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Outreach News

Monday, 16 April 2018

Nanoscience taken out of the lab at the 10alamenos9 Festival

The 10alamenos9 Festival of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology was held last week, with over 100 activities to choose from across many locations in Spain. Among them, the UAB Campus in Bellaterra, where a lively activity was run for over 200 students, including a visit to the ICN2.

The nanometre, from which this festival derives its name, is the unit of length used to measure the “nanoworld”. At one billionth of a metre, or 10 to the power of 9, it is hard to comprehend just how small this really is. And yet, though we cannot see them with the naked eye, the fruits of nanoscience and nanotechnology are all around us. What 10alamenos9 sets out to achieve is to bring this little known branch of science to mainstream attention.

Funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) this year’s festival offered more than 100 activities, including contributions from the ICN2, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB) and the Centro Nacional de Microelectrónica (CNM-CSIC).

The festival kicked off on 10 April at CosmoCaixa with an event involving ICN2 group leaders Prof. Laura Lechuga, Prof. Pedro Gómez and ICREA Prof. Victor Puntes, joined by fellow ICN2 professionals Daniel Rueda, Àlex Argemí and Ana de la Osa. They contributed with a collection of engaging talks, activities and workshops to disseminate the knowledge generated at the nanoscale and its applications. The ICN2's "Dimensió Nano” (Nano Dimension, in Catalan) exhibit was also on display at CosmoCaixa throughout the week.

On 10 April, in collaboration with ICMAB and CNM-CSIC, the ICN2 and UAB also led school visits to show students around these three research facilities, complete with practical demonstrations. As part of the tour, the students attended a round table session entitled “Ask a future nanotechnologist”, where undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students fielded questions from the school children about what they do and why they do it. The idea was to present nanoscience and nanotechnology as an exciting and rewarding career path, and one with relevant applications within society at large.

Finally, the 10alamenos9 Festival ended with the 3rd meeting of "nanodivulgadores", communication experts specialising in all things nano, on 13 April. A brainstorming session led to 20 potential new dissemination projects that will keep all those in attendance busy over the months to come. The final session was devoted to sharing success stories with a view to inspiring and informing all the work yet to be done.