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Newsletter: March 2018


Apply now for new NISE Network Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit!

Chemistry is all around us and is a part of us, but chemistry is the least represented of the major science fields in science museums and other informal science education media. NISE Network's newest project, ChemAttitudes, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a collaboration with the American Chemical Society, and is developing a new, free engaging kit called Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry. This kit, which will include eight to ten hands-on activities, has been designed to stimulate interest, a sense of relevance, and feelings of self-efficacy about chemistry among public audiences. Two hundred and fifty (250) free physical kits will be awarded to successful applicants from eligible organizations, including museums and chemistry outreach programs. Applications are due June 1st. Learn more about the Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit and how to apply

Ready for launch! Application open for new Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition

In January 2018, four copies of the Design>Build>Test engineering activity exhibit component from the new Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition were deployed to four satellite locations for further testing. This hands-on interactive allows visitors to design, build, and test their own foam spacecraft model and equip it with key tools needed to complete a NASA mission. The NISE Network will be awarding 50 copies of the highly interactive, free exhibition to eligible partners. Applications are due May 1st. Read more about visitor testing, for a sneak peak at this exhibit component, and how to apply for the free exhibition 

New NanoDays hands-on activity, "Buy It, Or Better Not?," now available online, free to download

The NISE Network is excited to offer a new NanoDays activity, distributed in partnership with LCnano, a national project led by Arizona State University. The activity is called "Buy It, Or Better Not?" and it gives participants an opportunity to explore the many products where we find titanium dioxide (TiO2) in our everyday life, from chewing gum to sunblock to house paint. Learn more and download this new NanoDays activity

NanoDays 2018 is taking place nationwide March 31-April 8. Share your events with the Network online by tagging us: #nisenet #nanodays


Upcoming online workshops: Staying connected to the Network and community

NISE Network runs a series of free online workshops to increase the number of professional development opportunities available to our partners, and to create more channels for partners to share their work and learn from each other directly. View full details for upcoming online workshops at



The Science Behind the 2018 Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit - Looking Beyond the Solar System

Tuesday, March 13, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up now

This online presentation and discussion will cover the science behind three of the 2018 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit activities - Pack a Space Telescope, Exoplanet Transits, and Objects in Motion. After a brief overview of each activity, our guest presenter, an astrophysicist and science educator, more

NGSS and the Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit - Connecting Your Toolkit to Field Trips and K-12 Programs

Tuesday, March 20, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up now
Museum educators have long used a combination of content, process and cross-cutting concepts in their activities. Join this discussion about how Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit activities can support the three dimensions of NGSS and excite students about more 

Learn About New Project Opportunity and How to Apply for the 2018 Explore Science: Let’s Do Chemistry Kit

Tuesday, April 10, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm EasternSign up now
ChemAttitudes, which is a collaboration between the NISE Network and the American Chemical Society, is developing a new, free engaging kit of hands-on activities. Join this discussion for a general introduction to the project and what to expect in the physical 2018 Explore Science: Let’s Do Chemistry kit, including an overview of the hands-on activities more

Association for Children's Museum (ACM) Interactivity 2018

See you in Raleigh! The NISE Network will be involved in multiple activities at this year's conference including hosting an exhibition booth (#31) and a table during the Networking Breakfast, Network partners will be presenting in multiple sessions, and we'll be hosting a free NISE Network breakfast on Friday, May 18 from 7:30-8:45am for current partners and for those interested in learning more about the Network. View full schedule of NISE Network activities at ACM

American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2018 National Meeting & Exposition

Informal STEM Education symposium seeking session abstracts
The ACS National Meeting is taking place August 19-23, 2018 in Boston, MA. ChemAttitudes project team members are co-leading a symposium on “Informal STEM Education: Innovation and Collaboration" and with this year's theme, "Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Beyond," NISE Network partners' work may be highly relevant. Consider submitting an abstract, which is due by
 March 26th. Read more about the symposium and how to submit an abstract


Online Workshop: The Science Behind the 2018 Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit - Exploring Earth and the Solar System (Recorded)

This online workshop covered the science beyond four of the hands-on activities included in the 2018 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit, followed by a short demonstration of each activity providing some helpful facilitator pointers. Many great online resources were shared throughout the workshop, including resources from NASA and NISE Net. View the recording and resources from the 2-27-2018 online workshop


NanoDays transforms into MSU Family Science Night at Montana State University

By Suzi Taylor, MSU Academic Technology and Outreach

Montana’s first NanoDays launched in 2008 and has grown in size and demand over the last ten years. This year's event was renamed MSU Family Science Night (featuring NanoLand) to include even more university faculty, students, and staff with an interest in participation. In addition to NanoDays activity favorites, the event also highlighted activities from the Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit, as well as other NASA projects. This year's event reached 150 fifth-graders from local Title 1 schools, over 380 members of the community, and had 50 MSU students, faculty, and staff volunteers. Read full partner highlight about MSU's Family Science Night (featuring NanoLand)

Perot Museum sparks adult engagement with Frankenstein’s Lab

By Jessica Liken, Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas was thrilled to bring Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein back to life just in time to celebrate the groundbreaking novel’s 200th anniversary. In January, approximately 1,500 adults chose to spend their Friday night at the Museum for Social Science, a unique adults-only event featuring experiments, demonstrations, talks by local scientists, art and maker experiences, and featured“Frankenstein’s Lab,” where guests enjoyed electricity demonstrations and engaged in hands-on activities from the Frankenstein200 kit. Read full partner highlight about Perot's Social Science event


Earth and Space News

How to pack a space telescope
As complicated as it as to launch and operate a telescope in space, it's almost as complex to move a space telescope around here on Earth. For the past 9 months, NASA has been testing the James Webb Space Telescope in a giant cryogenic chamber at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The $8.8 billion Webb telescope is the most powerful telescope NASA has ever built. Watch a short timelapse video of James Webb telescope undergoing testing and read more about the satellites journey to a 2019 launch

NASA's Night Sky Network - What's up for March 2018
Learn about the astronomical events taking place this month

Chemistry News

Removing globally used anxiety drug from recycled and wastewater at low cost
Prescription drugs are used all over the world for anxiety disorders, as anti-epileptics, and for terminally ill people, however existing processes to remove this drug from recyled water and wastewater is inefficient and expensive. Recent research has found that using titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanofibers during specific treatment phases are highly efficient at removing noxious pharmaceutical and other inorganic and organic impurities from municipal and industrial wastewater. Learn more about how nanofibers are being used to clean wastewater

Nano News

To explore cures for diseases like Alzheimer's, MSU researchers massage brain cells
Researchers from Montana State University are working to unravel the mysteries of the brain and are exploring new ways to treat diseases like Alzheimer's. Using brain cells from rats soaked in a solution of nanoscale iron particles, researchers are able to gently stretch the brain cells using a magentic field, which mimics the natural growth of brain cells and the formation of neural connections. The question is: can we train the brain to build new neural networks? Read more about Alzheimer's research at MSU


Celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Human Genome Project: Participate in National DNA Day on April 25th

In April 2003, the Human Genome Project officially completed mapping the entire human genome, providing us the ability, for the first time ever, to read nature's complete genetic blueprint for building a human being. Celebrate this historic occasion on April 25th (or anytime between February and May) by hosting a National DNA Day event at your organization or visiting an event near you! Start your planning now with the DNA Starter Kit and supplement your event with hands-on activities from the Building with Biology and NanoDays kitsRead more about National DNA Day and how to get involved


Discover activity ideas for incorporating current science, engineering, and technology content into events, special programming, holidays, and seasonal activities. Check out upcoming opportunities below and supporting resources at


  • Women's History Month - celebrate women in STEM
    • NASA resources, NASA Modern Figures Toolkit
  • NanoDays (March 25 - April 2)
  • Groundwater Awareness Week (March 11-17)
  • Brain Awareness Week (March 12-18)
  • Pi Day (March 14)
  • National Learn About Butterflies Day (March 14)
  • World Water Day (March 22)
  • Earth Hour (March 24)




American Alliance of Museums (AAM) 2018 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo

May 6 - 9, 2018: Phoenix, AZ
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Join the
 AAM 2018 Meeting & MuseumExpo to explore the many ways museums serve as hubs of community activation and learning.

Association of Children's Museum (ACM) Interactivity 2018

May 15 - 18, 2018: Raleigh, NC
This year's theme is "Open Source Play, Sharing the Creative Code."
 Learn more about ACM 2018

American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2018 National Meeting & Exposition

August 13 - 23, 2018; Boston, MA
The theme for this meeting is Nanoscience, Nanotechnology & Beyond. Call for papers now open

Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference 2018

September 29 - October 2, 2018; Hartford, CT
Learn more about ASTC 2018

Read the NISE Network e-newsletter online at