The NISE Network offers a variety of programs (educational experiences facilitated in-person by an educator). Public programs for large groups include lecture presentations, demonstrations, and theater shows. Public programs for small groups include demonstrations, hands-on activities, and games. Group programs include laboratories and school group programs (with camp and afterschool programs coming soon).

Educational programs are a great way to introduce audiences to nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Presenters can choose a format and topic that is appropriate for their audience. Facilitated experiences foster visitor conversation and interaction, and allow educators to adjust the science content, pace, and delivery style to suit their audience. NISE Net programs are fully documented, with complete lesson plans or activity guides, presentation materials, and other training and delivery tools.

They are ready to use, and can also be easily adapted. The programs created by the NISE Network were developed through a process of prototyping, audience evaluation research, educator peer review, and in-depth partnerships with scientists.


Programs Available in the Catalog

  • Cart Demonstrations
    Cart demonstrations are interactive programs for a small group of visitors. They typically last around 10 minutes, and are often presented at a cart, table, or dedicated demonstration space in an exhibit gallery.
  • Classroom Activities 
    Classroom activities include workshops, labs, and lessons for student groups.  They are typically presented in a dedicated classroom or lab space.  Length of time can vary from 45 minutes for an elementary field trip program to several hours or days for labs, summer camps, and other program formats.
  • Displays 
    Temporary display, often created as part of an interactive visitor experience.
  • Facilitated activities 
    Facilitated activities are brief, hands-on experiences for small groups of visitors.  They typically last around 5 minutes, and can be presented in a variety of spaces, including exhibit galleries, demonstration areas, and classrooms.
  • Game
    Interactive game for a small group of visitors; size of visitor group, presentation space, and length of experience varies
  • Museum Theater  
    Science and museum theater includes theatrical plays and other performances for a large group of visitors. They typically last around 15 minutes, and are often delivered in a dedicated presentation area or stage.
  • Stage Presentations 
    Stage presentations are public programs for a large group of visitors. They typically last around 20 minutes, and are often delivered in a dedicated presentation area or stage.
  • Forums
    Forums are a special type of programming that encourages audience consideration of the societal and ethical implications of nanoscale science and technology. Older youth and adults participate in one- to two-hour facilitated discussions that promote exploration and foster dialogue and deliberation of the perceived risks and benefits of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology.  Forums programs can take place in a variety of contexts, including science museums, libraries, community centers, and schools.
  • Science Cafes
    A Science Café is an event that brings scientists and the public together in an informal setting like a restaurant, pub, or coffee shop.

NISE Network Product Development Process

NISE Network products are created through an iterative, collaborative process that involves researchers in the field of nanoscale science, professionals in the field of informal science education, and targeted public audiences. This process helps to ensure that our programs, exhibits, and other products are scientifically accurate, represent best practices in educational product development, and are effective experiences for our visitors.

The Tools and Guides section of the catalog provides resources to help all museum professionals use a similar approach to developing educational experiences related to nanoscale science. There, you can find scientists who are willing to assist in program and exhibit development, tools and guidelines to support the development and review of programs, exhibits, and other experiences, and tips and tools for evaluating them with visitors.

  • Scientist review Scientists are involved throughout the creation of NISE Net products, from the early conceptual development through prototyping and final review. Scientists help us to find interesting ideas and present them accurately and effectively. They also help us to communicate the excitement of this field of emerging science, and give it a human face. All products developed by the network are reviewed by an expert in an appropriate field related to nanoscale science, engineering, and technology before they are distributed.
  • Peer review NISE Network development teams include educators, exhibit developers, and other professionals from museums across the country. We work together to make sure our educational products achieve their educational goals, are well-crafted, and represent best practices. Our collaborative development process also helps to create new knowledge to advance the field of informal science education and builds capacity at partner organizations. NISE Net products all go through extensive peer review during development.
  • Visitor evaluation NISE Network products for the museum visitors are prototyped and evaluated with their target audience as an integral part of the development process. Formative evaluation and Team-Based Inquiry approaches help ensure that programs, exhibits, and other visitor experiences are accessible, engaging, and educationally effective. Many products go through several rounds of evaluation and improvement before they are distributed. 

Audiences and Content:

  • NISE Network Content MapThe NISE Network Content Map articulates the key ideas for our educational products, including programs, exhibits, and media experiences. It presents the content knowledge the network has identified as the most important for engaging the public in learning about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Content map resources include the full written text document, a powerpoint presentation outlining the map, and a one-page graphic summary of the map.
  • Products are designed with an inclusive audiences approach using Universal Design principles.

Educational Products are designed for sharing: