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ASTC Annual Conference 2013


Albuquerque, NM

The NISE Network will have many activites and professional development opportunities at the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) annual conference.

Pre-conference workshop

The NISE Network will be offering the following workshop:

  • Team-Based Inquiry: A Practical Evaluation Approach for Non-Evaluators
    Friday, October 18, 2013: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Albuquerque Convention Center
    Session Leader: Scott Pattison, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
    • Ali Jackson, Sciencenter
    • Sookram Ramsaroop, New York Hall of Science
    • Liz Kollmann, Museum of Science
    • Sarah Cohn, Science Museum of Minnesota
    • Brad Herring, Museum of Life and Science

Interested in incorporating evaluative thinking and reflective practice into your work? This hands-on workshop will introduce a practical, tested approach for building your evaluation capacity and using data to improve your educational products and practices. The session will be particularly relevant for educators, program and exhibit developers, and their managers. Preregistration required. Limited to 30 participants.

Resources: Team-Based Inquiry Resources in the Catalog

Happy Hour

NISE Network partners are invited to gather together informally (no need to RSVP):

  • NISE Network Happy Hour
    Friday, October 18th, 5 - 7 pm
    Ibiza rooftop bar and patio
    Hotel Andaluz
    125 Second Street NW
    Albuquerque, NM 87102

    Ibiza offers a magnificent Albuquerque rooftop bar and patio overlooking the eastern Albuquerque sky and mountains. (We will relocate to the lobby in case of inclement weather.) Located two blocks from the Convention Center.

Booth and Exhibit Hall

The NISE Network will have a booth (Booth # 203/302) in the exhibit hall featuring public engagement activities at the Albuquerque Convention Center

  • Saturday, October 19: Exhibit Hall open: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 20: Exhibit Hall open: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm

Live Demonstration Hour in the exhibit hall

  • Sunday, October 20, 2013: 11:30 am - 12:30 pm, Albuquerque Convention Center
    "Would You Buy That?" with Stephanie Long, Science Museum of Minnesota

We'll also have activiites at the GrandStand Booth in exhibit hall (great ideas for under $1,000)

Partner Breakfast

The NISE Net is hosting a breakfast for staff from partner institutions (no need to RSVP).

  • NISE Net Partner Breakfast
    Tuesday, Oct 22nd, 7:00 - 8:00 am
    Hyatt Albuquerque, Fiesta Room

    Hear about our plans for the coming year, learn about new educational products and opportunities to get involved, and talk with other NISE Net partners from across the country.

ASTC Science in the Park

Check out hands-on NanoDays activities at ASTC in the Park:

  • Tuesday, Oct 22nd, 11 am - 2 pm
    Tiguex Park, the park across the street from Explora and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science


The NISE Network activities and information about engaging the public in nanoscience, engineering, technology will be featured in the following sessions:

  • Small Spaces: Creating Intimate Visitor Experiences
    Sunday, October 20, 2013: 1:00 PM-2:15 PM
    Albuquerque Convention Center
    Session Leader:Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota
    • Neil Gordon, The Discovery Museums
    • Paul Martin, Science Museum of Minnesota
    • Kristofer Kelly, Telus Spark
    • Roy Griffiths, Museum of Life and Science

Come learn about creating small, intimate, meaningful visitor experiences in your museum. Speakers will present on the benefits as well as the challenges of creating content-rich intimate visitor experiences within both small and large museums. Speakers will weave visitor evaluation data throughout their presentations.

  • Encouraging Visitor STEM Decision-Making Using Public Engagement with Science
    Sunday, October 20, 2013: 1:00 PM-2:15 PM
    Albuquerque Convention Center
    Session Leader: Lawrence Bell, Museum of Science
    Co-Session Leader: Elizabeth Kollmann, Museum of Science
    • Kirsten Ellenbogen, Great Lakes Science Center
    • Gina Svarovsky, Science Museum of Minnesota
    • Patrice Legro, Koshland Science Center of the NAS

A recent science museum trend is to not only teach science content but also help visitors with science decision-making. Learn about research and evaluation from exhibits and programs that used dialogue about societal and ethical implications to promote nanotechnology, climate, and health decision-making. Then, brainstorm ways to apply these lessons.

  • Still Kicking It Indie Style: Low Cost, High Impact Programming!
    Monday, October 21, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
    Albuquerque Convention Center
    Session Leader: Keith Ostfeld, Children's Museum of Houston
    • Darrell Porcello, Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley
    • R. Lewis Ferguson, Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia
    • Lisa Regalla, Maker Education Initiative
    • Karen Wilkinson, Exploratorium
    • Kevin Dilley, Sciencenter
    • Corinne Sosso, Discovery Center Museum
    • Jonah Cohen, The Children's Museum
    • Kristina Anderson, Perot Museum of Nature and Science
    • Megan Pratt, The Pensacola MESS Hall
    • Aisha Salazar, Ideaventions
    • Maura Thompson, WNET-Thirteen
    • Elena Baca, Explora
    • Sarah Carter, SciGirls, Twin Cities Public Television
    • Rosie Norlander, Sandia Mountain Natural History Center
    • Paul Mauermann, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

We love doing hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) activities with our visitors. But we can’t always afford expensive materials and equipment. This seventh installment of the Indie Style series will showcase multiple low-cost, high impact STEAM experiences guaranteed to help advance your visitors’ curiosity, creativity, and comprehension.

  • Mini-Grants: Doing a Lot with Just a Little
    Monday, October 21, 2013: 03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
    Session Leader: Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota
    Co-Session Leader: Karen Peterson, National Girls Collaborative Project
    • Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota
    • Karen Peterson, National Girls Collaborative Project
    • Chip Lindsey, ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum
    • Heather  Armstrong, University of New Mexico
    • Mike Rathbun, Discovery Center Musuem
    • Kimberly Hanson, Las Cruces Museum of Natural History
    • Christi Whitworth, Education Director, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
    • Lisa Chappa, Lead Associate/Educator, Informal Science Learning Associates

Even small projects can have a big effect! In this fast-paced lightning session, presenters will share how they have taken advantage of mini-grant programs to accomplish strategic goals in their own institutions. Presenters will include National Girls Collaborative Project and NISE Network mini-grant awardees.

  • Summit on Informal Science Networks
    Monday, October 21, 2013: 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
    Albuquerque Convention Center
    Session Leader: Robert L Russell, National Center for Interactive Learning, Space Science Institute
    • Larry Bell, Museum of Science
    • Karen Peterson, National Girls Collaborative Project
    • Paul Dusenbery, Space Science Institute
    • Carol Tang, Lawrence Hall of Science
    • Minda Borun, The Franklin Institute
    • Ben Wiehe, Science Festival Alliance, MIT Museum
    • Dennis Schatz, Pacific Science Center
    • Louis Gomez, University of California, Los Angeles
    • Barbara Streicher, Austrian Science Center Network

This double session will address the development and operation of informal science learning networks (CAISE, NiseNet, etc.). After network leaders discuss building networks, network tools, how to be the "go to" network, and how to sustain networks after funding ends, small groups will discuss key network issues. Preregistration required. Limited to 60 participants.

  • Effective Strategies for Featuring Current Science in Museum Settings
    Convention Center, Brazos
    Monday, October 21, 2013: 03:45 PM - 05:00 PM
    Session Leader: Session Leader: Dana Vukajlovich, Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA 
  • Carol Lynn Alpert, Museum of Science, Boston, MA;
  • MJ Morse, Museum of Science, Boston, MA;
  • Lauren Russell, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland;
  • Meena Selvakumar, Pacific Science Center, Seattle, WA; 
  • Kristin Leigh, Explora, Albuquerque, NM

Presenters will briefly describe approaches for integrating current science and contemporary research into their institutions’ programs and exhibits, focusing on effective strategies and lessons learned. Then, participants will discuss a strategy in more depth during two rounds of small group discussions, with each table moderated by a presenter. 


Post-Conference Meetings:

  • NISE Network Community Work Group
    Wednesday, October 23, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
    NISE Network Community Work Group/Regional Hub Leaders Meeting
    National Museum of Nuclear Science and History
    By invitation only


More Information

Please visit the conference website:


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