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The Nanoscience Theme

Nanoscale structure is a theme that has been with ICE since its early days. This was evident in the materials that we developed and made available to teachers in kit form: the Solid-State Model Kit; Optical Transform Kit; DNA Optical Transform Kit; Explorations in Materials Science.

A fruitful collaboration with the MRSEC program (Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces) at UW–Madison helped to make these hands-on materials a reality and enabled them to be in classrooms around the world. The collaboration continues today as evidenced by these recently added materials: Polyhedral Model Kit; Exploring the Nanoworld Kit; Nanoworld Presenter's Guide with "Try This" Packet .

In addition, ICE has served as the Education and Outreach arm for NSEC, the University of Wisconsin–Madison Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center on Templated Synthesis at the Nanoscale since its inception in 2004. NSEC has NSF funding through the National Nanotechnology Initiative with the goal of building infrastructure for nanotechnology research and education across the country. For ICE this has meant even bigger collaborative projects on a smaller scale: the nanoworld. To carry out the mission of the NSEC Education and Outreach program, ICE is developing new scalable teaching and learning programs, methodologies, and communities, all aimed at cultivating a diverse next generation of nanoscientists and engineers. This is exciting stuff: exciting for us and exciting for the K–12 community.

This section will point you to what we are doing in nanoscience and materials science—in Publications, Outreach, Education, and Research. The ICE nanoscience theme includes:

Nanoscience Kits & Publications

Many ICE publications and kits are based on nanoscience or materials science, ranging from introductory demos through those that take a close-up look at molecular structure. All are tried and tested. You will find them listed below with very succinct descriptions and arranged by increasing depth of coverage; the links will take you to a fuller description.

Get Started!

Go a Bit Further...

Expand on the Nano Theme

Dig More Deeply: Look at Structure


Many of the ICE staff have a major involvement with the nanoscience theme. These staff people help make our efforts in materials and nanoscience possible.

Andrew Greenberg coordinates our interactions with both UW MRSEC and NSEC. He helps with developing and carrying out ideas for the education and outreach efforts of each project.

Angela Jones is developing a website to accompany the carbon playground project and is adapting the webquest "From Small Science Comes Big Decisions" to an outreach experience for the general public.

Brittland DeKorver, our outreach specialist, leads the SCIENCountErs program and the Chemistry Camps, both of which have nanoscience components.

Linda Fanis oversees the ICE kits and their distribution; she also works with both UW MRSEC and NSEC to develop and present their outreach workshops and materials

John Moore, ICE Director, oversees ICE and its interactions with NSEC and MRSEC. He provides ideas and spearheads the development of ideas into workable outcomes.


Outreach has been an integral part of ICE activities since its inception. Because a major aim of ICE is to encourage the incorporation of cutting-edge research into the chemistry curriculum, many efforts are related to materials science and nanoscience. Learn more about our specific nanoscience-related outreach programs:


Education is part of everything ICE does, and nanoscience education is offered for students from middle school to advanced undergraduate and for teachers. Specifically,


Research efforts at ICE include two projects that are related to nanoscience: