NISE Network Blog

Partner Highlight: AmeriCorps VISTA Member Brings NanoDays to Montana State University’s Family and Graduate Housing

Suzi Taylor, Montana State University

An annual Halloween festival for children received an infusion of Nano when an AmeriCorps VISTA member based at Montana State University brought NanoDays activities to the university’s Family & Graduate Housing. Families from around the world live in MSU’s Family Housing complex, where children range from newborn to 18 and who hail from all backgrounds: single-parent families, low-income families, military families, etc. Many countries are also represented, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, India, China, Japan, Nepal, Lebanon and Brazil as well as families from around Montana and the U.S.

Partner Highlight: A “viaje” (journey) to remember: A foundation of trust built between Adventure Science Center and Conexión Américas inspires Nano Family Science Event

Kayla Berry, Musuem of Science and Larry Dunlap-Berg, Adventure Science Center

The Adventure Science Center, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a premier attraction and learning center for visitors throughout Middle Tennessee and lives its mission to “ignite curiosity and inspire the lifelong discovery of science!” Learning does not solely take place inside the science center’s walls, it extends well beyond them and in many different forms. As a 2015 NISE Net Mini-Grant recipient, Adventure Science Center was able to leverage an established relationship with a local community organization, Conexión Américas, whose mission is to assist Latino families through programs that focus on social, economic and civic integration.

Creating Conversations about Synthetic Biology Through Nationwide Building with Biology Events

Kayla Berry, Museum of Science, Boston

Envisioning a new kind of museum conversation. With the pilot year of the Building with Biology project now complete, we are excited to share with the community the experiences and accomplishments achieved throughout this initial year. Building with Biology - Activities and Conversations about Synthetic Biology - is a project that incorporates much of the knowledge and experiences gained through the NISE Network as a way to expand public education and outreach around a fast-growing research field - synthetic biology.

NanoDays at the 2015 International Beijing Science Festival

Brad Herring, Museum of Life and Science and Frank Kusiak, Lawrence Hall of Science

How do you go from doing NanoDays in the US to holding NanoDays in Beijing, China?

The story starts simply enough. While facilitating activities at NanoDays 2015 in the Museum of Science, Boston, Pei Zhang who currently serves as the Executive Director of the US China Scitech Education Promotion Association, was inspired by what she experienced. She loved the hands-on activities and engagement between volunteers and the public and wanted to bring the NanoDays experience to China.

Summary flyer describing new opportunities for Network partners

Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota
NISE Net logo

At the October 2015 ASTC Conference, the NISE Network distributed a one-page summary of all the new upcoming opportunities for new and existing NISE Network partners including:

A summary is provided below as well as a downloadable PDF.  

Partner Highlight: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and Chicas Youth Development Program: A Bilingual, Bicultural Collaboration Model

Veronika Nunez, OMSI

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) has a history of fruitful collaboration with one of the most focused and dedicated local community organizations providing support to Latina girls and women in the state of Oregon: Adelante Mujeres. Adelante Mujeres, through the Chicas Youth Development Program (one of their many programs), helps participants to develop their potential as community leaders, adopt a healthy lifestyle, develop their cultural identity, and achieve academic success in their education, from school to their enrollment in college. Over the past few years, OMSI and Chicas Youth Development Program have collaborated in various ways, including OMSI’s participation during their STEM summer camp week.

Larry Bell and Marilyn Johnson both win ASTC Leading Edge Award for Leadership in the Field

Catherine McCarthy
Larry Bell and Marilyn Johnson receive awards

Many congratulations to Larry Bell and Marilyn Johnson - the 2015 recipients of the ASTC Leading Edge Award for Leadership in the Field (Nonexecutive Leadership). 

As senior vice president for strategic initiatives at the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts, Larry has tirelessly served at the NISE Network's PI for the last 10 years. Our longterm collaborator Marilyn has just recently retired after nearly 20 years with OSMI in Portland, Oregon. 

Pow! Zap! Crash! Nano? – How to incorporate nanoscience content into an amazing Superhero Science event!

Christina Akers
superheroes at Science Museum of Minnesota

Little Shop of Nano...

If you’re not familiar with the film or Broadway show, “Little Shop of Horrors,” you may not realize what happens when you feed and nurture a strange plant that ultimately grows, well…beyond needing you. The rest of the plot of this classic tale is irrelevant, but the idea of nurturing something until it can stand on its own without your care and attention is not…

Partner Highlight: "Making More of the MOST" Out of Museum and Community Partnerships at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology in Syracuse, NY

Kayla Berry, Museum of Science, Boston

During the summer months, youth often have more free time on their hands, and many families find themselves seeking ways to keep their children safe and engaged when not in school. Youth-serving and community-based organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Scouts, YMCA, and public libraries provide countless benefits and opportunities to the youth they serve year-round. At the intersection of youth-serving and community-based organizations seeking to provide high-quality STEM learning experiences to their audiences and for science museums seeking to reach underserved audiences not currently engaged in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, there presents a unique and rich partnership opportunity for local community organizations and science museums.

Building the World's Smallest Faucet

Joshua E. Brown, University Communications, University of Vermont

Making things small can make them behave differently and in new research, an international team of scientists have extended this to superfluid helium (which only exists near absolute zero temperature). Superfluids are already interesting in a lot of ways, like having no friction and the ability to climb walls but it turns out that if you confine them to nano-sized pipes, instead of flowing faster (like when you mostly cover the end of a garden hose with your thumb) the superfluid actually slows down.