To help educate children, budding scientists, and others about nanotechnology, Dr. Moon Kim of UT Dallas could have published a simple e-book, "but that wouldn't have been fun," he says. Instead, he collaborated with Sun Kim, a science writer and journalist, and members of the Arts and Technology program at the university, to create a complete multimedia experience. "Hello, Nano" was launched on Apple iTunes and is now available as an iBook for the iPad. It will be available for the Kindle and other tablet devices in the future.
“Hello, Nano” blends technology and simple language to create a fun, interactive, and informative experience. More than just looking at words and pictures on a page or screen, readers can swipe, tap, pinch, and expand images to see the finer details and understand how and why nanotechnology is used in medicine, advanced materials, and electronics. (See a video on YouTube.)
A cheerful cartoon character named ‘Nano’ gives simple explanations throughout each chapter, but more serious readers can follow his lead or choose to launch into more detailed explanations illustrated by video(s) and multimedia images. The goal was to make the information "visually appealing but not overwhelming." says Moon. Originally published in Korean as a paperback, the book was named one of the top science books of the year in 2010.
As Director of the Science and Beyond Lab at UT Dallas, Moon uses microscopy - specifically TEM - to investigate nano-electronic materials, nano-scale devices, and solar cells. He also has a "keen interest" in nano-robotics. His lab uses a JEOL JEM-2100F field emission TEM and the JEOL ARM200F atomic resolution microscope.
His vision is anything but nanoscale. He has extended the learning experience by offering three-week internships in his lab and at UT Southwestern Medical Center. This brings in students who learn firsthand about nanotechnology research. In addition, he has hosted JEOL seminars for fellow TEM users.
Moon sees a very real need for the type of outreach that "Hello, Nano" provides. This is his third book co-authored with Sun Kim, and they co-founded 2Lux Media, Inc. “Lux” means light in Latin, and “2Lux” refers to their aspiration to illuminate important but hard to understand areas of science and technology for both kids and general readers."
"The reason we do so much of our research is to make everyone’s lives better, and we need public support for that. As a professor, education is a big part of my job. Educating the general public is part of that. So the more that both kids and their parents understand and support what we do, the better it is for everyone.”