SHOW DESCRIPTIONS: DragonflyTV Nano
The DragonflyTV Nano series presents the “big ideas” in nanoscience and nanotechnology. We show kids how scientists see and manipulate things that are invisible to the naked eye. They learn (by doing!) about the technologies that engineers use to design nanoscale products and about the many career opportunities in the field. And they learn to think more critically about nano product claims and possible societal implications.
701: SIZE AND SCALE
What's Nano? Ebony and Jasmine catch the Amazing Nano Brothers Juggling Show at Museum of Science in Boston. The show gets them thinking, "How big is a billion? And how small is a billionth?" They search Boston for examples of a billion. Then they visit laboratories at Harvard University to find examples of nanoscale objects on their quest to "see" a nanometer.
Where's Nano? Regina, Linda, Harrison, Jared, Lorenz, and Randi, visit the "Zoom In" exhibit at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill. They wonder what examples of nanoscale science and technology they can find in their everyday lives. Their nano "scavenger hunt" takes them to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where a scientist helps them print images of nanoscale structures. The kids then create a visual representation of their findings to display at the science center.
702: STRUCTURE OF MATTER
Hockey Sticks Nicholas and Jordan love hockey. They know that carbon nanotubes are used in some hockey sticks, but aren't sure how the tiny structures change the equipment. They head to Boston's Museum of Science to learn more about carbon nanotubes. Then, they put their sticks to the test on the ice. Finally, with help from scientists at Harvard University, they compare the tensile strength of the sticks and use powerful microscopes to "see" carbon nanotubes.
Butterfly Wings Emily and Julie check out the Magic Wings Butterfly House at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. They wonder why butterfly wings are so colorful. They learn that iridescence in some butterfly wings - like the iridescence of soap bubbles - results from their structure. At Duke University, the girls learn how to determine whether colors in wings are the result of pigment or nanoscale structures. They test butterfly wings and learn that blue iridescence is due to structure, not pigment.
703: SMALL IS DIFFERENT
Surface Area After discovering that ordinary flour dust can be explosive, Lara and Anushua explore the importance of surface to area to volume ratio at the Science Museum of Minnesota. They conduct soda explosion experiments in the museum's Big Back Yard, investigating how surface area affects reactions. Finally, they visit the University of Minnesota where they learn how scientists are developing more affordable solar cells with nanotechnology that increases the cells' surface area.
Stained Glass Alettie and Yvonne visit the Glass Experience exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and learn that nanoparticles are responsible for the colors in some medieval stained glass. The girls are surprised to learn that nanogold makes glass red! They go to Northwestern University to explore the relationship between size and color of nanoparticles. They create different sizes of gold and silver nanoparticles to produce a variety of colors, which they use to make their own works of art.
Nasturtium Leaves Jasmine and Melinda wonder why water beads up on some plants and not others. They head to San Francisco's Exploratorium, where they learn that surfaces at the nanoscale aren't always smooth, and that nano hairs on nasturtium leaves cause them to be water repellent. The girls collect other plants with hairy leaves and test their ability to repel water. They take some samples to Stanford University for up-closing imaging and compare the structure of nasturtium leaves to water-resistant fabric.
704: FORCES AT THE NANOSCALE
Gecko Feet Jennifer and Nooshin like rock climbing. They wonder how some lizards can climb rocks so easily. They visit the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley and compare the climbing ability of different lizards. They notice that the best climbers are geckos. They visit a lab at the University of California Berkeley to find out why, learning that special, nanoscale hairs on gecko feet are the secret to their amazing climbing abilities.
Self Assembly Keely and Connor learn about self-assembly at the Children's Museum of Houston. The museum staff suggest they visit Rice University, where scientists use self-assembly to make things at the nanoscale. At Rice, a scientist helps the kids use self-assembly to make and "pop" microcapsules. The kids then try out a similar technique at home, encapsulating chocolate sauce, mint and other flavors in alginate beads to serve on ice cream.
Bone Regrowth Kobel, Nathan, and Adam go to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), where they learn that scientists are using nanotechnology to help regenerate nerves and bones. A scientist from Brown University explains that a solution of nanotubes and minerals is injected into the fracture and forms a scaffold to encourage bone regrowth. The kids want to know why both ingredients are needed to repair the bone. They try solutions with different amounts of each ingredient on sponges and test how much weight each treated sponge can support.
706: NANOTECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
Water Clean Up Taylor and Gabe go to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and learn that nano-iron is being used to neutralize toxins in ground water. They collect soil samples from a contaminated site, then take them to Penn State University to test the efficacy of nano-iron treatments.
Nanosilver Sarah and Mande visit the Sciencenter in Ithaca and learn that nanosilver is used in some socks to kill bacteria, keeping them odor-free. They wonder if the nanosilver in socks leaches out when you wash them, causing potential harm to beneficial bacteria and the environment. They buy two different brands of nanosocks and wash them. Then they take the socks and their wash water to Cornell University to test their effects on common bacteria.