The TIME for NANO Project aims at engaging the general public, with a special attention to young people, on benefits and risks related to nanoscale research, engineering and technology, through specific informal education products, namely the nano-kit and the organisation of a web contest each year that will be the basis for the realisation of events and debates for the public and collecting opinions and feedbacks from the participants.

The products will use an inquiry-based learning approach, specifically developed in science centres/museums, where people understand by doing.

The nano-kit could contain e.g. small exhibits, nano-objects and materials, scripts for experiments and role/team game cards. It is a tool for stimulating the participation of youngsters in the nano-olympics and for engaging in debate scientists, stakeholders and the public in general.

The web platform will be a resource centre and an attractor for the whole community of N&N communicators, through its contents (continuous addition of new information etc), its innovative tools (web contest) and the artistic approach, the online feedback collection.

A great added value of the project is that of “growing” a community of people engaged in N&N communication, through the realisation of training courses in each of the participating Science Centres (at national level) and by Ecsite (at European level) intended to reach a number of at least 450 multipliers (experts working in outreach and education efforts), carefully chosen among three main groups: explainers in science centres and PhD students in science communication; teachers from primary and high schools.

The public participation to the web-contest is ensured by the organisation of many events in science centres of 9 Countries each year: launch event, nano days, final event with award prizes, intended as occasions for informing/educating, on one hand, and for engaging youngsters, collecting perceptions and opinions, on the other.

The consortium include 13 partner and is coordinated by Fondazione Idis Città della Scienza (Italy). The other partners are: Observa (Italy), Ecsite (Belgium), BridA (Slovenia), Ciência Viva (Portugal), CCSTI La Casemate (France), TSCF (Turkey), Technopolis (Belgium), Politechnika Warszawska (Poland), Heureka (Finland), Ecsite UK (United Kingdom), Deutsches Museum (Germany), CUEN (Italy).

Observa’s role in the project will be to monitor the activities and preparing assessment tools for the collection of information concerning the process of implementation and results of initiatives.

The image reproduces a nanoparticle. It was created under the guidance of prof. Michael Oliveri, dr. Zhengwei Pan e dr Yiping Zhao dell’Università della Georgia, www.flickr.com