Partner Highlights

Partner Highlight: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Due!

Christina Akers, Science Museum of Minnesota and Midwest Regional Hub Leader

Are you thinking about applying for a 2015 NISE Network mini-grant? Then keep two important things in mind: 1) applications are due October 1, 2014 and 2) there are four years worth of examples for you to draw from as you brainstorm project ideas! That’s 179 successful projects all completed by fellow NISE Net partner museums and research centers. Check out the comprehensive list of mini-grant projects at

For more inspiration, here are some mini-grant projects from the extraordinary and exotic Midwest Region: Ann-Arbor Hands-On Museum, Saint Louis Science Center, and Bootheel Youth Museum.


Partner Highlight: The Perot Museum of Nature and Science Inspires Students and Adults through "Nanoscience Family Science Night"

Jessica Liken, Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, formerly known as the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science, in Dallas, TX has been an involved member of the NISE Network since 2011. This past year, the Perot Museum was able to expand their outreach programming through a NISE Net mini-grant by creating a nanoscale science-themed night for local schools called "Nanoscience Family Science Night," consisting of nine hands-on activity stations for students and their families.

Partner Highlight: Inspiring Students and Teachers Across the Globe: NanoDays in South Africa

Jamey Wetmore, Center for Nanotechnology in Society, Arizona State University

The plan at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU) for NanoDays 2014 was originally pretty simple: train a couple dozen graduate students and have them present demonstrations in a tent to some of the over 200,000 visitors at the Tempe Festival for the Arts. Then came the phone call: “Do you also want to do NanoDays in South Africa this year?”

Partner Highlight: Robots, Bees, and Nano, Oh My!: NanoDays at the Delaware Museum of Natural History

Jayatri Das, The Franklin Institute

Many of our favorite applications of nanotechnology—from water-repellent fabric to iridescent materials—are inspired by nature. These connections have made nano programming a great fit for many of the NISE Network’s natural history museum partners, including the Delaware Museum of Natural History. But visitors aren’t always aware of the link between nature and technology, says Kari Lawrence, the Museum’s education manager, so programs like NanoDays offer a chance to highlight this cutting-edge science while also building new relationships in their community.

Partner Highlight: Mission: Nano

Aaron Guerro, Children's Museum of Houston and Ennio Tasciotti, Houston Methodist Research Institute

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to play the Mission: Nano game.

Funded by a NISE Network mini-grant, the Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI) and Rice University's Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning (CTTL) in Houston, TX partnered to develop a nanotechnology-based multimedia game app.  The product, Mission: Nano, educates players about uses of nanotechnology in medicine and inspires them to consider careers in the STEM sectors.

Partner Highlight: Girls Full STEAM Ahead! at the Leonardo

Erika DuRoss, The Leonardo Museum
The Leonardo

We’re all familiar with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) — it’s a buzzword that continues to build momentum in education. There are dozens of studies on how to improve STEM education at all levels. But what happens when you introduce art into STEM? That’s exactly the type of question we explore at The Leonardo Museum in downtown Salt Lake City. By approaching big topics in science and culture through the lens of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), we are able to appeal to populations and make applications that could otherwise be overlooked.

Partner Highlight: Nano Beyond NanoDays! Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC)

Ali Jackson

RMSC Rochester Museum and Science Center logoLike many communities around the country Rochester, New York goes all out celebrating NanoDays. Visitors to the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) joined museum staff and volunteers as well as staff and students from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and University of Rochester for a fun filled weekend at the end of March, but as Joelle Adolfi, Manager of Youth and Family Programs, states, nano related programing doesn’t end there. There’s so much more!


Partner Highlight: The Power of HI-Nano

Frank Kusiak

If you ever find yourself on Hawai'i, aka The Big Island, make your way to Hilo and the beautiful and engaging 'Imiloa Astronomy Center. 'Imiloa is the premier learning center to explore the culture and science of Mauna Kea, whose peak houses the world's most extensive array of telescopes. NISE Net was very excited when they decided to take on NanoDays. With the combination of their dedicated staff and NISE Net's NanoDays Kits, it is now a place where NanoKits deepen one's connection to Hawai'i.

Partner Highlight: Marbles Kids Museum Exposes Students and Teachers to the Mysteries of the Unseen World

Brad Herring

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, NC is exposing students to worlds too fast, too slow, too small, too vast and simply invisible through National Geographic’s new documentary Mysteries of the Unseen World 3D. With support from a 2014 NISE Net Mini-grant, Marbles Kids Museum developed a 45-minute hands-on learning lab that expands on the movie’s content and immerses students in the exploration of things invisible to the naked eye.

Partner Highlight: TBI at the Children's Discovery Museum of West Virginia

Jayatri Das

Team-based inquiry (TBI) is the NISE Network’s practical approach to evaluation focused around an ongoing cycle of inquiry: question, investigate, reflect, and improve. This month, we’re sharing a story of TBI at work from the Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia (CDMWV) that demonstrates how TBI can improve practice, build capacity, and even strengthen partnerships and institutional investment.