Rena Dorph, Ph.D., Director; Frank Kusiak, NISE West Regional Coordinator; Kalie Sacco, MPA, Chief of Staff, Director's Office
These are indeed difficult times. We have been challenged by a series of racist killings by police that once again have laid bare the systemic institutional racism that persists in the United States. The Lawrence Hall of Science is the University of California, Berkeley’s public science center and much of our work in science education is motivated by our values of equity and social justice as well as our hope for a better future. However, recent events led us to realize that we had yet to do enough and that we need to take further and immediate action.
Josh Sarver, VP of Exhibits & Programs and Stephen White Esq., VP of Strategic Initiatives, COSI, Columbus, OH
With its sights focused on another record setting experience in 2020, COSI and its partners prepared for an assortment of exciting programs as well as the infusion of new cities from across the state. With a broader regional focus and a year’s experience under our belts, the possibilities seemed endless. However, as the impact of the pandemic grew, COSI was forced to execute a broad-based strategy to engage public, private, and nonprofit partners to produce digital experiences around science and technology.
Liane Usher, President, Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center
Since March 15th the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center closed its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many children’s museums, we were faced with the challenge of keeping our families and the greater community engaged with hands-on interactive learning without a physical facility. While the Center has never done much online content development before, our staff quickly shifted gears and learned new skills in video production, editing and social media.
During the quarantine, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has supplied gardening kits and flowers to the local school lunch program. In April, we made 180 mini garden kits that were made available to students at lunch pickup spots throughout the peninsula as well as delivered to individual homes.
In January 2020, thirty-four museum professionals from across the NISE Network came to Arizona State University as part of the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability in Science and Technology Museums Fellowship. Following their time in Tempe, fellows returned to their organizations with new tools, resources, and relationships cultivated from the workshop to conduct their projects, ranging from updating exhibits to planning museum renovations to providing professional development at their organization about sustainability.
These past couple of months, NISE Network partners have continued to find creative ways to remotely engage their communities in fun science learning experiences and provide outreach throughout the coronavirus COVID-19 shutdown.
Here are just a few partner highlights that have...
Star Night is an annual event at the White Mountain Nature Center in the alpine town of Pinetop, AZ, the region’s crowning informal learning site. The annual early Spring Astronomy Night was planned for mid-March 2020, the amateur astronomers were geared up for a star party, NISE Net's Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit and Arizona State University’s StarLab were on-hand, we were a go! Then a week prior to the event the Covid crisis erupted and a late Spring storm was in the forecast...we needed to pivot!
The NISE Network continues to be amazed at the way partners are rapidly adjusting to changing times, learning how to adapt in-person programs, demonstrations and activities into virtual and at-home learning experiences. This is no small feat and we want to...
On January 15, 2020 the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) held a Star Watch Party with special guest meteorologist and astronomy educator Mike Lynch. This was not a public event, but a staff and volunteer social hosted by The...