Out & About

What’s nano? Learn about it and more with new exhibit at Museum of Arts and Sciences

Plenty of superheroes use something called nanotechnology. But what exactly is nano? Thanks to a new exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, not only can you learn about nano but you can experience hands-on fun with more than a dozen interactive activities.

“ ‘Zoom Into Nano’ explores how scientists and innovators study and make things that are too small to see,” said Sherry Singleton, director of marketing and communications for the museum, in a recent email. “The museum has gone to great lengths to secure exhibitions that explore learning in the areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). ‘Zoom Into Nano’ is an excellent example of those efforts.”

Singlton explainted that nanoscale science is the process through which materials are manipulated on the molecular level to generate very, very small structures and devices. Art-related concepts explored through the displays include pattern, color, light refraction, optics, pixilation and more.

“A visitor can dive into the world of nanotechnology, which is cutting-edge science on the nanoscale (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter),” Singleton said. “They can stretch a molecule, create a pattern and then shrink it, and transport ‘atoms’ in motion. The exhibition includes more than a dozen interactive stations designed to help students zoom into the nanoscale and get oriented to the idea that there are one billion nanometers in a meter.”

Visitors exploring the exhibit will be able to view different magnifications of familiar objects such as a butterfly wing, oyster shell and salt crystal; shrink a pattern and move individual “atoms”; build a giant carbon nanotube or stretch a molecule.

Youngsters can learn how scientists are using nanotechnology to develop new tools and materials that may affect our lives in the near future.

“We are really excited about this exhibit for our patrons. This is a really fun exhibit,” Singleton said. “I hope everyone takes advantage and comes out to find out just how important very small things can be.”

While visiting the museum’s “Zoom Into Nano” exhibit, be sure to check out everything else it has to offer.

“Where else can you discover world famous artists, visit with monkeys, learn the habits of gravity, explore the outer limits of our universe and then zoom into the tiny science of nanotechnology?” Singleton said. “Because science has been identified as the lowest performing area of central Georgia students, we have aligned our strategic plan to meet the needs of the community by offering unique arts-infused science, technology, engineering and mathematics programming for K-12. ... By providing informal STEAM education, we strive to prepare students for future careers that will require innovative thinking.”

When: Now through Nov. 1. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Museum of Arts and Sciences, 4182 Forsyth Road

Cost: Free with museum admission of $5-$10

Information: 478-477-3232; www.masmacon.org