NISE Network Blog

New project announcement: ChemAttitudes

Kayla Berry, Museum of Science
NISE Network

We are pleased to announce the new project, ChemAttitudes, funded by the National Science Foundation. The ChemAttitudes project builds on the existing NISE Network infrastructure to raise the capacity of museums and informal science educators to engage the public in chemistry. This project  will use design-based research to develop a tested theoretical framework and set of educational activities that point the way to greater interestrelevance, and self-efficacy among museum visitors and those who attend events like National Chemistry Week. 

NISE Network announces application for free Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits of hands-on activities

Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota
Explore Science: Earth & Space logo

The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net) is pleased to offer 250 free Explore Science: Earth & Space 2017 toolkits to new and existing eligible partners in the US.  In collaboration with NASA, the NISE Network has assembled a new set of engaging, hands-on Earth and space science experiences with connections to science, technology, and society.  In addition to the physical toolkits, all digital materials will be available online for free download in February 2017.

NISE Network Transitioning to New Regional Hub Structure

Kayla Berry, Museum of Science
Regional Hub Map 2016

Dear NISE Network partners,

As the NISE Network makes a formal transition to the National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network, we wanted to let you know that our regional hub structure will be changing slightly with some regions being combined with others. 

NanoGagliato, Italy: Where Science Meets the Public

Paola Ferrari, NanoGagliato
NanoGagliato

Inspired by the senior scientists’ gatherings in Gagliato, NanoPiccola, the junior extension of the Accademia of Gagliato, launched NanoPiccola days offering children in the local community an opportunity to learn about nanotechnology and its applications. NanoPiccola days is a program that includes hands-on activities and games, presentations, scientist trading cards, and Q&A sessions with scientists and the public. In 2010, the Houston Methodist Research Institute became a partner of the NISE Network, and NanoPiccola an international collaborating partner. Upon joining the Network, the Accademia was able to improve upon their own line of activities and experiments, and a Network from which to draw further inspiration and support!

Partner Highlight: Connecticut Educators Learn to “Build with Biology” with Southern Connecticut State University Faculty & 2016 iGEM Team

Bryn Pinkerton, Office of STEM Innovation & Leadership, Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Connecticut State University Building with Biology workshop

On August 2nd, 2016, middle & high school Connecticut educators participated in a Building with Biology professional development workshop with Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) faculty. The workshop was a collaborative event coordinated by CRISP and the Office of STEM Innovation & Leadership. Educators discussed the social and ethical implications of synthetic biology with the first ever SCSU iGEM team through the forum “Should We Edit the Genome? When, Why, and How Much?”. 

Partner Highlight: Engineering Inside and Out at Science Central in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Jenny Young, Science Central
Science Central

Science Central paired one of our annual engineering events with Building with Biology.  Every July during Fort Wayne Indiana’s Three River Festival, we partner with a local architecture firm for an engineering egg drop competition from the top of our roof.  We premiered the Building with Biology activities with this event to highlight that engineering happens on the micro scale as well. 

Partner Highlight: "Miners Dig Deep" and Show Summer Campers How to Build with Biology

Dave Westenberg, Missouri University of Science & Technology
Missouri University of Science & Technology

The Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) campus comes alive every summer with the excitement of young people learning about science and engineering. Among the many summer camps is the annual Summer Solutions For Girls program. Summer Solutions For Girls is a week-long residential program for rising 9th and 10th grade girls. The goal of this program is to introduce young girls to the excitement of STEM careers and includes tours, field trips, lectures, social activities and hands-on activities. As a recent recipient of one of 200 Building with Biology physical kits, Dr. Dave Westenberg, co-advisor of the Missouri S&T iGEM team had a chance to try out some of the activities with Summer Solutions For Girls campers. The result was a huge success.

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Jayatri Das, The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute

What would Benjamin Franklin think about synthetic biology? On July 9th, we held our Building with Biology event under the watchful eyes of his colossal statue in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at The Franklin Institute. I’d like to think that our favorite scientist and inventor would have loved the thoughtful conversations that took place throughout the day as visitors and scientist volunteers considered the applications of this emerging science. With synthetic biology as a new area of focus for us, we were able to establish a new partnership with local biotech company BioBots as well as leverage existing relationships with the University of Pennsylvania, the Wistar Institute, and Dow Chemical to branch out to a new group of people.

Partner Highlight: Museum & Community Partnership-Zoom Into Science at the Library

Sarah Fisk, SUNY Poly CMOST
SUNY Poly CMOST

The SUNY Poly Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (SUNY Poly CMOST) and the Albany Public Library have frequently worked together on a variety of STE(a)M based projects, recognizing one another as strong community organizations. When the opportunity was announced to apply for an Explore Science – Zoom into Nano kit that focused on museum and community partnerships, it was an obvious fit for The Museum to pursue Albany Public library as a partner in this endeavor.