the first annual NanoDays. This national informal public education event was held at the Main Salt Lake City Public Library and small hands on demo tables were set up to illustrate "real" world nanotechnology in action. Graduate students volunteered a few hours each to help facilitate these demos and disseminate their own knowledge of nanotechnology.Children, adults, and graduate student volunteers alike, enjoyed participating in these demos and learning current applications of nano research. The public and student interaction promoted a unique educational environment which elicited a fun spin on access to information. It also provided an opportunity to showcase to the public some of the wonderful research underway here at The U. The graduate student component looks forward to developing more outreach programs to help facilitate education of the public in nanotechnology and the research here at The U.
Here is an outline of the demos that we performed:
Exploring Hydrophobic Properties-This was a hands on demonstration utilizing sand modified with trimethoxysilane and unmodified sand to explore the properties of molecular bonding, and introduce the concept of hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity
Exploring Shape Memory Properties- This was a demonstrationutilizing nitinol wires and standard wires to explore smart material responses to stimuli.
Size and Scale- This was a larger scale demonstration where we utilized visual queues to help address the concept of nanotechnology.
Exploring Liquid Crystal Materials- This was a hands on demonstration utilizing liquid crystal sheets to explore the implications of nanostructure on the macroscale.