Skip to main content


NANODAYS: How small is small?


The ability to translate extremely complex concepts into understandable concrete activities is a skill that several of the IGERT trainees and affiliates have mastered. Participating in the NANODAYS events at the Austin Children’s Museum as well as demonstrating similar concepts at EXPLORE UT (the annual campus wide open house), the IGERT students introduce nano-science and energy technology to young people ranging in ages of three to teens. The challenge for the IGERT engineers is to translate theory and complex design into demonstrations and use language that young excited children will get hooked on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The NANODAYS builds from the Children’s Museum current focus on nano-technology. The museum has a permanent interactive display focusing on this new area of science. The IGERT students used several science kits that demonstrated concepts in the fields of science as diverse as surface science, organic chemistry, molecular biology, and semiconductor physics.

Address Goals

Outreach activities have always been a part of the UT IGERT work. The 2012 program year has been a very busy year for IGERT participants to work in the community and on a very broad scale with young students as well as emerging high school students in cultivating and nurture interest in science and engineering. All of the IGERT trainees and affiliates as well as almuni participated in community outreach activities. They have taken their theoretical concepts and lab experiences and translated their passion for the public. While interviewing a parent of a college student and his younger brother at the Explore UT open house, the older brother said, “When I came to Explore UT and saw what you (IGERT students) were doing with the nano-toys and the grid, that’s when I decided I was going to become an engineer.”