The UCSB Nanofabrication Facility will host a nanoscale science festival called NanoDays at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on March 16 and 17.
Sponsored by the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, the Center for Nanotechnology in Society and the California NanoSystems Institute, NanoDays is a nationwide science fair where children and adults alike can experience what the world’s most powerful microscopes have to offer.
NNIN Administrative Assistant Jamie Pillsbury said the nanotechnology groups involved with the festival strive to bring the emerging field to the public sphere in an interesting and entertaining way.
“The UCSB Nanofabrication Facility is dedicated to providing a top-rate research fabrication facility for micro and nano-scale processing,” Pillsbury said. “We are very keen on reaching out to the public to teach and inform about science and technology and we take part in several science nights, chip camps, internship programs and festivals such as NanoDays throughout the year.”
By partnering with the community and setting up these science festivals, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Engineering Partnership Wendy Ibsen said information becomes much more accessible to people who are interested in new scientific discoveries.
“We all together can sort of better explain and increase the capacity for scientific understanding with the public,” Ibsen said. “We’ll have tons of hands-on demos and it’s an awesome day where we are really trying to reach out to the K- through sixth-grade age and their families.”
According to Pillsbury, the museum will host various stations displaying the range of scientific opportunities that nanoscale technology has to offer.
“For me, I was always awed by large numbers and spaces like what you find in astrophysics, but after learning about nano I became awed by the opposite of huge,” Pillsbury said. “I find being able to see and understand and even fabricate things so tiny that they take the world’s most powerful microscopes to see absolutely incredible.”
According to the museum’s Community Education Manager Justin Canty, NanoDays fits with the museum’s goal of uniting the community with its roots.
“The fair connects really well to our guiding principles, one of which is inspiring an awe for nature and a thirst for discovery,” Canty said. “We also want to be an accessible center for engaging the community and we enjoy collaborating with other educational partners.”
The festival will take place March 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and March 17 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
A version of this article appeared on page 4 of March 4th, 2013′s print edition of the Daily Nexus.