NISE Network Blog

Partner Highlight: "Miners Dig Deep" and Show Summer Campers How to Build with Biology

Dave Westenberg, Missouri University of Science & Technology
Missouri University of Science & Technology

The Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) campus comes alive every summer with the excitement of young people learning about science and engineering. Among the many summer camps is the annual Summer Solutions For Girls program. Summer Solutions For Girls is a week-long residential program for rising 9th and 10th grade girls. The goal of this program is to introduce young girls to the excitement of STEM careers and includes tours, field trips, lectures, social activities and hands-on activities. As a recent recipient of one of 200 Building with Biology physical kits, Dr. Dave Westenberg, co-advisor of the Missouri S&T iGEM team had a chance to try out some of the activities with Summer Solutions For Girls campers. The result was a huge success.

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia

Jayatri Das, The Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute

What would Benjamin Franklin think about synthetic biology? On July 9th, we held our Building with Biology event under the watchful eyes of his colossal statue in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at The Franklin Institute. I’d like to think that our favorite scientist and inventor would have loved the thoughtful conversations that took place throughout the day as visitors and scientist volunteers considered the applications of this emerging science. With synthetic biology as a new area of focus for us, we were able to establish a new partnership with local biotech company BioBots as well as leverage existing relationships with the University of Pennsylvania, the Wistar Institute, and Dow Chemical to branch out to a new group of people.

Partner Highlight: Museum & Community Partnership-Zoom Into Science at the Library

Sarah Fisk, SUNY Poly CMOST

The SUNY Poly Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (SUNY Poly CMOST) and the Albany Public Library have frequently worked together on a variety of STE(a)M based projects, recognizing one another as strong community organizations. When the opportunity was announced to apply for an Explore Science – Zoom into Nano kit that focused on museum and community partnerships, it was an obvious fit for The Museum to pursue Albany Public library as a partner in this endeavor.

Partner Highlight: Building with Biology at the Museum of Science in Boston

Caroline Lowenthal, Museum of Science
Museum of Science Building with Biology event 2016

The Museum of Science in Boston hosted its Building with Biology event on Sunday, June 26. It was open to all museum visitors, and included the hands-on activities from the kit, a few hands-on activities from the pilot year, a graffiti board, passports and tattoos, guest speakers, iGEM team presenters, and a table for a local synthetic biology company. That evening, we held the “Should We Engineer the Mosquito?” forum.

Partner Highlight: NISE Network partner museum honored with 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

Brad Herring, Museum of Life and Science
Mid-America Science Museum

We’d like to extend our most sincere congratulations to NISE Network partner, Mid-America Science Museum of Hot Springs, AR, on receiving the prestigious 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. This award, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their community, honors institutions that respond to societal needs in innovative ways, making a difference for individuals, families and their communities.

"NanoDays Collection" printed book shipped to active NISE Network partners in the US

Catherine McCarthy, Science Museum of Minnesota
NanoDays Collection compendium cover

The NISE Network will soon be shipping a box of printed and digital materials to selected active NISE Network partner museums and universities located in the United States.The NISE Network leadership wants to thank partner organizations for your involvement with the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) and for all your efforts to engage public audiences in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology over the past years. We are pleased to share a compendium of all the NanoDays activities developed over the past ten years. For most partner organizations, we are only mailing one box, so please share these resources with your colleagues and local collaborators.

Building with Biology physical kits ship this week!

KC Miller, Science Museum of Minnesota
Building with Biology kit at warehouse

We are putting the finishing touches on the kits now, and they will be on their way to you this week (week of June 1, 2016)! These kits are the product of a lot of hard work by leading institutions in the fields of informal science education, science communication, and research. We are so excited to get these activities in your hands for outreach in your community. 

Partner Highlight: Center for Nanotechnology in Society, Arizona State University

Deron Ash, Arizona State University
Center for Nanotechnology in Society, Arizona State University

In 2005, the National Science Foundation simultaneously announced funding both for NISE Net and the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU). Up to that point, the two proposed projects weren’t aware of each other, but after a few email exchanges and phone calls, Principal Investigators Larry Bell (NISE Net) and David Guston (CNS-ASU) initiated what would turn into many years of productive work together. CNS-ASU ideas have been incorporated into many NISE Net educational products, and so are integral to the public engagement work of many NISE Net partners.

Sharing Science Workshop & Practicum Gets Researchers Quickly Up to Speed with Family Audiences

Karine Thate, Museum of Science
Sharing Science Workshop & Practicum

Seeing a child’s face light up with excitement as they interact with real-life scientists and grad students at your outreach event is always a pleasure.  Many researchers are interested in sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with the public, but they typically need some prior guidance and practice working hands-on with public audiences. With this in the mind, the NISE Network created the Sharing Science Workshop & Practicum (SSW&P), a time-efficient, low-cost, low-commitment solution to preparing researchers for successful interactions with youth and community audiences. 

Final Gathering of the Center for Nanotechnology in Society

Larry Bell, Museum of Science
NISE Network

Our partners at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU) held a final event gala in Tempe, Arizona on May 3-5, 2016, focused on "Advancing the Legacy of Anticipatory Governance."  I was happy to be among the 110 participants at this final event in the work of CNS to represent the NISE Net. CNS Director Dave Guston describes anticipatory governance as: A broad-based capacity extended through society that can act on a variety of inputs to manage emerging knowledge-based technologies while such management is still possible.