Size Matters

ScienceWorks hands-on museum will participate in NanoDays, a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future, on Saturday and Sunday.

Nanotechnology has the capability of providing affordable, clean energy, highly effective medical devices, personalized drugs, new environmental cleanup techniques and more, according to SciencWorks officials. Many scientists and engineers believe advances in nanotechnology can bolster the U.S. economy with products like these and many others.

The museum will hold a weekend of interactive activities, including:

  • Mentos Madness Live Show, 1 p.m. Saturday — demonstration of the explosive power of Cola and Mento candies.
  • Why does grape juice not stain pants? — Spray them yourself and see out how nanotechnology can help make stain-proof clothing.
  • Feeling magnetic fields in a simple model of a scanning probe microscope, which allows scientists to "see" objects smaller than one-billionth of a meter.
  • Learn why to liquid crystals change color when you touch them. Learn about the connections between color, temperature, and structure.
  • What does "nano" mean, anyway? Can you cut a ruler down into nano-sized pieces? How many nanometers is your hand?
  • Is gravity stronger than surface tension? Participants will test it, then find out how this can keep stains out of fabric.
  • See how surface area and size affect behavior in a fizzy experiment.
  • Can a nano-sized particle pass through the surface of a balloon? Learn how different structures produce different properties out of the same material, and build a model of a buckyball — a tiny carbon structure.
  • Evening presentation Saturday at 7 p.m. by Rich Riddle, a veteran in the semiconductor, laser and aerospace fields who presents an introduction to the Nano world and some practical applications that we may experience in our lifetimes.

NanoDays events are organized by participants in the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network, and take place at more than 200 science museums, research centers, and universities across the country. ScienceWorks is a partner in this project funded by the National Science Foundation.

ScienceWorks, in its eighth year, offers more than 100 interactive exhibits, special themed weekends, live shows and education programs serving nine regional counties.

For more information, go to or call 541-482-6767 ext. 32.

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