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Newsletter: October 2019


Paul Martin awarded ASTC Leading Edge Award for Leadership in the Field


Congratulations to Paul Martin, member of the NISE Network leadership team and Codirector of the Center for Innovation in Informal STEM Learning at Arizona State University's School for the Future of Innovation in Society in Tempe, who was awarded the ASTC Leading Edge Award for Leadership in the Field (non-CEO) at the 2019 Conference. Read more

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the NISE Network exhibition booth, attended sessions, or joined us for the partner breakfast. Having the opportunity to meet with partners, hear about your work, and learn about your ongoing professional needs is what continues to drive the NISE Network and help the community grow. If you weren't able to attend the conference, presentation slides and posters from NISE Net-related sessions and pictures from the exhibition booth, presentations, and the partner breakfast are now available online to view and download.

Apply now for a free Explore Science: Earth & Space physical toolkit - Applications due November 1st

The NISE Network is excited to offer 350 Explore Science: Earth & Space physical toolkits to new and existing partners in the US. New this year, the 2020 toolkit consists of two parts: Part A will include hands-on Earth and space activities, Part B will include a hands-on collaborative Moon game as well as science activities about the Moon. Learn more about eligibility, toolkit requirements, and how to apply

Coming soon - Annual Partner Survey 2019 invitations

Soon you may receive an email invitation to participate in the NISE Network's online Annual Partner Survey where your unique perspective and input are crucial in helping the Network access and improve the experience of participation in the Explore Science: Earth and Space project. The survey should take no more than 20-30 minutes and to show our appreciation for your time, completion of the online survey will automatically qualify you to be entered into a drawing for one of five sets of educational materials. For questions, please contact Marta Beyer


It's not too late to take part in this year's National Chemistry Week taking place October 20-26th


It's not too late to take part in this year's National Chemistry Week (NCW) taking place nationwide October 20-26th. NISE Network partners are encouraged to seek out local American Chemical Society (ACS) partners to collaborate on NCW events. View ACS's NCW resources as well as NISE Network Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit activities and other resources that align with this year's them of Marvelous Metals.

NISE Network gears up for 2019 Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) Conference in Toledo, Ohio

If you're attending GLPA taking place October 23-26 in Toledo, Ohio, we encourage you to stop by the NISE Network booth and introduce yourself. Learn more about GLPA

Calling all science centers and museums! International Science Center & Science Museum Day is November 10th

The International Science Center & Science Museum Day (ISCSMD) is a yearly, global event illustrating the impact and reach of all the world's science centers and museums, demonstrating the role these institutions play with their visitors in raising awareness of - and engagement in - sustainable development and the solutions to worldwide challenges. Consider taking this day as an opportunity to celebrate and promote your museum's mission through widely diverse informal science education and engagement activities. Learn more about ISCSMD and how to get involved 


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



Empowering Girls in Science Through Growth Mindset and the New Girl Scout Space Science Badges

Tuesday, October 8, 2019
2-3pm Eastern / 11am-12pm Pacific

Join us for an online workshop focused on Growth Mindset in girls and the new 2019 Space Science badges for Girl Scouts. Presenters will explore ways to engage and encourage girls in STEM, discuss the newly released badges, the Girl Scouts' STEM strategy, and ways science museums can successfully engage girls in Earth and space science. Learn more more and RSVP here


Programming for Audiences with Special Needs

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

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. Participants should leave feeling more confident in beginning to think about how to best reach, serve, and design for audiences that may not otherwise be best served by current programming. Learn more and RSVP here 


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

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

Are you interested in using your Explore Science Earth & Space toolkit in an outdoor setting such as at a beach or on a guided canoe trip? 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


The EcoTarium's Lunar Launch in Worcester, MA

By Rachel Quimby, EcoTarium


Trois, deux, un...blast off! This past July, visitors from as close as next door and as far away as Paris, France gathered around the upper plaza of the EcoTarium in Worcester, Massachusetts to celebrate 50 years since Apollo 11 landed on the Moon. Attendees of the Lunar Launch Party cheered on two chemical rocket launches, sent stomp rockets flying, blew the tops off film canister rockets, drove model rovers through an obstacle course, designed and tested small-scale parachutes for astronauts and so much more. Read the full partner highlight to learn about the EcoTarium's Moon landing celebration festivities 


Learn More About the 2020 Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit (Recorded)

Hear from NISE Network staff as they provided a general overview of the 2020 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit, and what's new about it. Network partners also presented about the creative ways they've incorporated and hacked Earth & Space toolkit activities for their own museum, planetarium, and outreach programming. View the recording and resources from the 9-10-2019 online workshop

Making Chemistry Matter to Your Public Audiences - Using Hands-on Activities to Stimulate Interest, Relevance, and Self-efficacy (Recorded)

Hear from project team members about project research findings and the framework developed for designing and facilitating hands-on activities to increase public attitudes about chemistry, as well as resources available to partners to host or collaborate on an event for National Chemistry Week 2019. View the recording and resources from the 9-17-2019 online workshop


Take part in this year's National Nanotechnology Day on October 9th

National Nano Day is an annual celebration consisting of community-led events and activities on or around October 9th (paying home to the nanometer scale, 10–9 meters), to help raise awareness of nanotechnology, how it's used in everyday products, and the challenges and opportunities it holds for the future. Learn more about the National Nanotechnology Day, suggested activities, and resources for K-12 educators. You can also explore the NISE Network's NanoDays digital kit archive for a wide range of activities highlighting nanoscale science, technology, engineering, and society.

Fallback into Digital Learning Day, October 8th: A day of free, online educational programming

Join the CILC Pinnacle Education Collaborative (PEC) for a day of free K-12 educational programming. New programming will be offered every hour from 9am-3pm Eastern; join for one or more events and check out NISE Network partners presenting programming throughout the day: Mote Marine Laboratory (ongoing virtual learning program and part of NISE Network's Sustainable Future's project), Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Roper Mountain Science Center, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, California Academy of Sciences, Ann Arbor Hands On Museum, Michigan Science, and Royal Botanical Gardens. Learn more about Digital Learning Day


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


NASA's Night Sky Network - Astronomical events
Campus Sustainability Month and connections to NISE Net Sustainability topics

10/5: Astronomy Day
10/5: International Observe the Moon Night
10/4-10/10: World Space Week
10/9: National Nano Day and connections to NanoDays kit
10/10: Metric Day
10/13-10/19: Earth Science Week
10/14-10/18: Nuclear Science Week
10/20-10/26: National Chemistry WeekMarvelous Metals 
10/21-10/25: Solar Week
10/31: Halloween and connections to Frankenstein200 kit


11/10: International Science Center and Science Museum Day and connections to SustainABLE kit


2019 Year-long events


Earth and Space News

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope finds water vapor on distant exoplanet
For the very first time, the molecular signature of water vapor was detected in the atmosphere of an exoplanet orbiting in its star's habitable zone - the region around a star where temperatures would let liquid water exist on a planet's surface. Using future telescopes, scientists will continue to study exoplanets like this one to determine whether Earth is unique. 

NISE Network products: Exploring the Universe: Imagining Life hands-on activity

NASA's TESS mission spots its 1st star-shredding black hole
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) recently captured a black hole tear apart a star, thought to be similar in size to our Sun, in what is known as a tidal disruption event, which has never been detected before. Tidal disruptions are rare, occurring once every 10,000 to 100,000 years in a galaxy the size of our own Milky Way. 

Chemistry News

Watch the American Chemical Society's Reactions video, Why Does Metal Rust? as you gear up for National Chemistry Week 2019, themed Marvelous Metals.

NISE Network resources: 
National Chemistry Week resources

Safe solution to mop up oil spills
Although there are other methods for cleaning up oil spills, they're usually messy and difficult to contain.  Researchers have invented a new nontoxic, low-cost, easily processed foam that can be sprayed onto a surface to absorb the waste [oil] very quickly, which is key to saving the environment from maximum damage. 

NISE Network products: Cleaning Oil Spills with Chemistry longer hands-on program

Synthetic Biology News

Scientists look to synthetic biology and 3-D printing for life support in space
In a recent opinion piece, researchers and NASA provide a call to action to get DIY biology and makerspace communities involved in thinking about the ways that synthetic biology and 3-D printing can support life during deep-space human missions. Since it won't be feasible to pack everything needed for long missions, renewable resources will instead need to be packed, such as cells which can be reprogrammed to produce specific materials.

NISE Network products: Building with Biology and Earth & Space digital kits 


Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) Annual Conference

October 23-26 2019
Toledo, Ohio

Learn more


National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Conferences

Salt Lake City conference – October 24-26, 2019
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; registration opens mid-October