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TIME for Nano - Tools to Increase Mass Engagement for Nanotechnology

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Increasing interest in nanosciences and technologies

The nanosciences are on the cusp of radically changing society. Fulfilling their promise requires the active interest, engagement and support of the general public, especially young people.

Industrial Technologies

Nanosciences, and their resulting nanotechnologies, are on the verge of revolutionising the way we live and work. Despite this, public awareness of this complex field remains relatively low. Maximising the potential of nanosciences requires the emergence of new generations of researchers. Ensuring this involves inspiring more young people to enter the field. To address these challenges, the TIME FOR NANO project developed and employed creative ways of raising awareness and interest in nanosciences among young Europeans. Funded by the EU, the project created two innovative communication tools: the Nanokit and an online video contest. To demonstrate the value of nanotechnologies, the Nanokit contains 10 hands-on activities involving real nanomaterials, including 'magic sand' and 'hydrophobic textiles'. The annual video contest encourages ordinary Europeans to become budding amateur filmmakers and produce YouTube videos exploring nano-related themes. During the lifetime of the project, more than 200 entries were uploaded. Project members also employed three modes of dissemination to reach their target audiences effectively. These were Nanoday events for young Europeans, multiplier training sessions for educators and a web platform for all stakeholders. TIME FOR NANO provided an adaptable model for communicating the nanosciences to young people. The project has also recommended targeting areas that include ethical issues that the field raises and the practical uses of nano innovations.

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