Nanotechnology Event Helps Kids Practice Science

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- When it comes to education, some kids are already practicing to be scientists. Kids in Harrisonburg had the chance to explore nanotechnology on Sunday at the Explore More Discovery Museum.

Nanodays is organized by the James Madison University nanotechnology faculty, the museum and local high school educators. Nano means extremely small; one nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.

"There's stuff on it that's invisible that you can't see," said Jude Hickerson, who attended Nanodays.

At the event, kids explored how the make up of different materials isn't always what it seems, depending on what they add. One of the coordinators said it's a simple way to get kids interested in science early.

"To let kids know about nanotechnology. We want to put a little seed inside of their mind," said Costel Constantin, PhD, with the James Madison University Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Kids chatted about making an elevator that could go into space, as they watched volunteers explain the science behind the idea.

"[The] thing could be made of chains and the chains could be right in the middle of the elevator," said Ivey Williams, who attended the event.

Organizers said talking about what seems to be an impossible idea parallels the new technologies that came to be because of nanoscience. As kids squirt., watch and touch little pieces of science, organizers hope some of it will stick with them.

"If they feel like [they] want to do science, they might choose nanotechnology," said Constantin.