About the NISE Network

What is the NISE Network?

NISE Network members self-assembling at the 2009 Annual Meeting in San Francisco
NISE Network members self-assembling at the 2009 Annual Meeting in San Francisco
Photo by Emily Maletz Graphic Design

The Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) is a national community of researchers and informal science educators dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.


In 2016 the NISE Network is transitioning to a new, ongoing identity as the National Informal STEM Education Network. While we'll still be known as the NISE Net, network partners will now engage audiences across the United States in a range of STEM topics. Several new projects are already underway and others are in discussion for the future. Read more about the transition.

Why was the Network formed?

Advances in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology are revolutionizing medicine, computing, materials science, energy production, and manufacturing. Yet, to the general public, these advances can be invisible or difficult to understand. The NISE Network was created to engage the public in advances in nanoscale research, to capture the imagination of young people who may subsequently choose careers in nanoscale science or technology, and to foster new partnerships among research institutions and informal science centers.

NISE Network members humanize the nanoscale structure of a crystal at the 2009 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
NISE Network members humanize the nanoscale structure of a crystal at the 2009 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Photo by Emily Maletz Graphic Design

Originally launched in 2005, the Network is now led by 14 museums and universities across the nation. The NISE Network is funded by the National Science Foundation through Award Nos. 0532536 and 0940143. Click here to see a list of our core partners.

Who can join NISE Network?

Research institutions, museums and informal science organizations, and other individuals who are interested in communicating with the public about nanoscale research are welcomed and encouraged to join.

A list of NISE Network partners who have received NanoDays kits (2008-2015) is available here: http://www.nisenet.org/nanodays/participants-2015

Please visit our FAQ page to find out how you can get involved.

What's the purpose of this website?

The nisenet.org website is an online digital library of public nano educational products and tools designed for educators and scientists to increase their capacity to engage their audiences in nanoscale science, technology, and engineering.

Additionally, the NISE Network directly reaches public audiences through our www.whatisnano.org website, which provides links to information and activities about nanoscale science, technology and engineering.

What is available on this website?

This website contains a compilation of educational products designed for use in informal education settings to engage the public in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. The website features a variety of educational programs and activities, media, exhibits, professional development tools, and evaluation and research reports designed for educators and scientists. All products on the website created by the NISE Network are reviewed by scientists, educators, and tested with visitors. Most products created by the NISE Network are available for free digital download and designed to be easily adapted and modified for different formats and audiences under a Creative Commons attribution non-commercial share-alike license. Our "Linked Products" are nano related programs and activities, exhibits, media, and other tools that have been created outside the NISE Network. All Linked Products go through a review process. For more information, please visit our FAQ page.  If you have suggestions for Linked Products or questions about products on the website please email products@nisenet.org.  Also helpful is ta list of product category descriptions  and the table of contents which lists all the educational products on the website.

NISE Network Impacts: Report to Partners

The NISE Network Report to Partners provides an overview of the major activities of the Network and highlights our collective accomplishments related to building collaborations, engaging the public, and increasing the capacity of the field. It also looks ahead to sustaining the Network beyond 2015.

The Report includes three related products: a printed report, a set of presentation slides, and a video. Together, these resources allow NISE Net partners to learn about the impact of the Network and share it with others. For example, the slides and video can be presented at a staff or board meeting and the print report circulated to provide more information.

The printed report can be viewed online or downloaded and printed on standard 8.5x11” paper. The slides are customizable, and presenters are encouraged to add their own content to highlight local activities and outcomes related to the NISE Network. The video provides perspectives from individuals across the Network on what we have accomplished as a group and what the Network has meant to them.

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