Newsletter: May 2017

Welcome to the monthly e-newsletter for the National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network and community.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

  • Community News: Announcing recent improvements to the NISE Network website, Space and Earth Informal STEM Education (SEISE) project updates and reminders
  • Upcoming Events & Opportunities: Upcoming NISE Network Online Workshops: Findings from Data Collection about Building with Biology Events; Streaming the Eclipse: How to Utilize Online Live Streams at Your Eclipse Event; Join the Eclipse Party! What are You doing to Celebrate the August 21st, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse? Upcoming Public Science Events Conference 2017
  • Evaluation and Research: NISE Network Years 6-10 Evaluation Summary Report
  • Partner Highlights: Space Day 2017 at Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Featured on the Website: Gaming and the NISE Network: A Gameful Approach to STEM Learning Experiences, Online Workshop: An Online Discovery of NASA and other Earth and Space Related Resources (Recorded), Online Workshop: Working through Difficult Concepts in the Explore Science: Earth and Space Toolkit (Recorded)
  • Science in the News: Ocean worlds beyond Earth; Genetically engineered microbes make their own fertilizers, could feed the world's poorest
  • STEM Throughout the Year: NISE Net's ideas for incorporating current science, engineering, and technology into holidays, seasons, annual events, and special events 

COMMUNITY NEWS

Announcing recent improvements to the NISE Network website

We have recently made some major improvements and updates to nisenet.org that features all the same popular content but is redesigned with a fresh new look and additional content filtering. You can now search all educational products easier than ever by using new search options located on the home page: Browse by Kit and Browse by Topic. Read more about nisenet.org upgrades

 

Space and Earth Informal STEM Education (SEISE) project updates and reminders

Network partners from across the country are continuing to host a variety of public events utilizing their Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit. We look forward to seeing your events; please share with NISE Net on social media: @nisenet #nisenet #explorescience

  • Reporting for your Explore Science: Earth & Space event: Partners who received a 2017 Explore Science: Earth & Space physical toolkit are required to complete an online report no later than June 15, 2017. Learn more about reporting here
  • Are you planning an event for the upcoming August 21st total solar eclipse? This amazing astronomical event is a must-see for kids of all ages and is another great opportunity for use of the Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit.
    • If you didn't receive a physical toolkit, all materials are available for digital download including several eclipse activities
    • View a wide variety of solar eclipse planning materials and resources here

UPCOMING EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIES

Online Workshops: Staying connected to the Network and community

The NISE Network runs a series of free online workshops to increase the number of professional development opportunities available to our partners, and to create more channels for partners to share their work and learn from each other directly. View full details for upcoming online workshops at http://www.nisenet.org/events.

 

Findings from Data Collection about Building with Biology Events

Wednesday, June 7, 2017; 4-5 PM Eastern - Sign up now

In 2016, 200 Building with Biology kits were distributed to museums and informal science education organizations around the country. Kit recipients hosted events with hands-on activities and forum programs that fostered public engagement with science about synthetic biology. This online workshop will present methods and results from three data collection efforts about the project: from internal evaluators; external, summative evaluators; and from dialogue and deliberation scholars. Come ready to hear project successes, areas for future work, and interesting considerations about how to promote public engagement with science among different audiences. 

Streaming the Eclipse: How to Utilize Online Live Streams at Your Eclipse Event

Tuesday, June 20, 2017; 2-3 PM Eastern - Sign up now

With the August 21st total solar eclipse just around the corner, a high-quality online stream of this rare event can add content and context for your visitors. Presenters from the Exploratorium and Lawrence Hall of Science will provide tips for giving your visitors a solid viewing experience. Whether you're on the eclipse's path or far away, or if the weather does or doesn't cooperate, this online workshop will give you a head start when preparing to show the solar eclipse live.

Join the Eclipse Party! What are You Doing to Celebrate the August 21st, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017; 2-3 PM Eastern - Sign up now

Do you have your plans finalized for the big event? If you’re still looking for programming ideas, or if you have ideas you’d love to share with others in the NISE Net community, join us for an online sharing of eclipse planning and programming ideas. During this discussion, we'll present a list of relevant NISE Net activities and resources and also hear from a few network partners who are hosting events and pre-eclipse events both on and off the path of totality. Time will be available at the end for all participants to share their own plans, ideas, and burning questions. Don't miss out on one of the most amazing astronomical events in our lifetime!

All NISE Network Online Workshops are recorded and archived online here.

 

Upcoming Public Science Events Conference 2017 

The International Public Science Events Conference (IPSEC) is taking place June 5-6 in Madison, Wisconsin. Whether you run whole science festivals or if you're interest aligns more with creating fun and unique science experiences for the public, this conference is a great opportunity for professionals seeking new knowledge and networking opportunities. Registration is now open; early bird deadline is May 10th. Learn more


EVALUATION AND RESEARCH

NISE Network Years 6-10 Evaluation Summary Report

The NISE Network's Evaluation group, which is a multi-organization team, has completed its final reporting of the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) project. Funded by the National Science Foundation through two consecutive grants and a supplemental grant that extended over 11.5 years and amounted to over $41.7 million, the NISE Net was one of the largest education initiatives ever undertaken by the agency. The purpose of this report was to summarize the findings from the Years 6-10 (2010-2015) NISE Net summative evaluation studies and discuss factors that contributed to the achievement of NISE Net's goals, while also including major project output data and corroborating findings from the Years 6-10 NISE Net research studies. By synthesizing across studies, this summary evaluation report provides a high-level description of the cross-cutting and integrated knowledge generation efforts the Network was involved in and how this knowledge allowed NISE Net to create a continuing informal science education network with goals beyond nano education.

View the NISE Network Years 6-10 Evaluation Summary Report and the supporting evaluation reports and research studies on the NISE Net's Evaluation and Research web page


PARTNER HIGHLIGHTS

Space Day 2017 at Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville, South Carolina

By: Latongia Pepper

Roper Mountain Science Center welcomed over 2,200 visitors of all ages to Journey to Other Worlds for Space Day on March 11th. The Science Center partnered with organizations from across the Upstate to bring in interactive exhibits, stage shows, presentations, and hands-on activities to inspire, awe, and motivate visitors to LOOK UP and CATCH THE VISION of aviators and astronomers from the past, present, and future. As a recipient of the 2017 Explore Science: Earth and Space physical toolkit, the Science Center was able to engage audiences with exciting demonstrations, informative discussions in the fields of Earth and space science, and take home materials. Using the toolkits, participants made a cloud in a bottle, investigated gravity, imagined what extraterrestrial life might be like, explored icy worlds, learned all about the upcoming total solar eclipse, and much more! Read Roper Mountain Science Center's full partner highlight

 

NISE Network partner shout-outs

Hands On! Museum in Johnson City, TN

Explore #Science#Earth & #Space programs begin today! Join us for #experiments like making clouds, exploring icy worlds, & more! @nisenet

Above & Beyond in Sheboygan, WI

We'd like to thank all of the Junior Scientists that participated in the "Explore Science: Earth & Space" event... http://fb.me/6kZuUGHTV

MVCC Mohawk Valley in Utica, NY

More than 200 elementary school students from VVS & Utica came to NanoDays & STEM Fest at our Utica campus today! #nanodays #STEM

TheMaritimeExplorium in Port Jefferson Harbor, NY

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Help us celebrate the end of NanoDays with… https://www.instagram.com/p/BSUpPJEADPC/

MSUExtendedU in Bozeman, MT

Great stuff at Sustainabilibash today: Lots of ideas for a more sustainable future! #montanastate #High5Future @nisenet @SustainMSU


FEATURED ON THE WEBSITE

Gaming and the NISE Network: A Gameful Approach to STEM Learning Experiences

This guide focuses on a handful of examples, ranging from simple card games to large-scale exhibit components, to illustrate approaches the NISE Net found successful for incorporating gameplay into informal STEM learning experiences. View this guide 

 

Online Workshop: An Online Discovery of NASA and other Earth and Space Related Resources (Recorded) 

This presentation covered strategies for finding and connecting additional NASA and Earth and space science related resources. View the recording and resources of this 4-25-2017 online workshop

 

Online Workshop: Working through Difficult Concepts in the Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit (Recorded)

During this discussion, participants learned how to identify common patters of thinking (including misconceptions) as learners build their ideas around Earth and space science concepts and strategies to best address them. View the recording and resources of this 4-18-2017 online workshop


SCIENCE IN THE NEWS

Ocean worlds beyond Earth

We know from research here on Earth that life can exist in extreme environments, which gives scientists hope to finding life on other worlds even right here in our solar system. Two NASA missions are providing new details about the icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn and their potential of harboring life. Read more about these exciting new scientific discoveries

 

NASA's Night Sky Network - What's up for May 2017

Learn about the astronomical events taking place this month

 

Genetically engineered microbes make their own fertilizers, could feed the world's poorest

Industrial fertilizers help produce crops worldwide that feed billions of people, however, these resource are not available to some of the world's poorest farmers. Nitrogen is a key component of industrial fertilizers but requires a complex manufacturing processes. To combat these challenges, scientists are researching ways to utilize microbes to harvest nitrogen from the air to make ammonia, the starting material for fertilizer. This research is also demonstrating that these microbes can be used to grow crops in water. Read more about GE microbes and crop production  


STEM THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

For specific activity ideas for events, and for more inspiration for year-long events and activities, visit http://www.nisenet.org/seasons.

 

Sun and Sand themed programs and activities

Upcoming June events include World Oceans Day (June 8) and Asteroid Day (June 30)

Celestial events: meteor showers, lunar eclipses, full moons, planetary events, and solar eclipse (August 21, 2017) - solar eclipse event planning resources and links


MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES

July 18 - 22, 2017 - Visitor Studies Association (VSA) Conference - Columbus, OH

October 21 - 24, 2017 - Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference 2017 - San Jose, CA - registration now open


Do you have something you would like to submit for inclusion in the NISE Network monthly e-newsletter? Please send your announcements, articles, or community opportunities to Kayla Berry at kberry@mos.org.