A big grant brings a small world to Region 8 kids

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - ASU's Museum was recently awarded a big grant that's helping them bring a small world to Region 8 children.

Education Curator for the ASU Museum, Jill Kary, says they received a $3, 000 grant from the National Informal Science Education Network. Kary says it didn't take them long to decided where to put the money to use. "We decided with this grant that we wanted to put on a 'Nano Night' at the museum on Tuesday nights," Kary said. "And we are so excited because we get to teach others about nano science and we get to make it fun for kids."

Nano Science is the study of things that are really, really small. "In nano science, the things you study are so small that these are things you can't see with your eyes or with microscopes," Kary stated. "You actually have to have special microscopes in order to see the little bumps on the shapes of nano science."

Kary says part of the appeal in holding an event that focused solely on this particular area of science is it's not something a lot of people are aware of, yet. "Nano science is relatively new," Kary said. "People are just now learning about it. So, what we're really doing is to help get the word out. Because what we want in the future are nano scientists. We want this to be seen as a new career."

Kary says they are doing a variety of fun activities with the children to make things interesting and exciting. For instance, children went on a "smelling" scavenger hunt throughout the museum with a treasure waiting for them at the end of their journey. Kary says they decided to do this activity after explaining to the kids that when you smell something, you're actually inhaling nano particles.

Kary says she hopes the children of today become the "Nano Scientists" of tomorrow. "We need nano scientists to help create new products," Kary said. "There are products already out that contain nano technology. For example, sunscreen. The way silver particles are used in socks and clothing to cause people not to have infections. Silver has antibodies in it, at the nano scale. Gold is used to cure cancer. So, we are able to take things down to the nano scale and create new things."

The Nano Nights at the museum are free. For information about this event, you can call 972 - 2074 or go to their website.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.