About Johns Hopkins


Return to News Releases

Nano-Magic to Super Synapses: Johns Hopkins Exhibits to Appear at USA Science Festival

October 19, 2010
MEDIA CONTACT: Phil Sneiderman

Six teams of Johns Hopkins researchers with expertise in nanotechnology, particle physics and other fields will participate in a sprawling exposition this weekend at the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C.

The free, two-day expo on the National Mall will feature more than 1,500 hands-on science activities, plus more than 75 shows on four stages. The family-friendly event is designed encourage young people to become more interested in science, technology, engineering and math. To accomplish this, organizers said they plan to present “compelling, exciting, educational and entertaining” exhibits and activities.

The expo will take place from 10 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 23 and 24. Among the exhibitors will be the Johns Hopkins science and engineering teams, made up of faculty members, students and staff members. All of the teams have been assigned to booths in the National Mall area bounded by Madison Drive, 3rd Street, Jefferson Drive and 7th Street.

“Johns Hopkins is so close to D.C., and we have a school [SAIS] located in the District, so we really wanted to have a strong presence at this festival,” said Beth Bolton, a Homewood campus staff member who is helping to organize the university’s participation in the event.

Bolton said a coach bus has been enlisted to transport the six teams and their equipment to and from the National Mall on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, the teams have coordinated their T-shirts, banners and other art work with logos that call attention to the university.

The Johns Hopkins exhibits will be:

  • Networking Neurons: Making Super Synapses –Volunteers from the undergraduate program in Neuroscience will explain how brain cells called neurons connect to one another, forming a signal processing network. Assemble alphabet beads into a model neuron, with letters spelling out a message. Location: Section NM-5, Booth 532.
  • Nature’s Robots and Machines – This exhibit was organized by the university’s Institute for Biophysical Research. Visitors will learn how large magnets, X-rays and computers can reveal how nature’s most complex molecules are assembled and how they keep you alive. Location: Section NM-6, Booth 608.
  • The Expanding Data Universe: From Galaxies to Sensor Networks – Organized by Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science, this exhibit will allow visitors to see how science is being revolutionized by an explosion of data across many fields. Applications exist in disciplines ranging from astronomy to environmental science. Location: Section NM-3, Booth 383.
  • Self-Assembly is Nano-Magic – Volunteers from the Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology will help visitors to see how engineers use a technique called self-assembly at the nano- and micro-scale. Working with everyday objects and materials, visitors will learn how this technique may be used to address human health and environmental problems. Location: Section NM-6, Booth 610.
  • Legos Can Show What Happens on the Nanoscale – This exhibit will be presented by the university’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. See how a popular children’s toy can be used to conduct experiments concerning the behavior of particles, cells and molecules in environments too small to see with the naked eye. Location: Section NM-6, Booth 612.
  • The Science of the Large Hadron Collider – Volunteers from the university’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will help visitors understand elementary particles by observing the cosmic rays that constantly pass through us. Learn why physicists have built a giant particle accelerator. Location: Section NM-2, Booth 235.

To locate the Johns Hopkins exhibits on the expo map, go to:

More details are at the main USA Science & Engineering Festival Web site:


Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news . Information on automatic E-mail delivery of science and medical news releases is available at the same address.

Office of Communications
Johns Hopkins University
3910 Keswick Road, Suite N2600
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Phone: 443-997-9009 | Fax: 443 997-1006