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

Brad Herring

Author credit: Hardin Engelhardt, Marbles Kids Museum

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.

In the learning lab, students pretend that they have just been hired to work for a technology company that makes invisible worlds visible. Students rotate through four "labs" to explore the electromagnetic spectrum, microscopy, nanoscale science and technology, and product testing and development. The goal of the learning lab is to spark curiosity about STEM content and expose students to STEM career pathways.

Marbles launched the film and learning lab with a teacher preview of Mysteries of the Unseen World and workshop on integrating nanoscale science and technology content across the K-12 curriculum. The workshop was led by Dr. Gail Jones and her team of students from North Carolina State University (NCSU). Dr. Jones and her team offered teachers the opportunity to experience learning stations with different activities to help teachers understand and better incorporate nanoscale science in their classrooms.

Marbles will also be launching a STEM Play Corps this spring in collaboration with NCSU and the Center for Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology (CEINT) at Duke University. The STEM Play Corps will be a group of middle school students who are trained in STEM content and informal science education facilitation. STEM Play Corps participants will lead play-based STEM exploration and discovery with guests at the museum and at outreach events in the community. The content focus area for the first year of the Corps will be nanoscale science and technology.

Marbles Kids Museum is a hands-on, minds-on museum that inspires imagination, discovery and learning through extraordinary adventures in play and larger-than-life IMAX experiences. The five themed museum exhibits are designed for children 10 and under, and the Wells Fargo IMAX Theatre on campus caters to adults and children with a complete calendar of feature and documentary films.

To find out more about Marbles Kids Museum, their hands-on learning lab, or about STEM Play Corps please visit, or contact Hardin Engelhardt at