Interactive Nano Exhibit

UC Merced Students Share Their Nano Knowledge

Undergraduate students in the Engineering Service Learning class, led by COINS Associate Director of Education and Outreach Professor Valerie Leppert, have designed and constructed a nanoscience installation at the Castle Science & Technology Center (CSTC) in Atwood, California.

Located in the heart of Merced County, CSTC is visited by virtually every middle school class in the district during the academic year. Thanks to the Engineering Service Learning team, NSE is now a prominent feature of this popular, discovery science museum.

Educational, Interactive and Fun!

Merced students knew it had to be fun to be effective with the K–12 audience. So they created an exhibit with both the appeal of computer exploration and the attraction of a playful floor display:

  • Nanotechnology Interactive Computers—Two desktop computers host nanotechnology demonstrations and games. These computers were fitted with the appropriate software so K-12 students would increase their interest in nanotechnology with fun games, wacky 3-D pictures, and informational videos about nanotechnology and space. The computers also have links to nanotechnology information websites, and self-updating anti-virus software and a firewall have been installed.
  • Informational Posters—This engaging display gives visitors a chance to measure their height in nanometers, and explains the applications of nanotechnology in medicine and health, new materials, and electronics. These posters are designed to educate without sacrificing the level of fun.

In the Works

The Merced team is currently at work on constructing a model of the space elevator and designing interactive learning software, which will emphasize bioengineering, materials engineering, computer science and engineering, and mechanical engineering.