NISE Network Blog

NanoDays Public Reach: How Even the Smallest Partner Contributions Lead to Big Network Impacts

Kayla Berry and Elizabeth Kollman, Museum of Science; Gina Svarovsky, University of Notre Dame
NanoDays 2015

Since its inception in 2005, the NISE Network has developed a wide range of activities, programs, and exhibits for public audiences that have been implemented within over 500 institutions across the country. Two of the Network’s largest educational products are NanoDays and the Nano Exhibition. Understanding the expansive public reach of the Network has long been a focus for the NISE Network Evaluation Team. Recently, the NISE Net Evaluation Team summarized the results of this work in the Public Reach Estimations for the NISE Network Summative Evaluation Report, where it is stated that through events and kit material use throughout the year, NanoDays is estimated to have reached over 7.1 million people from 2008 – 2015. Since 2014, the Evaluation Team estimates that this translates into an annual reach of over 1 million people annually. But wait, there’s more!

Museum & Community Partnerships Explore Science - Zoom into Nano kits shipping out

KC Miller
Explore Science - Zoom into Nano kits being prepared for shipment

Museum & Community Partnerships Explore Science - Zoom into Nano kits shipping to 100 NISE Network partners!

 
 

Digital Materials Now Available
If you are not receiving a physical Explore Science kit, we do have the kit materials and collaborative guide available online.
    www.nisenet.org/explorescience-nano

Enjoy your kits and your new partnerships! 

 Learn more about the Museum & Community Partnerships project:  www.nisenet.org/museum-community-partnerships

Carbon Bonds: Clarifying Confusion with the “Build a Giant Carbon Nanotube” model in the Nano mini-exhibition

Christina Leavell
Carbon Nanotube, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Photo provided by Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum in Ann Arbor, MI

We have received questions asking why there aren't four bonds for each carbon atom in the "Build a Giant Carbon Nanotube" component of the Nano mini-exhibition. Catherine McCarthy, Project Leader for the NISE Network, and Keith Ostfeld, Director of Educational Technology and Exhibit Development at the Children’s Museum of Houston, offer some clarity and insights into these inquiries…

Partner Highlight: Museum on the Move: Traveling Nano Exhibition to Reach a New Audience in Maryland

Sarah Zimmerman, Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Port Discovery logo

Nanoscience and technology were found in an unlikely location when Port Discovery Children's Museum partnered with The James and Anne Robinson Nature Center in Columbia, Maryland.  Part of Port Discovery’s mission states that we “extend our impact by taking our programs community and state wide”.  Museum on the Move, the museum’s newest outreach initiative, does just that. The Robinson Nature Center was chosen as the pilot location because of their existing relationship with the museum and unique venue.  The Nano mini-exhibition has been displayed at countless science centers and children’s museums, but never a nature center.  Port Discovery and Robinson were excited to bring a unique topic to the nature center. 

NISE Network is Transitioning to the National Informal STEM Education Network

Larry Bell, Museum of Science; Paul Martin, Science Museum of Minnesota; and Rae Ostman, Arizona State University

Dear NISE Net Participants and Supporters,

Thank you for all the great work you have done over the past decade. It has opened up totally new possibilities for the decade ahead. We are excited to let you know that with the completion of NSF funding for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network, and the soon-to-be-announced NASA-funded Space and Earth Informal STEM Education project, the NISE Network is transitioning to a new, ongoing identity as the National Informal STEM Education Network! While we'll still be known as the NISE Net, network partners will now engage audiences across the United States in a range of STEM topics. Several new projects are already underway and others are in discussion for the future.

Happy New Year!

Catherine McCarthy

The NISE Network wishes all its partners a peaceful end to 2015.
We look forward to working with you in 2016!

More about this snowflake image:
This ordinary hexagonal dendrite snowflake, has been highly magnified using a low-temperature scanning electron microscope. This version has been artificially colorized to emphasize the central flake.This public domain image was captured at the USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland, and is available on Wikimedia commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Snow_crystals_2b.png

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.