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Newsletter: August 2018



Announcing the Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry 2018 kit recipients

The NISE Network is excited to announce, in collaboration with the American Chemical Society (ACS), the award of 250 Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry 2018 kits to new and existing eligible partners in the U.S., including science centers and children's museums, universities, and ACS local sections. This new kit of hands-on activities provides a great opportunity for informal science educators to engage participants all year round and to participate in this year's National Chemistry Week by bringing chemistry into your community and promoting the value of chemistry in everyday life. Physical kits will be shipped to recipients in September 2018; digital kit materials will also be available for download in September. View Explore Science: Let's Do Science kit recipients

Online resources now available for 2018 National Chemistry Week

The American Chemical Society's 2018 National Chemistry Week (NCW) takes place October 21-27 and is themed "Chemistry Is Out of This World." Resources are now available online and include educator resources, activities and videos, webinars, information on finding your local NCW Coordinator, the current issue of the kid-friendly Celebrating Chemistry publication, and much more. View and download the 2018 National Chemistry Week resources 


Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit 2018 reports

Thanks to all NISE Network partners who submitted their reports about their 2018 spring Earth and space events. The Network uses the information provided when preparing reports for NASA, our project funder, and to improve future kits, materials, and professional development opportunities. We've randomly selected two partners who submitted their toolkit reports into us on time and have awarded them a small package of additional educational materials for use with their visitors as a thank you. Special thanks to: Dave Lin from Children's Science Center and Kevin Conod from Newark Museum.


Applications due November 1st for an Explore Science: Earth & Space 2019 toolkit

Submit your application now for a physical Explore Science: Earth & Space 2019 toolkit that includes activities designed for family audiences with a range of experiences appropriate for visitors ages 4 through adult. Toolkits are designed for use in children's museums, science centers and museums, public planetariums and observatories, and NASA visitor centers in the U.S. Learn more about 2019 toolkit, eligibility, and how to apply

Planning for your upcoming Frankenstein200 events

Now's the time to incorporate NISE Network activities into your fall event planning! For their October "Scary STEM" event, NISE Network partner Arkansas State University Museum will feature activities from the Explore Science: Let’s Do Chemistry kit and the Frankenstein200 kit (both available as free digital downloads). To make the event their own, the museum created a life-sized Frankenstein game similar to "Operation," complete with handmade game pieces, surgical (salad) tongs, and Makey Makey controlled buzzes and groans! 

  • Download your own digital Frankenstein200 kit and play along with the online alternate reality game that immerses players in the modern-day Laboratory for Innovation and Fantastic Explorations (or L.I.F.E).   


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



Girl Scouts and STEM: New Space Science Badges and Opportunities to Connect with the Explore Science: Earth and Space Toolkits

Tuesday, August 21, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up
The Girl Scouts have announced a new set of Space Science Daisy, Brownie, and Junior badges that will be released in August 2018. Join us to learn more about the Girl Scouts STEM strategy and their new badges, and how science museums can successfully partner with their local Girl Scout more 

Explore Science: Let’s Do Chemistry Kit & Celebrate National Chemistry Week (October 21-27, 2018)!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up
Join this workshop discussion for an overview of the 2018 National Chemistry Week, tips for planning an event and resources available to you, as well as a look at what's inside the Explore Science: Let’s Do Chemistry kit, including activities and training more

Learn More About the 2019 Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit

Tuesday, September 18, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up
Join us as we discuss the Explore Science: Earth & Space project, how your organization can get involved, and learn about the newest 2019 toolkit, including information about how to apply (applications due November 1, 2018) more

Deepening and Extending Family Engagement and Learning Through Interactive Exhibits and Facilitated Hands-on Activities

Tuesday, October 23, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up
Join members from the REVEAL and ChemAttitudes projects for a discussion of facilitation strategies you can employ with your more

Upcoming Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference taking place September 28 - October 2, 2018

Have you registered yet for this year's ASTC Conference taking place in Hartford, Connecticut? Join the NISE Network at the conference for a variety of activities, including a preconference intensive workshop, Science Center Public Forums: Facilitating Deliberative Conversations about Socio-scientific Issues, scheduled for Friday, September 28th [learn more]. Be sure to stop by our mega-booth this year to check out a copy of the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition! More details coming soon about NISE Network's Informal Happy Hour and Partner Breakfast. See NISE Network activities at ASTC


NISE Network Kits Help Rochester Museum & Science Center Bring Traveling Exhibits to Life

By Calvin Uzelmeier, Rochester Museum & Science Center, NY

Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) recently hosted Genome: Unlocking Life's Code, a traveling exhibition, developed by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the National Human Genome Research Institute, which allows visitors to explore what a genome is, how it relates to medicine and health, and how it connects humans to all life on the planet. Hosting this exhibition allowed RMSC to establish a more active relationship with one of the nation's leading academic medical centers, including having researchers visit the museum to engage visitors around programming related to their work, as well as help to develop some content for the Genome Discovery Center. Conceived of by museum staff, the Genome Discovery Center is a unique hybrid space used to broaden the exhibition experience, incorporate unique RMSC collections, and engage visitors through hands-on activities relating to genetics. To support this mission, RMSC was able to turn to the NISE Net's Building with Biology kit and to ASTC's World Biotech Tour for a variety of activities to support the mission of the center. In addition to the exhibition, RMSC also recently hosted the NISE Net forum, Editing Our Evolution: Rewriting the Human Genome, eliciting engaging, respectful, and thought provoking conversations between public and scientist participants many of which asked when RMSC would be hosting another. Read the full Partner Highlight to learn more about RMSC's inspriration for genome programming


Girl Scouts add 30 new badges in robotics, science, and engineering

The recently revealed new badge programs are strong in STEM skills, a key to closing the STEM gender gap as women only make up 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce, and many also address some of society's most pressing issues. See new badges for girls ages five to 18

The History of Science Fiction

Stories, tales, and myths all around the world posing speculative questions about technologies have long existed, but Mary Shelley's 1918 novel, Frankenstein, gave birth to a new modern science fiction genre. New It's Lit! episode from PBS Digital Studios uncovers the origin of science fiction

NISE Network related resources

Earth and Space News

Liquid water 'lake' revealed on Mars

While previous research has found possible signs of intermittent liquid flowing on the martian surface in the past, this new discovery suggests persistent water beneath ice near the south pole of Mars. Read more about water on Mars and if its habitable for martian organisms

Synthetic Biology and Chemistry News

Gene Editing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver explores the risks and rewards of gene editing. Watch this segment for a comedic, yet serious, look at gene editing

NISE Network related resources

Fetal gene therapy could treat genetic disease in the womb

Researchers are working to treat diseases before birth by using fetal gene therapy to fix genetic conditions that can't be treated after birth. Current findings show that in utero therapy has treated many aspects of certain diseases in mice, and has found this procedure works in larger animals. Read more about fetal gene therapy and the next phases of research


Partnerships for Broader Impacts Design seeking program participants 

The Partnerships for Broader Impacts Design (BID) is a NSF-funded project working to build a set of flexible tools that will help universities and informal science education (ISE) organizations partner to support researchers in developing their broader impacts work, as well as focus on developing durable partnerships around this work. BID is currently seeking up to six new ISE/university partnerships to help test and refine the kit. Applications are due August 20, and accepted partners will participate in a kick-off workshop November 7-8, 2018 in Seattle, WA. Learn more about the project and how to apply


Discover activity ideas for incorporating current science, engineering, and technology content into events, special programming, holidays, and seasonal activities by visiting Check out upcoming opportunities below.



NASA's Night Sky Network - What's up for August 2018

Learn about astronomical events taking place this month - The best meteor shower of the year is this month!

NASA's Museum Alliance resources - Human Exploration & Operations 2018

This year-long series of monthly topics will focus on extending human presence in the solar system and include outreach materials that can be used in your organization's programs and exhibits. August - Together We Go Further: Partnerships

National Chemistry Week (NCW) (October 21 - 27, 2018)

This year's theme is "Chemistry is Out of this World." NCW resources are now available online


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

August 13 - 23, 2018; Boston, MA
The theme for this meeting is Nanoscience, Nanotechnology & Beyond. Registration open

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

September 29 - October 2, 2018; Hartford, CT
Learn more about ASTC. Registration now open

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2019 Annual Meeting

February 14 - 17, 2019; Washington, DC
Meeting theme is Science Transcending Boundaries. Poster submissions due October 18

Association of Children's Museums (ACM) Interactivity 2019

May 8 - 11, 2019; Denver CO
Conference theme is FearLESS. Learn more about ACM 2019