Fall Mixers for Prospective Partners

Carol Lynn Alpert

We've already had snow in Boston, and the fall conference season is upon us, with some excellent opportunities for those interested in learning more about researcher - ISE partnership craft. First up on the schedule, the Association of Science-Technology Centers conference, which provides a splendid opportunity to get away to Fort Worth for Halloween (Oct 31 - Nov 3). Not only will the NISE Network be hosting various get-togethers and information-sharing sessions, but other ISE leaders are also tackling the partnership theme - partnering with community organizations, with NIH researchers, with NASA researchers, and with artists. Go to www.astc.org for the full meeting agenda. The Fall 2009 MRS meeting gets you to Boston's beautiful Back Bay cultural and shopping mecca - right at the start of the holiday season (Nov 29 - Dec 4). So, digest your turkey and think about attending Symposium PP, on Wednesday, Dec.2, where Rae Ostman is moderating a panel on "Innovative Ways to Connect: University, Museum, and Public Partnerships for Nanoscience and Materials Education" and Dave Chesebrough is speaking on "Reflections on Research and Practice on Science Centers Partnerships." MRS Outreach Director Richard Souza is organizing the Public Outreach Center, including a NISE Net booth where researchers can sign up to be a NISE Network Collaborator. Researchers seeking more information about forming institutional partnerships with science museums can also sign up at the NISE Net booth for individual consultations with RISE representatives. The Public Outreach Center area of the convention center will also feature a NanoDays booth, the ScienCenter's NanoLab exhibit, and NISE Net-related exhibits from Lawrence Hall of Science and the Museum of Science. Another RISE effort, the development of a science communication professional development program for research center - science museum partners to jointly offer to research center REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) students, is featured in the Tuesday night poster session, along with the results of an intensive formative evaluation conducted by the University of Massachusetts Donohue Institute. The REU training program will begin dissemination this year, and prospective science museum - research center partners are invited to email rise@nisenet.org to inquire about NISE-Net supported implementation opportunities at their locations.