Kids learn nanotechnology at Nanoworld

February 21, 2006

Elementary school children across the United States have been learning about incomprehensibly tiny things in an exhibition created by Cornell University.

The children make the discoveries while walking through and playing with very large and colorful things in the traveling science museum exhibition created by the Cornell Nanobiotechnology Center.

Researchers say approaches that allow children to discover science learning isn't all in books are especially effective and can make abstract concepts easier to understand.

The 3,000-square-foot exhibition -- "It's a Nano World" -- first opened at Ithaca, N.Y.'s Sciencenter in 2003. It since has traveled to Epcot in Florida, and science museums in Ohio, South Carolina, Louisiana, Michigan, Virginia and Texas.

An estimated 3 million people have seen the exhibition, which is aimed at 5- to 8-year-olds and their parents.

Now in development is a 5,000-square-foot traveling exhibition, "Too Small to See," aimed at middle school students, to explain how nanotechnologists create and use devices on a molecular scale.

Anna Waldron, director of education for Cornell center described the programs during the past weekend at the annual meeting in St. Louis of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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