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Nanotechnology Creates World’s Smallest School Emblem?

Author: Redbrick Published: 23rd February 2012 11:59
Image by Dr. Chris Parmenter, University of Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre, Jan 2012

The wonders of technology that can shrink everyday items on an atomic and molecular scale have enabled the historic emblem of Ockbrook School to appear on the end of a human hair.


Two Year 11 students at Ockbrook School visited The University of Nottingham's Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre, as part of their Bronze CREST Science Award. Their project required electron microscope images of hair samples for a study into hair products.

In addition to the images required for the hair products study, the students returned to school with a bonus image. Using a digital image of the school's emblem, Dr. Chris Parmenter, University of Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre, "milled" it into a hair approximately 0.1mm wide, using a Gallium ion beam. The image enjoyed by the students was taken using an electron microscope at a magnification of x2200, to make it visible to the human eye.

Alison Steele, Head Teacher, Ockbrook School, says: "We believe that this is the world's smallest school emblem, so it's quite an accolade for the school. But there's a serious educational message behind the wow factor. Our students are learning how these cutting edge technologies are creating new and varied applications which are making science fiction science fact.

"Our students benefit from many close associations with partner education establishments that enhance the breadth and depth of their learning experiences. We are immensely grateful to The University of Nottingham and its investment in nurturing scientists of the future and the school very much looks forward to building on this relationship."

Other work by The University of Nottingham's Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Centre can be found on You Tube, including the world's smallest Periodic Table and the world's smallest advert.

Grangemount and Ockbrook School are located between Nottingham and Derby, just off the A52. Grangemount Nursery & Junior School to Ockbrook School is an independent school for boys and girls aged 2-11 and Ockbrook School is an independent school for girls aged 11-18 years. For further details visit our website www.ockbrook.derby.sch.uk

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