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Big Exhibit for Tiny Science

This article appeared in the October 2, 2015 edition of the Davis Enterprise.


By Lisa Justice

Special to the Enterprise


What color are the wings of a blue morpho butterfly? They look blue, but are they really? And what color is gold? If you’re thinking shiny yellow, are you sure?


These are just a couple of nature’s mysteries that you can explore at Explorit Science Center’s new Nano exhibition on nanoscience and nanotechnology. From the people at the Nanoscale Informal Science Education network (NISE net) who bring you NanoDays every spring, this stellar museum exhibition will have you looking for all the ways nanoscience influences our lives.


Nano is all about the tiniest things in our world. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter (that’s 10-9)! The nanoscale is anything that measures from 1 to 100 nanometers—super small!


What’s wonderful about the nanoscale is that when materials are broken down that far, they can behave very differently from their larger counterparts. For example, gold particles that are large enough for us to see are shiny and yellowish. But nano-sized particles of gold aren’t. They can be orange or red or even blue, depending on exactly how small they are.


And these differing properties can allow scientists to develop all kinds of new technologies to improve our lives. From pants that won’t stain to gold particles that can deliver cancer medicine directly to a tumor, nanoscience and nanotechnology have seemingly limitless possibilities.


Visit Explorit to immerse yourself in a full nano experience. Try on a white cleanroom suit to imagine yourself as a nanoscientist while exploring the precautions taken in nanolabs. Drop by our book nook to peruse some literature on nanoscience, with something for all ages and interest levels.


Or grab a ruler and measure yourself in nanometers. Try your hand at building a giant carbon nanotube atom by atom, just like nanoscientists do.


See if nano is powerful enough to overcome gravity, and make sure to check out those butterfly wings and figure out what color they really are and why.


The compelling world of nanoscience allows scientists to build new things exactly the way nature does, one atom at a time. Discover the many ways nano is already influencing the world all around us. There are already over 600 products on the market today that use nanotechnology.


Join in the nano fun and discover the wonders of a world too tiny to see. Don’t miss this amazing experience, on exhibit now at Explorit Science Center.



Explorit’s coming events:


  • Explorit’s Exploration Gallery is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and every Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m.  Admission is $5.00 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free. Come check out the new Nano Mini Exhibition!
  • Join us Tuesday October  6th at DMG MORI (3805 Faraday Ave, Davis) for Explorit’s next exciting lecture  “Re-VOLE-utionizing the Mojave desert: Conservation and Captive Breeding of the endangered Amargosa vole ” by Risa Pesapane and from UC Davis and Austin Roy from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.  See for more details!
  • Join Explorit’s Nature Bowl team—open to 3rd-6th graders, beginning Thursday, October 1! We meet in Explorit’s West Wing classroom Thursday afternoons 3:00-4:30. Register now at
  • Spooky Science Nights will be back again for Halloween this year! More details to come.
  • Interested in helping out the community through board membership? Explorit is currently seeking individuals in the community to serve as members of our volunteer board. Please call or email for additional information on how to apply.
  • Interested in membership?  Think your Explorit membership may have lapsed?  Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 to check or sign up!



Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit, or “like” us on Facebook at

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