January 10, 2023
When reflecting on this past year, we are filled with gratitude to be able to collaborate with all of you! This past year we continued to increase our capacity as professionals and organizations to engage the public in STEM topics throughout the United States. Our strength as a Network comes from our collaboration as dedicated professionals, and our impact comes from the work we all do to engage our local communities.
Thank you to everyone who participates in our community! Here are some of our favorite Network moments of 2022.
We are looking forward to an exciting 2023 together and have a summary of upcoming opportunities in 2023.
Partners engaging the public in 2022
“Under the Stars” with the Science of Webb and the Lykens Valley Children’s Museum in Pennsylvania
Lykens Valley Children’s Museum (LVCM) in Elizabethville, Pennsylvania has been “spaced out” for almost a year. It all started when the museum was selected to be one of the 500 official NASA host sites for James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) events. Their celebration of Webb began in November 2021 and continues throughout 2022 with a series of stargazing events focused on celebrating Webb and exciting audiences about new discoveries to come.
Vaccine Confidence Resources from The Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, California
Staff from the Lawrence Hall of Science worked with public health scientists and community partners to design activities to boost vaccine confidence in families with young children. Some activities were adapted from NISE Network resources, and detailed activity guides and materials are available online from Lawrence hall of Science for educators to adapt and use freely.
Pensacola MESS Hall Observes the Moon and More for International Observe the Moon Night
In October 2022, Pensacola MESS Hall in Florida (where curious minds mess around with math, engineering, science & stuff = MESS) hosted an Observe the Moon-themed Curiosity Day.
- Museum of York County in Rock Hill, SC Makes New “Ice Age Carolinas: Exploring Our Pleistocene Past” Exhibit More Inclusive to Spanish-speaking Audiences
Carole Holmberg, the Planetarium Manager for the Museum of York County in Rock Hill, SC, shared some exciting new resources that they produced as part of their project from the NISE Network’s Earth & Space Project-Based Professional Learning Community 2021-2022.
- Read more highlights of partners engaging the public
- Earth & Space project-based professional learning community
100 partner organizations participated in the NASA-funded Earth & Space project-based professional learning community focusing on making Earth & Space science relevant and inclusive for their local communities; a collection of resources is available to all online Making Earth & Space Science More Relevant and Inclusive
- Sustainability Fellowships
90 Partner organizations have been participating in the IMLS-funded Sustainability Fellowships in cohorts D, and E, while cohort F over the past two years; these fellowships support museums and similar cultural organizations in their efforts to integrate sustainability into all aspects of their institution, including decision-making, operations, programs, and community partnerships; explore sustainability resources available
- Citizen Science and Resilient Communities
22 partner organizations participated in the NOAA funded Citizen Science, Civics, and Resilient Communities (CSCRC) project designed to increase resilience to extreme weather and environmental hazards through citizen-created data, local knowledge, and community values
- At Home Activities
11 Partner organizations have participated in the Howtosmile IMLS-funded project designed to create an At-Home Activities Framework and catalog representative At-Home STEM Activities Collection
- Online workshops
Professional learning workshops were held throughout the year on a variety of topics; recordings of all past workshops are available at: https://www.nisenet.org/online-workshop-recordings
- Conference presentations were attended by many people in person; presentation slides for many of these sessions are available on our website including:
- Association of Children's Museums Interactivity in Saint Louis (May) https://www.nisenet.org/ACM2022
- STEM Learning Ecosystems in Michigan (June) https://www.nisenet.org/events/SLECoP2022
- Visitor Studies Association (July) https://www.nisenet.org/VSA2022
- ASTC in Pittsburgh (September) https://www.nisenet.org/ASTC2022
New products in 2022:
- DIY Sun Science App
From designing a UV detector to tracking solar storms, DIY Sun Science for the iPad and iPhone lets anyone, anywhere investigate the Sun with easy, low-cost, and fun hands-on activities. This popular, free app has now been updated with the addition of two new activities on aurora and shadows on the Moon, along with a complete Spanish translation. Now available on the App Store.
These resources are designed to help museum and science center educators make Earth & Space science relevant and inclusive for their local communities. This collection of resources features written materials, slides, and videos presented during this virtual online learning community for you to explore at your own pace.
- Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) Booklet
Tools for engaging communities and incorporating DEAI practices into informal STEM projects. The tools, practices, and project examples are designed to support NISE Network partner efforts in making their experiences more relevant and inclusive in order to promote a more equitable STEM future in our local communities.
Howtosmile At-Home Activities
NISE Network partner museums have created a new At-Home Activities Framework and a collection of over 300 at-home activities to help museums engage their communities virtually. Funded by IMLS, this project has helped Howtosmile rapidly respond to the at-home learning needs of its users, as well as ensure the long-term stability of digital infrastructure for informal educators. Products include: Howtosmile At-Home Activities Collection and Howtosmile At-Home Activities Framework
First images were released in the summer of 2022 and many NISE Network partners offered public engagement programming and events; a collection of public engagement resources available at https://www.nisenet.org/webb
If you are looking for a copy of either exhibition or looking to find a new home for your copy, contact Christina Leavell, our Community Manager and we can add you to a waiting list to match you with a copy https://www.nisenet.org/contact
Without their vital support these efforts would not be possible.
We sincerely thank our funders for their generous support.