Thursday, March 1, 5-7 pm
Strand Union Ballrooms

Come experience Montana State University’s research at MSU Family Science Day (which was started as NanoDays in 2008). MSU faculty and students will showcase their research through educational hands-on activities. Participants can circulate at their own pace through a variety of engaging demonstrations and experiments in a science festival atmosphere.

Bobcat Birthday Science!

This year, to help celebrate MSU’s 125th birthday, there will be a special section of displays that will feature the science behind many iconic birthday symbols such as candles and balloons. 

Family Science Day 2018 Made the News!


What to Expect

Many scientific topics and disciplines will be represented from soil science to extreme gravity physics to microbiology. Featured research projects include the NASA Aerokats and Rovers Education Network, Thermal Biology Institute, Dead Lizards Society, Society of Women Engineers, MSU Chemistry Department, and eXtreme Gravity Institute. A large section of displays will be devoted to nanotechnology, an emerging field in which scientists and engineers study and manipulate matter at the atomic and molecular scale to develop disease-fighting drugs, alternative energy solutions, ultra-strong sports equipment and many other applications. Many thanks to the lab of Wataru Nakagawa for their long-time support of this event.

MSU Family Science Night takes place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors can stop in at any time for activities and demonstrations.

The evening will help both kids and adults learn more about science in a fun and easy-to-understand format. All events take place at the Strand Union Ballrooms on the MSU campus and are free to the public. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

MSU Family Science Day is sponsored by MSU Academic Technology and Outreach, Montana NSF EPSCoR and the Montana Nanotechnology Facility (MONT).

For more information contact Jamie Cornish at

Invite your friends via Facebook! Facebook logo

Download a flyer for MSU Family Science Day 2018


We need volunteers to run stations at MSU Family Science Day. We welcome MSU faculty, students, and student groups as well as off-campus businesses and organizations.

You can run a station by:

  • using a pre-designed STEM activity from one of our National Science Foundation kits
  • designing your own activity or exhibit

Thank you to all the volunteers who have made NanoDays a huge success at MSU since 2008!

Thank You!

Thanks to MSU Academic Technology and Montana NSF EPSCoR for hosting this event and to the MSU Montana Nanotechnology Facility for additional support.

Our NanoDays Legacy

This event was started as NanoDays in 2008 as an outreach program of MSU Extended University (now called Academic Technology and Outreach) and Montana NSF EPSCoR. Launched by the National Informal Science Education Network (NISENet), this National Science Foundation-supported effort was designed to help the public better understand nanoscale science and engineering. Nanoscience is the study of extremely small particles. Nanoscientists work with particles and devices between one and 100 nanometers in size (the head of a pin is 1,000,000 nanometers across). Through nanoscience, scientists have developed disease-fighting drugs, computer components, transparent sunscreen, ultra-strong sports equipment and many other applications.

At MSU, researchers are using nanoscience to develop targeted vaccines, magnetic materials for electronics, and catalysts for producing hydrogen. Nanoscience is an emerging field that blends chemistry, physics, engineering and other areas of science, and is one of the country's top research priorities.

For more information, visit the National Informal Science Education Network (NISENet). 

Nano Resources for Teachers, Informal Educators, and Outreach Professionals

You can borrow MSU Academic Technology and Outreach's NanoDays kits and explore the science of the small with youth of all ages!

Contact Suzi Taylor at for information on how you can:

  • Explore invisibility
  • Find out why a blue morpho butterfly is blue
  • Learn about surface tension with the tiniest teacup you'll ever see
  • Create your own iridescent "thin film" to take home
  • Discuss some of the impacts of this new science on society: How do you feel about a nano-sized tracking device being implanted in your body (or passport?) Can nanotechnology solve our energy crisis? Will nanoparticles contaminate our water supply? Our materials include discussion guides and resources for exploring these intriguing questions.

Plus many other hands-on activities, games and educational resources for classrooms, camps, visiting students and adults.

We also have training materials. Experience in nanoscale science and engineering is not necessary!

Need some ideas? Check out the list and description of activities (PDF) at NanoDays 2014.

We have even more kits and resources than this! Schedule an appointment to come to MSU Academic Technology and Outreach. We will show you all the kits and resources so you can decide what you would like to borrow.