NISE Network Blog

David Sittenfeld, Emily Hostetler, Susan Heilman, Angela Damery, and Becky Smick from Museum of Science; and Thor Carlson, Science Museum of Minnesota
Our ChemAttitudes activity developers have been working closely with their partners from the project research team through a process called design-based research. Read their reflections about their experiences in testing, refining, and revising their creations as part of this national project to improve informal learning about chemistry.
Laahiri Chalasani, Education and Program Manager
The Children’s Science Center, located in Fairfax, Virginia, provides Family Science Nights of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities to its Northern Virginia elementary schools. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the Center’s van rolls out filled with 12 activities designed to coincide with the curriculum taught in the communities’ schools. The activities, all manned by volunteers, were created to cater to all ages and minds in the school. Each school year, activities are updated and replaced to continue to broaden the scope of multiple STEM related subjects offered.
Jason Talley, Planetarium Supervisor
After a year of renovations, the St. Charles Parish Library Planetarium reopened to record crowds with help from NISE Net's Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit in time for the 2017 solar eclipse. Since reopening, staff have integrated the kit's activities into the curriculum and improved upon them in some cases. In addition to some local media attention leading up to their eclipse event, planetarium faculty were also invited to speak at a local elementary school about observing the sky, which included a portable star project and several hands-on activities.
Rae Ostman, Arizona State University and Victoria Fiordalis, Sciencenter
NISE Net is partnering with Arizona State University and partners across the country to celebrate the anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein! This 200-year-old story explores themes of human creativity, societal responsibility, and scientific ethics. Your organization can participate in the nationwide birthday party for Frankenstein by downloading a free digital activity kit from http://www.nisenet.org/frankensteinkit .
Rae Ostman, Arizona State University
NISE Net partners in the Valley of the Sun celebrated the 2017 solar eclipse in a big way! In a pre-eclipse party, almost 900 people visited the Arizona Museum of Natural History, co-hosted by Arizona State University, to help build excitement and awareness of the event in the Phoenix metro area. On August 21, the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU hosted a Solar Eclipse 2017 viewing event at the Tempe campus where thousands of participants turned up to view the partial eclipse through solar telescopes and solar-safe glasses, watch live NASA coverage, engage with interactive displays, and talk with ASU researchers about the science behind the eclipse.
Ali Jackson, Sciencenter
In January 2017, the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Net) awarded 250 free Explore Science: Earth & Space 2017 toolkits to new and existing eligible partners in the United States. In collaboration with NASA, NISE Net assembled and shared...
Jason Hammond, Children's Museum of Houston
Hurricane Harvey took aim at Houston dumping over 1 trillion gallons of water on the city - this is how much water is dumped over Niagara Falls in 17 days. The George R. Brown Convention Center was quickly set up as a relief shelter housing thousands of citizens, many of them children. Just before the storm had hit members of the Outreach Department at the Children’s Museum of Houston had created science kits that could be distributed to the shelters in case people were displaced. As Houston continues to rebuild after the hurricane, the Children’s Museum of Houston continues to provide educational and emotional support to families and students throughout the great city.
Brad Herring
Quiet on the set! And, action! Over the past month NISE Network project staff from the Museum of Life and Science, the Sciencenter and the University of California, Berkeley have been filming a total of 21 training videos to accompany...
Jennifer Beck, Kearney Area Children's Museum
The Kearney Area Children’s Museum (KACM) reached for the stars as they opened their museum to the community for a special Free Family Fun Night with a solar-eclipse theme. Families enjoyed a variety of activities from the NISE Net Explore Science: Earth & Space kit geared towards educating children and their families about the solar eclipse, space exploration, and science.
David Sittenfeld, Museum of Science
What activities are each of you planning for National Chemistry Week (NCW) this year? As I am sure many of you are doing at your own institutions, we have been busy at the Museum of Science in Boston the last couple of months preparing for this year’s NCW celebration, which is also celebrating its 30th anniversary. This year’s theme is “Chemistry Rocks!,” so we have been designing and testing a range of activities that will connect to geochemistry topics.