Skip to main content

Newsletter: July 2020

NISE Network logo


Reflecting on race in STEM 

One June 10th, #ShutDownSTEM / #ShutDownAcademia organizers called for a halt to “business as usual” to accommodate conversations, learning and reflection on systemic racism in research and academia, and to create a plan of action for the future. The NISE Network, as well as many of our partner organizations, are going through a process of reflecting on racial justice and how we can all move forward to eliminate racism. Here are a few resources created by our partners reflecting on race in STEM — we welcome you to share other resources with the NISE Network [contact us]. 

Nano mini-exhibition image

Interested in obtaining a NISE Network Nano exhibition? 

The Network has recently learned about several copies of the Nano mini-exhibition, a 400 square-foot interactive exhibit, that are looking for new homes. We are currently updating our waiting lists so we can match exhibitions with new homes. If interested, read more here.


Now Virtual Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) 2020 Annual Conference

ASTC 2020 will now be a hosted largely online October 19-21 with pre-conference intensives planned for the week of October 12. Stay current on ASTC 2020 Conference updates


The NISE Network fall 2020 online workshop schedule will be announced in August

Online workshop logo

The NISE Network hosts free online workshops as professional development opportunities for our partners to share with and learn from each other. Online workshops take place on Tuesdays at 2-3pm Eastern / 11am-12pm Pacific. View upcoming online workshops at


The Lawrence Hall of Science pauses for racial justice

The Lawrence Hall of Science racial justice image

The Lawrence Hall of Science is the University of California, Berkeley's public science center and whose work in science education is motivated by their values of equity and social justice. Although The Lawrence had already been working to examine and confront institutional racism and change their own organizational climate, recent events made it clear that further and immediate action was needed. On June 8th the Lawrence's staff took a "day of pause" from their work to allow time for reflection, join conversations, and share resources as they continue to work to dismantle the structural, cultural and power dynamics that keep institutional racism alive within their own organizations and throughout society. Read the full partner highlight from The Lawrence


Coronavirus resources

The Network has compiled resources for our community around COVID-19, highlighting relevant resources. To explore newly added resources, visit


  • American Public Gardens — COVID resources for gardens
  • Association of Nature Center Administrators  
    Nature Center Toolkit and editable posters and signs
  • Planetarium associations and resources
  • IMLS REALM Project — results of testing of various materials and surfaces unique to museums and libraries
  • Posters, signs, and checklists
  • Current science resources
  • Culture Track — a national online survey of audience behaviors, attitudes, motivations, and barriers to cultural participation


NISE Network online workshops

Online workshop logo

View the recording and resources from recent NISE Net online workshops: 

  • NISE Network Partner Reopening Strategies - Part 2
    During this online workshop we featured a current look at the science around COVID-19 and then heard from a few NISE Network partner organizations on their lessons learned from their reopening efforts so far. (Recorded 6-30-2020)
  • NISE Network Partner Reopening Strategies - Part 1
    This discussion began with a big picture view from Laura Huerta Migus, Executive Director of the Association of Children's Museums (ACM), and was followed by Network partners' specific examples of initial reopening strategies. (Recorded 5-26-2020)


Updates and new resources from The Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE)

  • 2019 Year in Informal STEM Education 
    This review is designed to identify and characterize field growth, change and impact, important publications, events, and themes that shaped 2019. View CAISE's 2019 review
  • New Project Planner resource
    The Project Planner provides useful resources for those who are planning, developing and/or proposing projects that will build knowledge for the ISE and science communication fields. The planner is focused on developing multi-year projects that could apply for funding from AISL. View Project Planner 


New NASA Research announcement

NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions, Remote Opportunity Rapid Response (TEAM II RORR) is now accepting proposals, due August 13, 2020. Eligible proposers include U.S. non-profit science museums, planetariums, youth-serving organizations, and libraries. Learn more about this proposal 


Discover activity ideas for incorporating current science, engineering, and technology content into events, special programming, holidays, and seasonal activities by visiting


Upcoming events


Earth and space news

NASA renames DC headquarters after agency's first Black female engineer
Mary W. Jackson broke through racial and gender barriers in the 1950s and helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. In 2016, h
er life story was chronicled in the movie, “Hidden Figures.” For more about Jackson and other Modern Figures:

Countdown to Mars 2020
The Mars 2020, Perseverance Rover launch period is planned from July 30 to August 15 and arrives at Mars in February 2021. The mission will seek signs of life, collect rock samples, and will feature the Mars Helicopter — the first powered flight on Mars. Explore the Mars 2020 STEM Toolkit as a way to engage kids in real-world STEM problem solving.

Synthetic biology news

A year in, first patient to get gene editing for sickle cell disease is thriving
Sickle cell disease is a rare blood disorder that disproportionately affects African Americans in the US and is difficult to treat. Last year, the first US patient to receive experimental treatment using CRISPR appears to be successfully working, offering positive results to other scientists who hope CRISPR may lead to new treatments for other diseases. 

Genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes could be released in Florida and Texas this summer
Granted an experimental use permit from the US Environmental Protection Agency, one biotech company is planning to release genetically modified male mosquitos over the next two years in Florida and Texas. When wild female mosquitos, which carry and transmit diseases, mate with GM males, their female offspring die. However, there is still concern about responsible deployment of GM mosquitos. 


Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) 2020 Annual Conference

VIRTUAL October 19 – 21, 2020
Stay current on ASTC 2020 updates

National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Conferences

Learn more about upcoming conferences