Association of Children's Museums (ACM): InterActivity 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011 to Saturday, May 21, 2011
Houston, TX

Pre-Conference Workshop: Implementing Nano in Children's Museums Wednesday May 18, 2011, 8:30 am.–4:30 pm

As science and technology continue to change the landscape of our world, children’s museums strive to prepare their visitors to be the scientists, educators, law-makers and informed citizens of tomorrow. Nanoscale science, the manipulation of materials at the molecular scale, is the next great industrial revolution in which our visitors will be immersed throughout their lives. This workshop will introduce participants to the concepts around nanoscale science, share several nanoscale science activities that educate and inspire children and propose practical methods to implement nano into your children’s museum. Content for this workshop is presented by members of NISE Net, a U.S. community of researchers and informal science educators dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Come for a fun-filled day of taking a big look at the super small!

For museum professionals only. Pre-registration required; cost $25; includes breakfast, lunch, snack and all workshop materials. Travel scholarships up to $500 available; email Aaron Guerrero at for more information. This off-site workshop will be held at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Buses will depart from the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Houston Hotel at 8:00 a.m. and return by 5:00 p.m.

Preliminary Agenda

  • 8:15 Meet in the hotel lobby to ride to the Children's Museum of Houston
  • 8:30 Light Breakfast
  • 9:00 Introductions
  • 9:15 Introduction to Nise Network and Introduction to Nano
  • 10:15 Matter Factory Tour
  • 11:00 Nise Partner Pecha Kucha and Activity Showcase
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 1:00 Nano Demo and Stage Show review
  • 1:15 Team Up to Develop a Nano Program
  • 2:30 Rice Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) Laboratory Tour
  • 4:00 Idea Sharing and Q&A
  • 4:30 Workshop Ends
  • 6:00 Big Texas Welcome at the Heritage Society sponsored by Science Museum of Minnesota separate $35 dinner registration required (but is be eligible for NISE Network travel reimbursement)

Conference Sessions featuring nano content

• Creating a Comprehensive Mini-Exhibition: Thursday May 19, 3:00 pm–4:15 pm. Panelists will explore the desire to meet lofty goals of playful, interactive, content-rich exhibit experiences, all within a tiny footprint. Speakers will talk about the challenge to balance competing goals in the exhibit development and design process. Mini-exhibitions from the NISE Network, Children’s Museum of Denver and Omaha Children’s Museum’s will be featured.

• O Wow Moments with Mr. O Thursday May 19, 10:45am-12:45pm Go behind the scenes with Mr. O (a.k.a. Keith Ostfeld, director of exhibit and program development) to see how the Children’s Museum of Houston uses film to bring science concepts to life through simple experiments for its video blog. More than a museum tour, Ostfeld and his team will provide participants with information on how to develop video extensions for exhibit concepts. Since 2009, the museum has averaged four-to-six video postings to its Mr. O Blog per month. This tour will provide plenty of hands-on experiences and tips for those interested in video production as a teaching and promotional tool.

• Simple STEM for 21st Century Learning Skills Friday, May 20, 4:30pm - 5:45pm (new day and time!) Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge is essential if children are to develop the ability to invent and innovate in the 21st century. But with budget constraints, how do children’s museums provide this essential programming? This hands-on, round-robin presentation allows participants to explore and discuss museum programs that incorporate STEM concepts without breaking the bank.

Exhibit Hall

The NISE Network plans to have a booth in the Exhibit Hall - answering questions, showing off our activities for young audiences, and doing some hands-on activities.


More about the Conference:

Hosted by the Children's Museum of Houston Theme: Innovation is Child's Play

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