Skip to main content
Girl using paint in nebula spin art activity

Browse by Themes and Topics

Curated collections of hands-on activities and resources by themes and STEM topics.

Browse by Popular Themes

Participants interact with cutouts that have information on them

Food Activities

Food is a great way to connect relevance of STEM content to our lives. Activities explore the science of cooking and preparing food, some of the societal choices about how we grow and process food. Activities can be incorporated into events that involve cooking an eating, food festivals, and annual celebrations like Halloween and Valentine's Day.
Science fiction art featuring archer figure on a rock shooting an arrow into space

Science Fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Superheroes

There are many ways to incorporate authentic hands-on STEM in science fiction, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Superhero events! A compilation of ways to connect STEM activities to the imaginative and creative world of sci-fi!
Cumulonimbus cloud over Africa

Climate Change

A compilation of climate change and weather public engagement and professional learning resources for informal science educators.
An illustration of water on a hydrophobic surface. The water forms perfect spheres.


A compilation of water public engagement resources and activities; topics include water quality, pollution, supply, hydrological cycle, properties at the small scale including hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties, bubbles, ice, and clouds. Also included are resources for annual events including Groundwater Awareness Week, World Water Day, Earth Day, World Oceans Day, National Pollution Prevention Week, Coastal Cleanup Day, Earth Science Week, and Imagine a Day Without Water.
NASA Satellite photo of the Korean peninsula

Air Quality

A compilation of educational resources and activities about air, air quality, and pollution.
Half of the blue marble for Earth Day hero

Earth Day

A compilation of resources for engaging the public in the Earth, Earth Day, and Earth science. Resources can be used for celebrating Earth Day April 22, Earth Week, and Earth Month.
Polarized Light activity with hands holding paper and polarizing tape materials up to the window

Light Activities

A compilation of public engagement activities that explore light visible to our eyes and other wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum.
Vials showing nanoscale gold particles that appears red.

Glass Activities

Celebrate the International Year of Glass - 2022! A compilation of activities about glass including glass lenses in microscopes and telescopes and scientific images of glass.
Battery Stack activity components


A compilation of energy public engagement resources and activities; topics focus on energy sources, transmission, and storage including: electricity, solar photovoltaic panels, batteries, electromagnetic spectrum, and transmission using graphene. Also included are resources for annual events including Static Electricity Day, Nuclear Science Week, Earth Day, and National Chemistry Week
James Webb Telescope

James Webb Space Telescope

A compilation of resources for engaging the public in the James Webb Space Telescope. The James Webb Space Telescope will find the first galaxies that formed in the early universe and peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems.
Perseid Meteor Shower - a meteor streaks across the sky 2016 in Spruce Knob West Virginia Credit NASA Bill Ingalls


A compilation of astronomy and space science hands-on activities and resources. Also included are connections to celestial events (meteor showers, lunar eclipses, solar eclipses, full moons, and planetary events) and annual events such as Asteroid Day, Yuri's Night, Astronomy Week, and more.
Apollo 11 lander


A compilation of resources for engaging the public in the Moon, the Moon Landing 50th Anniversary, the Apollo missions, and the Artemis missions.
mars panorama photo from pathfinder


A compilation of resources for engaging the public in the Mars, Mars rovers, and the Mars Perseverance landing.
2017 solar eclipse square format

Solar Eclipses

A compilation of solar eclipse resources including resources for the October 14, 2023 annular solar eclipse and the total solar on April 8, 2024.
An image of a lunar eclipse

Lunar Eclipses

Check out the upcoming total and partial lunar eclipse events in the United States. During a lunar eclipse, Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon, blocking the sunlight falling on the Moon. Earth's shadow covers all or part of the lunar surface.
Asteroid Bennu mosaic image taken by OSIRIS-REx spacecraft in 2018 Image Credit to NASA, Goddard, and University of Arizona

Asteroids, Comets, Meteors, and Meteorites

A compilation of educational materials about asteroids, comets, meteors, and meteorites including resources for Asteroid Day, meteor showers, and links to NASA missions such as Lucy, OSIRIS-Rex, Psyche, Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), and Near-Earth Asteroid Scout (NEA Scout).
Hands holding blocks and cards for Future Builder SustainABLE activity


A compilation of sustainability public engagement and professional learning resources. Annual events include: World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, Earth Hour, Earth Day, National Public Works Week, Campus Sustainability Month, and more.
Child in a red shirt with a preserved butterfly


A collection of resources about butterflies that can be integrated into other programs or exhibits on butterflies. These butterfly activities and resources focus on light, color, iridescence, pigmentation versus structural color, and technology inspired by nature.
Frankenstein200 activity training videos screenshot with presenter dressed as mad scientist


A collection of hands-on STEM activities for creating Halloween spooky science events.
Visitors line up by size in Get in Order - large size powers of 10 cards featuring an Earth card

Size, Scale, & Measurement

A compilation of activities and resources focused on size, scale, and measurement. Resources can be incorporated into annual events including Metric Day, Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month, World Quantum Day, DNA Day, NanoDays, Earth and space events, and more.
Photograph of an Apple iPhone motherboard.

Computer Science

A compilation of public engagement computing and computer science resources. Also included are resources for annual events including CS Week and the Hour of Code.
Two children extracting visible DNA from wheat germ in Building with Biology kit


A compilation of resources about genetics including DNA, genes, genetic engineering, and synthetic biology. These resources may be useful for incorporating into annual events such as DNA Day and events focused on human health, genetics, and biology.
Two facilitators and two learners wearing goggles use colorful felt strips to layer bubbles upon each other


Chemistry hands-on activities and professional learning resources for informal science educators.

Educator and children exploring hydrophobic properties of lotus leaf and nano nano pants in NanoDays activity

NanoDays Kit

Public programs, hands-on activities, and professional development resources about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology and their impact on society.
Children listening wearing paper elephant ears in Horton Senses Something Small NanoDays activity

Early Learners

A collection of activities and resources for young learners and early childhood educators.
Dad and child talking and creatively drawing using Asteroid Mining Earth and Space activity

Do Science at Home!

The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network) and its partners have developed a variety of hands-on STEM activities designed for use in museums and science centers. Most of these hands-on STEM activities listed below can be done with materials you may already have in your home.
Nebula Spin Art activity black circles with paint

STEAM - Creative Expression

A collection of STEAM hands-on activities and resources that integrate creative expression including the arts (humanities, language dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media).

Books, Reading, and Storytelling

A compilation of STEM read-aloud storybooks, storytelling, companion hands-on activities, lists of STEM books and biographies, library collaboration resources, and annual events such as Summer Reading Programs and National Children's Book Week. Also included are resources for STEM tactile and Braille books for visually impaired participants.
Two learners observe the Sun with a solarscope in a grassy field

Outside Activities

A collection of activities designed for use in the outdoors or those that can be easily adapted to use outside. These activities can work well in different outdoor settings including nature centers, summer camps, parks, and playgrounds.
Citizen scientist taking a precipitation measurement on a CoCoRaHS rain gauge

Citizen and Community Science

A compilation of citizen science and community science resources; these community projects enable people from all walks of life to participate in and advance scientific research.
stylized brain and network graphic

Brain and Neuroscience

A collection of public engagement and professional development resources about the brain, neuroscience, and neuro-ethics. Also included are resources for annual events including Brain Awareness Week, World Brain Day, Mental Wellness Month, and more public engagement events.
Girl holding a model of a spacecraft she built with Design Build Test engineering activity


A compilation of engineering hands-on educational and professional development resources. Also included are resources for annual events including National Engineers Week, Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, National Robotics Week, International Women in Engineering Day, and more.
7 vials filled with quantum dots which are lit up and emit colored light


A compilation of quantum public engagement and professional learning resources. Also included are resources for annual events including World Quantum Day held April 14.
Exploring Products - Sunblock activity components like the construction paper, swabs, and sunblock.

Health and Medicine

A compilation of health and medicine public engagement resources. These resources may be useful for incorporating into annual events such as World Health Day, DNA Day, Mosquito Awareness campaigns, and events focused on human health.
Children looking at Gecko with magnifying glass


A collection of biomimicry resources and examples of how technology can imitate natural phenomena and processes. Public engagement biomimicry activity examples include: self-cleaning surfaces and fabrics inspired by the lotus leaf effect observed in some plant leaves, sticky materials inspired by gecko feet, photonics crystals using structural color similar to the iridescent properties of some insects, bird feathers, and shells.
A facilitator holds a bottle while a learner wafts a scent to her nose


Hands on activities related to the senses - vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The sensing organs associated with each sense send information to the brain to help us understand and perceive the world around us.
A lotus leaf showing off its hydrophobic properties. Water is balled up on its surface.


A collection of NISE Network resources related to plant science including hands-on activities and resources. Topics include include biomimicry technology that can imitate natural phenomena and processes such a self-cleaning surfaces and fabrics inspired by the lotus leaf effect observed in some plant leaves.
Scientist using an Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM).

Microscopes and Tools for the Small

We use special tools to detect things we can't see with just our eyes. A compilation of microscope resources focusing on revealing things too small to see with just our eyes. Resources include activities and images about magnification, light or optical microscopes, Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM), and Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM).
A model of the intense magnetic fields around the Sun

Telescopes and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

We use special tools to detect things far away that we can't see with just our eyes. Many tools use different wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) including visible light, infrared light, ultraviolet light, and radio waves. Other tools may detect magnetism—such as the magnetic field lines around the surface of the Sun.
Hands sorting tokens to signify which technology is most important to them

Science & Society

Public engagement programs and professional learning resources that provide opportunities for conversations and consideration of the relationship between science, technology, and society.
Learner holds up an atomic structure model of graphene


Elemental carbon has many different structural forms including graphite, diamond, carbon nanotubes and buckyballs. The arrangement of atoms at the nanoscale dramatically impacts a material’s macroscale properties and behavior. Hands-on activities explore: observable phenomena such as conductivity of graphite; molecular model-building of different forms; and how new technology may affect society.
Two learners observe the Sun with a solarscope in a grassy field


Resources for educators creating activities and themes for summer camps, holiday camps, and school break camps.

Search Educational Products

Screenshot of th website showing how to search by topic

Refine Your Search

You can search educational products by selecting a  Topic from the dropdown menu, and then refining your search by Audience, Product Type, or Project.