NISE Network Blog


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.


NISE Network sending partners with Nano exhibition a refill kit to extend the life of the exhibition

Christina Leavell

What’s the hottest item of the 2016 Holiday Season? The Nano mini-exhibition refill kit of course!

The NISE Network has developed a kit of resources to replenish select components of the Nano mini-exhibition. Partner sites receiving the refill kit have all confirmed their shipment details, and delivery of materials should take place in mid to late December 2016.

The refill kit includes…

  • New set of puck-and-stick foam pieces for the “Build a Giant Carbon Nanotube” exhibit component
  • New set of blocks for the “Balance Our Nano Future” exhibit
  • ...


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. 


Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit training videos filming

Training Videos filmed for 2017 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit

Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota

Lights, Camera, Action! Over the past few weeks NISE Network project staff located at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina have been working to create a set of training videos which will be included in the 2017 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit. These training videos are designed to help staff and volunteers using toolkit activities learn how to facilitate the hands-on activities with members of the public.

Physical toolkit applications are due Friday, November 4, 2016, learn more about how to apply: ...


Explore Science: Earth & Space logo

Applications for free physical 2017 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits of hands-on activities due November 4, 2016

Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota


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.

A total of 250 toolkits will be awarded to eligible organizations through a...


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...


NISE Network

New project announcement: ChemAttitudes

Kayla Berry, Museum of Science

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.