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Newsletter: November 2019


Sustainable Museums, Sustainable Futures


In September, professionals from 30 different museums joined forces to help create a sustainable future. They represented the first cohort of NISE Network’s Sustainability Fellowship program, which will include over 90 organizations in 2019-2020. This program provides professional development, educational materials, and other resources to help museums integrate sustainability into their public engagement work, operations, and community partnerships. Find out more through the short feature video and photos from the workshop; all workshop resources are available online for use by all NISE Network partners.

American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2019 National Meeting highlights

This past August, members from the NISE Network's Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry project participated in the ACS Fall Meeting in San Diego, which included presenting project activities and findings as part of a half-day symposium about chemistry education beyond the classroom. Additionally, during this year's ACS ChemLuminary Awards, a special ChemAttitudes Partnership Award was presented to the Kentucky Lake Local Section for their use of the Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit, serving and engaging over 500 children across their rural region in hands-on chemistry activities. Read more about the Fall ACS Meeting and NISE Network ChemAttitudes project highlight

Filming has wrapped for a new set of training videos for the 2020 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit

NISE Network staff just finished filming a new set of content and facilitation training videos to accompany the hands-on activities in the new 2020 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit. See more behind the scenes filming


Celebrate International Science Center & Science Museum Day on November 10th 

This year's International Science Center and Science Museum Day (ISCSMD) is just around the corner! ISCSMD 2019 is focused on how science centers and museums can establish local partnerships to engage their communities around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Learn more


Transit of Mercury takes place November 11th

On November 11, we will see the planet Mercury move in front of the Sun for the first time since 2016, and the last time until 2032! Learn more about safe viewing


The NISE Network hosts free online workshops as professional development opportunities for our partners. View upcoming online workshops at



Programming for Audiences with Special Needs

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
11am-12pm Pacific / 2-3pm Eastern

Join us for a conversation on how to design and adapt experiences for audiences with diverse and special needs. Presenters will discuss practices, partnerships, and experiences on programming for neurodiverse, deaf, blind, and visually-impaired audiences. Learn more and RSVP here 

Using Your Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit Outdoors: Practical Advice for Collaborations and Logistical Aspects

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
11am-12pm Pacific / 2-3pm Eastern

Are you interested in using your Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit in an outdoor setting? Presenters will share some best practices, strategies, and logistical tips for outdoor programming, including resources for establishing local partnerships to help develop your own outdoor programming. Learn more and RSVP here


A summer-long community library program celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission

By Jake Milliron

The Mobius Children's Science Museum & Science Center serves a large geographic community in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, reaching both rural and urban communities. This past summer, in support of the nation-wide summer library program, A Universe of Stories, the Children's Museum created programming using their Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit and mobile planetarium. They engaged 1,950 visitors across 24 library events, which was a 20% increase from previous summer library programming! Read the full partner highlight


Empowering girls in science through growth mindset and the new Girl Scout Space Science Badges (Recorded)

With a focus on growth mindset in girls - using different learning strategies to grow and improve - presenters explored ways to engage and encourage girls in STEM, discussed the newly released Girl Scout Space Science Badges, and ways science museums can successfully engage with girls and local scouts in Earth and space science. View the recording and resources from this 10-8-2019 online workshop


Congratulations to NISE Network NanoDays partner from Binghamton University who won Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The 2019 Nobel prizes were recently announced and NISE Network NanoDays partner Stan Whittingham at Binghamton University, NY was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on lithium ion batteries; lithium ion batteries are used in laptops, electric vehicles and for grid storage. Read more about this announcement

Team-Based Inquiry: Using evaluation to improve educational experiences

In the latest issue of Connected Science Learning, which focused on practical program evaluation, learn how Team-Based Inquiry (TBI) can help evaluate a program’s effectiveness. In 2011, the NISE Network developed TBI to help education professionals incorporate evaluation and data-informed decision making into their work to create and improve educational experiences. Read the CSL publication for more about the TBI approach and download NISE Network TBI resources here

Science Festival Alliance awarding $10,000 in matching funds for your new science festival

The Science Festival Alliance is currently seeking applications for 12 openings for new science festival initiatives planned for communities with a relatively small resource base, and looking to begin with DEAI (diversity, equity, access, and inclusion) at the heart of their initiative. Applications are due December 2. Learn more about this initiative, criteria, and how to apply

NASA wants your help identifying clouds: Fall Cloud Challenge

NASA is asking citizen scientists to use the GLOBE Observer app on their phones to report what kinds of clouds they see. From October 15 to November 15, citizen scientists can submit up to 10 cloud observations per day, providing scientists data to understand the accuracy of satellite-based cloud observations. Watch the video announcement to learn more about NASA's Fall Cloud Challenge and how to get involved and resources

Apply by December 16th for opportunity to participate in national unveiling of Hubble's 30th Anniversary image

In celebration of Hubble's 30 years capturing data and stunning images, the Space Telescope Science Institute is offering a limited number of U.S. museums, science centers, planetariums, public libraries, nature centers, and more a large Hubble 30th Anniversary image banner along with accompanying interpretive materials to share with visitors during an unveiling event. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply


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





  • 12/3: National Disability Day
  • 12/9-12/15: Computer Science Education Week


2019 Year-long events


2020 Upcoming events


Earth and Space News

Discovery of 20 new moons circling Saturn 
Taking the title for the most moons, Saturn's newest tiny moons were discovered by researchers using the telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii, also helping researchers understand the formation of planets in the solar system. 

NISE Network resource: Exploring the Universe: Exoplanet Transits hands-on activity

Sustainability News

Quiz: The most effective ways to curb climate change might surprise you
According to a recent report issued by the United Nations, Earth will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius as early as 2030 increasing the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages unless we enact changes. See how much you know about what can be done to fight climate change.

Synthetic Biology News

Video: A controversial swarm of genetically modified mosquitoes released in lab
An international team of scientists is conducting a controversial experiment in a lab in Italy designed to test mosquitoes modified using CRISPR technology that researchers hope can provide a powerful new weapon to eradicate malaria. 

NISE Network resource: Should We Engineer the Mosquito public forum

The future of the fashion industry is here and it's made with biology
Second to the oil industry, the fashion industry is one of the world's largest polluters and, with pressure from its consumers, is looking to synthetic biology to create more sustainable fashion items. 

NISE Network resource: Building with Biology and SustainABLE digital kits

Nano News 

Nanoparticles may have a bigger impact on the environment than previously thought
Over the last 20 years, nanotechnology has improved many everyday products, but the impact on the environment still remains unclear. Recent research found that a common, non-disease causing bacterium developed rapid resistance when exposed to nanoparticles used in lithium ion batteries, meaning the fundamental biochemistry and biology of the bacteria are changing.


National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Conferences

Cincinnati conference – November 14-16, 2019 
Seattle conference – December 12-14, 2019 
Boston (National) conference – April 2-5, 2020 
STEM Forum & Expo in Louisville – July 22-24, 2020

Learn more

American Chemical Society (ACS) 2020 Spring National Meeting & Expo

March 22-26, 2020
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Call for abstracts now open

Association of Children's Museums (ACM) InterActivity 2020

May 5-8, 2020
St. Louis, Missouri

Learn more

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

October 17-20, 2020
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Themed, New Frontiers - call for proposals coming soon