Skip to main content

Partner Highlight: NISE Net & Girls RISEnet Partner in Alaska for Gender Equity in STEM Learning

February 4, 2013

Tim Hecox

This past October, members of the NISE Net Inclusive Audience team had a unique opportunity to partner with Girls RISE (Raising Interest in Science and Engineering) Museum Network to co-host a two-day workshop at the Museum of the North in Fairbanks Alaska on gender equity in STEM learning and to increase participation of girls and diverse audiences in the field of nano science and engineering.

Girls RISEnet is a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded museum network led by the Miami Science Museum, the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), and SECME, Inc., that aims to strengthen the professional capacity of informal science educators to engage and motivate minority girls in grades 6-12 to explore and pursue science and engineering careers. Girls RISEnet and the NISE Net share many of the same museum partners, and this workshop was an opportunity for the two networks to strengthen those partnerships, build upon one another’s missions, and combine resources to reach informal science educators throughout the state of Alaska.

Participants from already established NISE Net partner institutions, such as the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska in Kenai, attended along with several new partner institutions including the workshop host site, Museum of the North. The workshop was designed to show how resources provided by the two networks can overlap to support gender equity in STEM learning.  Workshop highlights included introduction to each project’s mini-grant opportunities; exploration of the Nano mini-exhibition and NanoDays activities; and evaluation guides for assessing gender equity in the design of exhibits and programs. 

For more information on the workshop and to inquire about how NISE Net and Girls RISEnet resources can work together in supporting STEM education, please contact NISE Net regional hub leader Tim Hecox and NISE Net team member and Girls RISEnet co-PI Laura Huerta Migus.





NISE Net – Girls RISEnet Alaska Workshop

October 25-26, 2012

Day 1 – Gender & Equity Issues

9:00-9:30 – Check-in, continental breakfast

9:30-10:00  – Welcome/introductions, ice breaker

10:00-11:00 – Discuss assigned reading materials

11:00-11:30        – Hands-on activity: Cabbage Indicator

11:30-12:00        – Hands-on activity: Chromatography

12:00-12:45        – Lunch

12:45-2:00  – Gender, SES and Multicultural dynamics

2:00-2:15  – Break and Improv exercise

2:15-3:00  – Gender, SES and Multicultural dynamics, continued

3:00-3:45  – Action Planning

3:45- 4:00  – Wrap-up, mini- grants

6:30-   – Optional group dinner

Day 2 – Ideas for Engaging Girls

9:00-9:30  – Check-in, continental breakfast, Intro. to nano videos

9:30-10:00  – Improv exercise

10:00-11:00  – Girls RISEnet Exhibit & Program Quest Evaluation Guides

11:00-11:30  – NISE Net overview

               11:30-12:00  – NanoDays activities: emphasis on Universal Design

1. Mentos and Soda Explosion

2. Exploring Structures - DNA

12:00-12:45  – Lunch & Improv exercise

12:45-2:00  – NanoDays activities: emphasis on adapting for girls

1. Exploring Materials - Thin Films

2. Exploring Materials - Graphene

3. Nano Around the World

2:00-2:15  – Break and NanoDays PSA videos

2:15-3:30  – Creating partnerships

3:30-3:45  – Review, upcoming events, deadlines, opportunities

3:45- 4:00  – Wrap-up, workshop evaluations


Learn about upcoming opportunities, events, ways to grow professionally, and inspiring stories from network partners.