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Partner Highlight: NISE Network Partners Excel During COVID-19 Shutdown

May 2, 2020

Kayla Berry, Museum of Science

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 been shared online through social media, including partners taking part in the first ever virtual Earth Day and Earth Week festivities. 

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Celebrating Earth Week and Earth Day 2020

As part of Arbor Day and the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire gave away 200 free Norway Spruce seedlings providing a great way for children to grow with the tree and see that they make an environmental impact in this world.


The American Museum of Natural History provides an immersive Field Trip Earth, providing a virtual flight around the world viewing natural wonders like the Amazon rainforest to the Sahara Desert, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Himalayas.


Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum celebrates Earth Day with a video showing an easy-to-make tool you can use for your outdoor explorations and searching for wildlife: DIY binoculars!


To honor Earth Day, the Children's Creativity Museum demonstrated two quick water-themed activities that are easy to do at home. Explore Paper Mountains to learn about how water flows through watersheds and make Water Cycle in a bag to create your own functioning water model that can be displayed in your window. 

Explore NISE Net's Explore Science: Earth & Space Paper Mountains hands-on activity 


Homewood Science Center hosts Virtual Pop-Up Science! showcasing NISE Net’s Space Guess Quest game, where participants identify the many types of objects in space, from spacecraft to nebulas, galaxies, stars, and worlds.

Explore NISE Net's Explore Science: Earth & Space Space Guess Quest game 

Working from home - Zoom support

Don Harrington Discovery Center has provided a little Zoom help for all of you working from home! Choose your favorite background and spice up your meetings and don’t forget to share a screenshot with them.


Looking for the perfect background for your online meetings? Now you can bring the Museum of Life and Science into your home and into your conference calls by downloading any of these images to your desktop.


At-home outdoor education

Rochester Museum & Science Center’s Cumming Nature Center adapted their easy-to-follow Curiosity Camp activity to help you adventure into the habitat of the secretive salamander at your house. You can find full instructions for this activity and more under Science At Home.


The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature host In My Backyard – Squirrels edition. Did you know that squirrels have been around for at least 300,000 years?

Physical fitness

The Lawrence Hall of Science’s Active Anatomy – Build Bigger Muscles takes your brain and body on a learning adventure about muscle types and how they work, including a 10 minute exercise experience!

Online programming

Fleet Science Center’s the FLEETtv’s awesome kid correspondents are on the scene and ready to bring science into your home! Make your own lava lamp and create a cloud in a bottle.


Grab a salad spinner, some construction paper, and craft paint to create your own at-home nebula spin art! Watch this fun Kid Vlog from Children's Museum of Tammany to get started. 

Explore NISE Net's Explore Science: Earth & Space Nebula Spin Art hands-on activity

ECHO-at-Home Learning from ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, inspires science learning at home. Activities use simple materials commonly found around the house.


The Adventure Science Center offers fun DIY Science experiments the whole family can enjoy! Have fun digging into a variety of activities from going on a healthy food hunt to creating your own star chart to designing a bird feeder. was started in 2010 by a group of science museums dedicated to sharing STEM activities with educators and learners of the world. Containing almost 3,500 STEM activities, has added new activities specifically for at-home learners.

Virtual shows and tours

Presented by the Christa McAuliffe Center at Framingham State University, From the Dome to Your Home provides live and archived virtual planetarium programming, in addition to their other online resources: free streaming planetarium films at home, STEM at Home, DIY Universe, ISS Image of the Week, and Webinars for Teachers. 


The Louisiana Art & Science Museum provides We Need Our Space: LIVE, virtual sky show hosted by the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium every Thursday at 12pm and 7pm. Don't miss out!


The Science Museum of Minnesota isn't letting closed doors stop them from bringing the museum into your home. Explore OMNI Fest at Home and watch full length shows about dinosaurs, mummies, and the wild ocean from the comfort of your couch. 


The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis takes online visitors on a tour through Beyond Spaceship Earth as a way to escape the world for a moment.


Other news and highlights

From USA Today, These 10 award-winning children's museums offer some of the best programming, both in-person and online. Determined by readers who voted for their favorite children's museums as part of USA Today's Readers' Choice contests. 

Shortly after announcing the winners, these museums had to close their doors to help protect their communities from the spread of COVID-19. But they also pivoted, bringing some of their programming online, so families across the country (and the world) can experience a bit of what makes them winners.



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