In 2005, the National Science Foundation simultaneously announced funding both for NISE Net and the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU). Up to that point, the two proposed projects weren’t aware of each other, but after a few email exchanges and phone calls, Principal Investigators Larry Bell (NISE Net) and David Guston (CNS-ASU) initiated what would turn into many years of productive work together. CNS-ASU ideas have been incorporated into many NISE Net educational products, and so are integral to the public engagement work of many NISE Net partners.
NISE Network Blog
Seeing a child’s face light up with excitement as they interact with real-life scientists and grad students at your outreach event is always a pleasure. Many researchers are interested in sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with the public, but they typically need some prior guidance and practice working hands-on with public audiences. With this in the mind, the NISE Network created the Sharing Science Workshop & Practicum (SSW&P), a time-efficient, low-cost, low-commitment solution to preparing researchers for successful interactions with youth and community audiences.
Our partners at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU) held a final event gala in Tempe, Arizona on May 3-5, 2016, focused on "Advancing the Legacy of Anticipatory Governance." I was happy to be among the 110 participants at this final event in the work of CNS to represent the NISE Net. CNS Director Dave Guston describes anticipatory governance as: A broad-based capacity extended through society that can act on a variety of inputs to manage emerging knowledge-based technologies while such management is still possible.
We are pleased to introduce a new logo for the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network). As the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network transitions to the National Informal STEM Education Network we will begin using this logo to communicate the new identity of the Network now engaged in a range of STEM topics. Over the coming months you will increasingly see the new logo, though we will continue to use the existing NISE Net logo with nano-related materials and activities as the nano project winds down.
Congratulations to the recipients of the Building with Biology 2016 physical kit! Building with Biology is one of several projects that extends the Network into the its new identity as the National Informal STEM Education Network by addressing new content areas, such as synthetic biology. This project also focuses on fostering public engagement in science by having scientist volunteers interact and have discussions with the public through hands-on activities and forums. Building with Biology physical kits have been awarded to over 150 organizations across the U.S. who will participate in Summer 2016 Building with Biology Events.
Getting ready for the summer of 2015, KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue, Washington was looking for more ways to increase community access to our education programs. After a decade of serving our community, we know that Bellevue families like to be outside in the summer, so we looked to parks! Thanks to a mini-grant from NISE Network we were able to send our educators to different parks in the community with free hands-on nano science activities for families in the community.
In the summer of 2015, Building with Biology held eight pilot events which fostered Public Engagement with Science (PES) about synthetic biology by having scientist volunteers interact and have discussions with the public through forums and events featuring hands-on activities. The events took place at Arizona Science Center, Chabot Space and Science Center, Museum of Life and Science, Museum of Science, Boston, New York Hall of Science, Pacific Science Center, Science Museum of Minnesota, and Sciencenter. Each of these sites helped evaluators gather data that describe the impacts of the Building with Biology pilot events and inform changes for summer 2016 events nationwide.
On February 16, Arizona State University's Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives hosted its third annual Sustainability Solutions Festival Family Day at Arizona Science Center. During this event, prototype activities from the sustainABLE hands-on activity kit were tested. The kits are being created through a partnership of ASU’s Sustainability in Science Museums program and the NISE Network, and are designed to engage audiences of all ages in sustainability science.