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Newsletter: April 2018


Don't miss this opportunity to receive a free Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition

In collaboration with NASA, the NISE Network is pleased to offer institutions the opportunity to apply for a free Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition, which is an engaging and interactive museum exhibition about Earth and space science for family audiences. Fifty (50) identical copies of the exhibition will be fabricated and distributed to eligible NISE Network partners through a competitive application process. Applications are due May 1, 2018. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply

Apply now! New Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit

Interested in engaging your visitors in more discussions around chemistry and how its connected to our everyday lives? The NISE Network's newest Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit will include eight to ten hands-on activities that have been designed to stimulate visitors' interest, sense of relevance, and feelings of self-efficacy around chemistry. Through a competitive application process, two hundred and fifty (250) free physical kits will be awarded to successful applicants from eligible organizations, including science and children's museums and chemistry outreach programs. Applications are due June 1, 2018. Learn more about the Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit and how to apply

Building with Biology pilots newest forum "Editing Our Evolution: Rewriting the Human Genome" at four NISE Network partner institutions 

This past February, four NISE Network partners piloted the newest Building with Biology forum on human genome editing within their local community helping to extensively test materials and gather visitor feedback on their experiences. Based on formative evaluation data, the project team is making adjustments to the forum program; final materials will soon be disseminated to 24 additional NISE Network institutions who will host the forum this summer. One pilot site noted that "It was great confirmation that programs like this are headed in the right direction to have participants ask if we would do other programs like this in the future." Read more about pilot forums and which locations are hosting the forum this summer

NanoDays 2018

Many NISE Network partners have been celebrating NanoDays this past week; remember resources are available online to use NanoDays materials anytime throughout the year:


Upcoming online workshops: Staying connected to the Network and community

NISE Network runs a series of free online workshops to increase the number of professional development opportunities available to our partners, and to create more channels for partners to share their work and learn from each other directly. View full details for upcoming online workshops at

Learn About New Project Opportunity and How to Apply for the 2018 Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry Kit

Tuesday, April 10, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up now

ChemAttitudes, which is a collaboration between the NISE Network and the American Chemical Society, is developing a new, free engaging kit of hands-on activities. Join this discussion for a general introduction to the project and what to expect in the physical 2018 Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit, including an overview of the hands-on activities more

Changing the Conversation About Climate

Tuesday May 1, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up now
This workshop will provide an introduction to the knowledge, techniques, and support systems that the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) has developed to empower educators and audiences to address climate change, as well as perspectives from NISE Network partners that have used these ideas in staff training, organizational planning, and public more

Museum Community Partnerships - Afterschool Programs: Advocating, Collaborating and Bringing Earth and Space Content to Out-of-school Time

Tuesday May 22, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up now

Afterschool programs provide unique opportunities to engage children of all ages in an out-of-the-classroom environment. Join us as we discuss ways to develop your own programming around the Explore Science: Earth and Space toolkit and the benefits of connecting with current afterschool programs such as the Afterschool more


Be Prepared: Safety Tips and Reminders for Museums Running Public Events, Including National Chemistry Week and Earth and Space Events

Tuesday, June 12, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Read more 


Association for Children's Museum (ACM) Interactivity 2018 May 15-18, 2018

Are you attending ACM next month? The NISE Network welcomes you to join us for a free Partner Breakfast on Friday, May 18th from 7:30-8:45am at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. Come hear about current NISE Network projects and future opportunities (no need to RSVP). The NISE Network will also be hosting a booth in the exhibition hall (#31) and table during the ACM Networking Breakfast on Wednesday, May 16th. Finally, hear from NISE Network partners who will be presenting in the following sessions (see full list of NISE Net activities): 

  • STEM Gamining in Museums - Making the Right Moves
  • Best Program Ever! Tools and Techniques to Create Great Programs, Part 1
  • Best Program Ever! Tools and Techniques to Create Great Programs, Part 2
  • Bringing Science Experts into Your Museum - Why, How, and Wow!


Online Workshop: NGSS and the Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit - Connecting Your Toolkit to Field Trips and K-12 Programs (Recorded)

How might NGSS impact your museum? NISE Network team members provided an overview into NGSS and highlighted a couple Earth & Space toolkit activities that can be used to support the three dimensions of NGSS. Also hear from a NISE Net partner on how her museum intertwines ISE K-12 programming and NGSS. View the recording and resources from the 3-20-2018 online workshop


Montshire Talks Frankenstein, Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of a Classic

By Trish Palao, Montshire Museum of Science

This year, in participation with the science education initiative Frankenstein200the Montshire Museum of Science’s annual conversation series, Montshire Talks, focused on the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus. Throughout March, the Montshire Talks covered the philosophy of science, artificial intelligence, the evolution of a modern myth, and Mary Shelley’s lasting influence on the questions: What is life?; Why do we create?; and What are our responsibilities as creators, scientists, and engineers? Read the full partner highlight to learn more about Montshire Talks and events  


Frankenstein200 Events: Ideas from NISE Net Partners Across the Country

By Peter Nagy and Rae Ostman, Arizona State University

Between January and March, the Frankenstein200 research team visited events at museums across the country to collect data on how visitors think about science and responsibility and to learn more about how the hands-on activities were being used by Network partners. Read the full partner highlight for more about partner events and ideas to incorporate into your own programming to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein


Earth and Space News

InSight lander flown to California for final launch preps
NASA's InSight spacecraft is undergoing final testing before it launches in May and is expected to land on Mars in November. This will be the first robotic explorer to study the interior of Mars, including its crust, mantle, and core helping scientists better understand how rocky planets formed in the early solar system. Read more about InSight and follow NASA's InSight Mission

Meet TESS - NASA's new spacecraft seeking alien worlds
Launcing in coming months the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is the next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, and is expected to discover thousands of exoplanets. Read more about the TESS mission

NASA's Night Sky Network - What's up for April 2018
Learn about the astronomical events taking place this month

Synthetic Biology News

The anxious launch of a gene therapy with a record sticker price of $425,000
With recent success in clinical trials, a new experimental gene therapy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for patients with a rare kind of hereditary blindness. This therapy involves injecting a healthy version of a gene, which is responsible for making a protein needed for sight, into the eye of patient who has the defective gene. But this comes as a hefty price and there's still so many unanswered questions. Is it going to work? Read about the first patient to receive this newly approved gene therapy

Chemistry News

New form of water, both liquid and solid, is "really strange"
Superionic water isn't known to exist naturally on Earth but it may be present farther out in the solar system including in the mantles of Uranus and Neptune. Superionic water is theorized to exist under extremely high pressures and hot temperatures, melting the chemical bonds between the hydrogen and oxygen atoms, resulting in both solid and liquid phases. 
Read more about this new discovery

Fighting the opioid crisis with vaccines and better chemistry
Opioid drug overdose deaths is a crisis the United States, which in turn is resulting in a new surge in opioid vaccine development. Like with other vaccines, an opioid vaccination would cue the body to produce disease fighting antibodies targeting opioid molecules, binding up the drug and preventing it from reaching the brain. Read more about current scientific research on opioid vaccines


The Year in Informal STEM Education: CAISE's Reflections on 2017

The Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) has produced a report tracking notable milestones that had an impact on the ISE field throughout 2017. Designed as a PowerPoint, the CAISE report is intended to provide information for use by educators, communicators, designers, evaluators, researchers, and other ISE-interested stakeholders who want to discover new strategies and potential collaborators for project and proposal development. View and download the report (users can freely use the slides in their own presentations and reports)

Celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Human Genome Project: Participate in National DNA Day on April 25th 

Celebrate this historic occasion on April 25th (or anytime between February and May) by hosting a National DNA Day event at your organization or visiting an event near you! The '15 for 15' Celebration begins April 5th and will reveal new advancements in genomics each day. Take advantage of NISE Net's Building with Biology and NanoDays kits to add supplemental hands-on activities to your events. Read more about National DNA Day and how to get involved

Summer 2018 Synthetic Biology - STEM Professional Development Workshops 

BioBuilder Educational Foundation is offering 3-day workshops for STEM teachers around the country, helping to bring biological engineering into classrooms using real-world engineering challenges to teach life sciences. Learn more about this opportunity; scholarships available

Calling all cloud gazers: NASA needs your help

From March 15 through April 15, citizen scientists of all ages can make up to 10 cloud observations per day using the GLOBE Observer app. Researchers use, and value, this citizen science cloud data because it helps to validate data from Earth-observing instruments. Get started now and be a citizen scientist for NASA


Discover activity ideas for incorporating current science, engineering, and technology content into events, special programming, holidays, and seasonal activities at your institution. Check out upcoming opportunities below and find more details at


Global Astronomy Month 

WHO World Health Day (April 7)

National Robotics Week (April 7-15)

Yuri's Night (April 12)

National Environmental Education Week (April 23-29) 

National DNA Day (April 25)


American Alliance of Museums (AAM) 2018 Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo

May 6 - 9, 2018: Phoenix, AZ
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Join the
 AAM 2018 Meeting & MuseumExpo to explore the many ways museums serve as hubs of community activation and learning.

Association of Children's Museum (ACM) Interactivity 2018

May 15 - 18, 2018: Raleigh, NC
This year's theme is "Open Source Play, Sharing the Creative Code."
 Learn more about ACM 2018

American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall 2018 National Meeting & Exposition

August 13 - 23, 2018; Boston, MA
The theme for this meeting is Nanoscience, Nanotechnology & Beyond. Learn more about ACS 

Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference 2018

September 29 - October 2, 2018; Hartford, CT
Learn more about ASTC 2018

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