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New Space and Earth Informal STEM Education project announced!

April 1, 2016

Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota


We are pleased to announce the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net) has been selected for five years of funding by NASA Science Mission Directorate to implement the Space and Earth Informal STEM Education (SEISE) project.

This project builds on the existing NISE Network infrastructure to raise the capacity of museums and informal science educators to engage the public in Heliophysics, Earth Science, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics.  Project deliverables will include development and distribution of hands-on activity toolkits (250 toolkits per year over four years), small footprint exhibitions (50 identical copies), and professional development opportunities including online workshops.  Toolkits and exhibitions will be available to new and existing NISE Network partners through a competitive application process.

The SEISE project is one of 27 projects from across the United States selected by the NASA Science Mission Directorate for cooperative agreements totaling $42 million. NASA Science Mission Directorate selected these projects to implement a new strategic approach to more effectively engage learners of all ages on NASA science education programs and activities.  Selections were made by the agency’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in Washington DC through the Science Education Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) announced in 2014. Agreement awards can run up to five years, with an additional five-year option. Selectee activities will support Heliophysics, Earth Science, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics. Goals include enabling STEM education, improving U.S. scientific literacy, advancing national educational goals, and leveraging science activities through partnerships.

To view a list of the 27 selected organizations, along with an introductory video visit:

Science Museum of Minnesota press release:

Project Partners:

The project is led by

  • Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN

in collaboration with

  • Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
  • University of California Berkeley, CA
  • Museum of Science, Boston, MA

Project team members include

  • Astronomical Society of the Pacific, San Francisco, CA
  • Museum of Life and Science, Durham, NC
  • Sciencenter, Ithaca, NY
  • Children’s Museum of Houston, Houston, TX
  • The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA
  • University of Notre Dame, IN
  • Space Sciences Institute, San Francisco, CA
  • National Girls Collaborative Project, Seattle, WA
  • Afterschool Alliance, Washington, DC
  • Emily Maletz Graphic Design, Portland, OR

Partnerships include

  • Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) members
  • Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)
  • Association of Children’s Museums (ACM)
  • Museum Alliance (JPL)
  • STAR Library Education Network (Star_Net) / Space Science Institute
  • Visitor Studies Association (VSA)
  • NASA visitor centers
  • Museums
  • Planetariums

Local Partnerships may include

  • K-12 schools and teachers
  • University researchers and students
  • Amateur astronomers
  • Out-of-school programs, libraries, and community organizations

Opportunities for NISE Network Partners

Opportunities for both new and existing NISE Network museum partners located in the United States include ways to increase the capacity of informal science educators at museums to engage the public in STEM topics including Heliophysics, Earth Science, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics.

  • Toolkits with hands-on educational activities (250 toolkits each year over four years)
  • Small footprint exhibitions (50 identical copies)
  • Online professional development workshops

Online applications will be made available for each opportunity as the project progresses.

More information about will be available here as the project progresses:


This material is based upon work supported by NASA under grant or cooperative agreement award number NNX16AC67A.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).