Helping to make science and engineering accessible for all
Nanogirl – inspiring children to build superpowers through science
Dr Michelle Dickinson is passionate about sharing her views that science doesn’t have to happen in a classroom at school, but instead that science is everywhere and for everyone.
As part of her push to increase confidence around science, engage more public interaction with the subject and promote diverse role models in science and engineering she created the character Nanogirl – a science-savvy female who uses her engineering skills to solve her way out of challenges in life.
Knowledge has been handed down through generations by storytelling and we believe that Nanogirl is a powerful tool to use live storytelling combined with immersive science experiments to take the audience on a science adventure.
Nanogirl can be found touring the world as part of the NanoGirl Live Science show – the world’s only female led science show that features academically trained female scientists and engineers playing Nanogirl on stage.
Nanogirl is also trying to help address some of the cultural issues surrounding science engagement by Indigenous peoples starting at home in New Zealand.
Mātātoa is our bilingual te reo Māori live science show that tells stories of legends and pūrākau through science (pūtaiao). It’s frustrating when western scientists “discover” what indigenous people have known for centuries through disciplines including mātauranga Māori so we built Mātātoa to help to try and bring these two communities together through a shared learning journey.
Nanogirl Video Collection
The language of science
Dr Michelle Dickinson hears people say that science is hard or confusing and she wants to help to change that perception. Scientists sometimes use big, long words, that can intimidate and confuse people but through Nanogirl she wants the world to know that each of these worlds can be replaced with much smaller words to help describe the science. Understanding the language of science is just like learning any new language, it takes time and practice but has the potential to open up a whole new fascinating world of discovery.
Why science and engineering are important
Even if you are not a scientist or an engineer, being able to understand their fundamental principles is important. There are many decisions that we each have to make each day which are based on scientific evidence or data. Medicines that doctors prescribe, the impacts of climate change and the importance of vaccinations are just a few of them, and being open to understanding how science is carried out will help you to gather important evidence to help you to make the right decision for your life.
Nanogirl and Public Engagement
Explosive Live Science Show!
NanoGirl brings big science and engineering to the stage for her explosive live show!
Covering Bernoulli’s principle, firing a massive air vortex cannon, holding fire in her hands, building a hovercraft and exploding thousands of ping pong balls using only air pressure, this show has science like you’ve never seen it before! Safe for all ages, this family friendly show shows you simple experiments you can do at home and is the first female led touring science show that can be customised to the language of your choice.
100 Days Project
Every day for 100 days, Dr Michelle Dickinson used her Nanogirl character to carry out a different science experiment with a different person.
The aim of the project was to show that science is fun, it’s everywhere and it’s easy to do science every day without the need for expensive equipment or specialised expertise.
The project inspired Michelle to write a kitchen science cookbook which will be released in late 2017 with easy and fun science recipes that can be done with anybody using only the ingredients that you find in your pantry at home.