New Innoventions exhibit brings nanotechnology to Epcot guests

in Disney, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

A few days ago, on Feb. 22, 2010, Epcot quietly opened a new exhibit at Innoventions oddly titled “Take a Nanooze Break.”

Based upon the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported children’s magazine and Web site Nanooze,the exhibit features a series of interactive, continually updated displays that allow visitors to manipulate models of molecules, study everyday items at the nanoscale, and interact with scientists and engineers who conduct the latest nano research.

Frequent visitors to Epcot’s Innoventions might be thinking, “Didn’t they already have something like this?” Well, yes. The former “Too Small to See” Innoventions exhibit was a precursor traveling exhibition that helped pave the way for Take a Nanooze Break.

“The experience is immersive and gives guests a number of ways to view a world that is too small to see,” says Carl Batt of Cornell University, the lead researcher for the project. “It also gives guests a view of nanotechnology from real scientists”

“Nanotechnology will bring multiple, fundamental changes to the way we work to create goods, develop sustainable approaches, advance medicine and improve quality of life.,” says Mike Roco, senior advisor for nanotechnology at NSF. “About $80 billion worth of products incorporated nanoscale components in the United States in 2010, and one can envision mass use of nanotechnology by 2020. The Nanooze exhibition informs and inspires the public about this fast-arriving future society.”

In addition to teaching about nanotechnology, the exhibit offers plenty of available seating – hence the “take a break” aspect of it. If there’s anything that’s a welcome addition to a Disney theme park, it’s more air-conditioned areas to sit and relax.

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