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Newsletter: August 2020

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NISE Network Explore Science: Earth & Space 2020 toolkit report deadline extended to February 1, 2021

There have been changes made to the event and reporting requirements for Network partners who were awarded a physical Explore Science: Earth & Space 2020 toolkit. Please see the updated reporting information


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The NISE Network hosts free online workshops as professional development opportunities for our partners to share with and learn from each other. Online workshops take place on Tuesdays from 2-3pm Eastern / 11am-12pm Pacific. View all upcoming online workshops at

Lessons learned from a summer of physically distanced Earth and space public engagement

September 15, 2020
2-3pm Eastern / 11am-12pm Pacific

In light of the impact of COVID-19 on all of our communities, NISE Network partners were forced to re-imagine and create new ways to engage their audiences in Earth and space programming using the Explore Science: Earth and Space toolkit activities. Join us and your fellow NISE Network partners to hear some of the valuable lessons learned from a physically distanced summer of Earth and space public engagement and how we're all gearing up for a continuation into the fall. Learn more and sign up to join

Museum school outreach and field trips in the time of COVID uncertainty

September 29, 2020
2-3pm Eastern / 11am-12pm Pacific
The 2020-2021 school year is bound to look different than it has in past years as some schools have already moved to online learning. Given the uncertainty of the next few months what role can NISE Network partner organizations play with their local school's outreach and/or virtual field trips? Learn more and sign up to join

Moon Adventure Game - An introduction to a new challenge-based game for science and children's museums

October 27, 2020
2-3pm Eastern / 11am-12pm Pacific
In the NISE Network's new Moon Adventure Game, players will work together to solve a series of challenges grounded in real science about living and doing research on the Moon. Members of the team that developed the game will introduce the game's learning objectives, provide an overview of the materials and professional development resources, and prototype testers will share their experiences including adaptations for early childhood visitors. Learn more and sign up to join


American Chemical Society (ACS) Virtual Kids Zone — An Online Chemistry Event

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For the first time, the ACS will host a virtual Kids Zone event as part of its Fall 2020 Virtual National Meeting & Expo. This online educational event will take place on Saturday, August 15th with distinguished guests leading viewers through activities and demonstrations. Presented online multiple times in English and Spanish, learn more about this event and register to attend at


El Seminario Pandémico - Hosted by the Museum of Life and Science and Duke IGNITE

Está claro que la pandemia de 2020 causada por el nuevo coronavirus presenta un serio desafío para una comunicación científica efectiva: las comunidades de todo el mundo necesitan información científica y pautas accesibles, comprensibles, relacionables y precisas de una manera que nunca habíamos visto. Entonces, ¿cuál debería ser la responsabilidad y la respuesta de nuestros centros de ciencia y museos para satisfacer esta necesidad urgente?

It is clear that the 2020 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus presents a serious challenge for effective science communication – communities across the world need accessible, understandable, relatable, and scientifically accurate information and guidelines in a way that we have never seen before. What, then, should be the role, responsibility, and response from our science centers and museums to meet this pressing need? Read the full partner highligh about the Seminario Pandemico program held in partnership between the Museum of Life and Science and Duke IGNITE


Kopernik Observatory & Science Center in New York hosts online Summer STEM Exploration camps

Kopernik Observatory summer STEM Explorations camp image

Although, New York State permitted in person summer day camps, Kopernik decided to instead host a series of eight different week-long online summer STEM camps for students in grades 3-9. Online camps ran daily and included a combination of live presentations and demonstrations by educators and guided at-home hands-on activities. While offering online camps has been a learning experience, Kopernik feels it is important to offer programs to keep the spark of curiosity alive in our youth and show them that we can explore, discover and learn just about anywhere! Read the full partner highlight to learn more about Kopernik's Online Summer Camps.


Partner re-opening experiences with customer service de-escalation training for COVID-19 safety protocols

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Now that many museums and science centers are beginning to reopen with new Covid-19 safety protocols in place, their front line staff are learning to identify, respond to, and de-escalate situations such as when visitors do not physically distance themselves from others, refuse to wear a mask, or are disappointed with changes at the museum such as exhibit closure areas. Read more about NISE Network partners reopening experiences, including staff trainings and real-life visitor situations they have encountered.

Nano and COVID-19: NISE Net activities that help shed light on nano products used to help fight the pandemic

If you've heard of any product that uses nanotechnology to help fight the novel coronavirus, you might need some help explaining this to your visitors. One way that nanotechnology has helped in the fight against Covid-19 is in the area of antimicrobial surfaces, and some NISE Net activities may help in the explanation of this concept. Read more about NISE Net activities that can be used to help foster safety conversations with visitors.


Explore Night Sky Network's new virtual engagement resources

If you're thinking about switching from in-person to virtual star-gazing events, there are a few important things to consider. There are many similarities, some important differences, and even some advantages! Explore more from Night Sky Network's virtual outreach resources and additional astronomy outreach resources.

There's still time to participate in NASA's GLOBE 2020 Community Clouds Challenge

Learn all about the variety of ways that you can engage your visitors in the #CloudChallenge, which runs through August 15th. Find out more about the Community Cloud Challenge and get started today.


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Discover activity ideas for incorporating current science, engineering, and technology content into events, special programming, holidays, and seasonal activities by visiting


Upcoming events


Earth and space news

NASA Mars Rover: Perseverance launches to detect life on the Red Planet 
NASA successfully launched the two thousand pound rover on an Atlas rocket last Thursday, July 30th. Perseverance is scheduled to land on Mars in February 2021 and will collect rock and soil samples to be sent home later this decade.

U.S. eyes building nuclear power plants for Moon and Mars 
The US is looking into developing technology that would allow future Moon and Mars surface missions to utilize nuclear power. The US Energy Department said the reactor is intended to support exploration in the south polar region of the Moon.

Synthetic biology news

A Covid-19 test using CRISPR gene editing technology, coming soon to your doctor's office 
The first point-of-care CRISPR-based product to come to market is not only the latest tool against Covid-19 but also marks a new chapter in health care and diagnostics. This technology will be able to test samples and provide results within 30 minutes.

Nanotechnology news

New fabrication method brings single-crystal perovskite devices closer to viability 
Nanoengineers have developed a new method to fabricate thin crystal films, which act as semiconductors, showing fewer defects, greater efficiency, and enhanced stability possibilities for use in various technologies such as solar cells, optical fibers, LEDs, and more. 


Virtual Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) 2020 Annual Conference

October 19 – 21, 2020
Stay current on ASTC 2020 updates

National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Conferences

Learn more about upcoming conferences