Partner Highlights

Sci-Port Discovery Center

Partner Highlight: Explore Science and Bars without Barriers in Shreveport, Louisiana

By: Alan Brown, Sci-Port Discovery Center

In July 2015, with funding from the Beaird Family Foundation, Sci-Port Discovery Center began a joint venture with the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Workforce Re-entry Facility. While that re-entry program provides job training and skills, our Bars without Barriers program provides training on Informal Science Education techniques and activities in order to serve two primary goals. First, we want to raise awareness of the importance of STEM education because we work from the assumption that the offenders’ children will someday engineer the spaceships expected to carry our children to Mars. Second, whether those children grow up to be doctors, engineers, artists or athletes, those children will be better people if their parents are involved in their lives, and the STEM activities and communication skills we teach can help those offenders rebuild whatever bonds may have been strained by their years of incarceration.


Temple Beth Zion Beth Isreal

Building with Biology at Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel in Philadelphia, PA

By: Spencer Glantz, University of Pennsylvania

Over the last few years, Spencer Glantz, a bioengineering PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania, has helped to grow and advise the Penn iGEM team, worked with museum educators at The Franklin Institute to develop prototype activities for Building with Biology, and volunteered at the Institute’s public Building with Biology event in summer 2016. These experiences prepared him to start his own partnership with a youth group at his synagogue, Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel (BZBI), to develop a program about the field of synthetic biology. Teenagers ranging in age from 7th - 12th grade...


BosLab Building with Biology event

Partner Highlight: BosLab hosts first Building with Biology event in Somerville, Massachusetts

By: Angela Kaczmarczyk and Jennifer Clifford, BosLab

Boston Open Science Laboratory (BosLab) is a community lab located in Somerville, Massachusetts dedicated to science outreach and offers educational seminars, workshops, and hands-on molecular biology classes for the public. In September 2016, we held two Building with Biology events: a hands-on activity and public forum event. As a community lab, we were excited to join universities, museums, and other educational organizations nationwide in this public engagement project focused on synthetic biology.


Building with Biology

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology at The Ohio State University: Partnering with Community Organizations to Engage the Public in Science Learning

By: Courtney Price, The Ohio State University

The Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS) and the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (ABRC) at The Ohio State University (OSU) used the Building with Biology kit as an opportunity to engage in public outreach while building community partnerships. CAPS and ABRC have been exploring partnership opportunities with COSI, the science center in Columbus, Ohio, for the past few years. The hands-on activities included in the Building with Biology kit provided an ideal opportunity to work with COSI as a part of their annual Farm Days event, which brings the farm into the city for a five-day long celebration of agriculture.



Partner Highlight: Bio Bistro Activity for BioBuilderClub Kick-off Event at Metropolitan Waterworks Museum, Boston

By: Natalie Kuldell, BioBuilder Educational Foundation

BioBuilderClub, a synthetic biology after-school program for high school teams around the country, kicked off the academic year on October 13, 2016 with an event held at Metropolitan Waterworks Museum in Boston, MA.  Participants enjoyed the Bio Bistro hands-on activity, which led to lively discussions about utilizing synthetic biology for potential team projects involving food.  BioBuilderClub seeks continued museum collaborative opportunities, in particular, to host local teams for a celebration of their projects during the "Final Assembly" event.


SELF International, Inc.

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology on the Move with SELF International in Richfield, MN

By: Bonnie Everts, SELF International, Inc.

In September, SELF International delivered informal STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) educational opportunities and resources directly to underserved communities through it's mobile discovery program by hosting a Building with Biology hands-on event and forum at FLEX Academy in Richfield, MN. Richfield has a large Latino population and FLEX Academy has a diverse enrollment with a majority representation of Latino students.  By moving our free and accessible events into under-represented communities it allows us to overcome obstacles for students and their families to experience new educational exploration they might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in.


Teen Science Cafe Network

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology Within the Teen Science Café Network - Exploring the Cool and the Scary

Kathryn Riddle Penzkover and Michelle K. Hall

The teen years are a time of exploring new frontiers and making important decisions that will change lives in ways that cannot be known. The same can be said for the field of synthetic biology - it is a time of great exploration and possibilities, myriad choices, and cautious trepidation of the unknown. During the 2016 Teen Science Café Network annual workshop held August 21-24 at the Explora! Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 41 adult mentors of teen science café programs participated in a science café to introduce them to the field of synthetic biology and provide them with rich resources, such as the Building with Biology kit, that can be used in a science café explicitly for teens. 


Port Discovery Children's Museum

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology at Port Discovery Children's Museum: Purposeful Play and Learning through Meaningful Science Experiences

Sarah Zimmerman, Port Discovery Children's Museum

On July 30th, 2016 scientists, students, and families came together at Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to explore and discover the emerging field of synthetic biology. The museum’s Building with Biology event was a great success, attracting over 1,300 guests. Children visiting the museum range from birth to 10 years old, making it a unique opportunity to introduce young future scientists to the excitement of the field. 


Partner Highlight: Children’s Museum of Eau Claire's "Science Troupe" Visits SMM!

Christina Leavell

At the end of summer 2016, our friends at the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire dropped by the Science Museum of Minnesota for a behind-the-scenes look around the museum. With them they brought the “Eau Claire Science Troupe” summer camp participants – an elite group of middle school students who had been working hard that past week with materials from the NISE Network's “Explore Science: Zoom into Nano” kit.

The field trip was the capstone to a weeklong summer camp done as part of the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire’s Museum and Community Partnership (MCP) project with the NISE...



Partner Highlight: NanoGagliato, Italy: Where Science Meets the Public

Paola Ferrari, 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!