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Newsletter: May 2018


Download new Building with Biology forum "Editing Our Evolution: Rewriting the Human Genome"

As gene editing techniques have become more refined and the possibility of editing the human genome is moving from science fiction to reality, this new Building with Biology forum, "Editing Our Evolution: Rewriting the Human Genome" is designed to allow participants to discuss the future of human genome editing and important concerns for society to address. The forum has been tested in multiple locations over the past year and a group of NISE Network partners have already committed to hosting forums this summer. The forum materials are now free to download online

June 1st deadline to apply for free Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit!

The Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit features hands-on activities and professional development materials that have been designed to stimulate visitors' interest, sense of relevance, and feelings of self-efficacy around chemistry. The kit will include eight hands-on activities and one longer program, as well as additional training materials, guides, safety supplies, and supplemental resources from the American Chemical Society. Kit activities are designed for family audiences with a range of experiences appropriate for visitors ages 6 through adult, with suggestions for younger audiences provided for some activities. Apply now for a free Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit

Online report now available for your 2018 Explore Science: Earth & Space event

Partners who received a 2018 Explore Science: Earth & Space physical toolkit are required to complete an online report no later than June 15, 2018. Submit your report here 


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

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 - Sign up now
Join this discussion to learn more about helpful safety information museum professional can use in the preparation and implementation of public events, with a focus on chemistry events for the upcoming National Chemistry Week and Earth and space more


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

If attending ACM, don't miss out on these NISE Network activities (see full list and details):

  • NISE Network exhibition booth (#31); Wednesday night reception and all day Thursday Stop by, say hi, check out various project resources and sign up for new opportunities
  • Wednesday, May 16; 7:30-8:45am: ACM Networking Breakfast (stop by NISE Net table)
  • Friday, May 18; 7:30-8:45am: NISE Network Partner Breakfast at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel. Come hear about current NISE Network projects and future opportunities (free to attend, no need to RSVP)
  • May 16-18: Professional development sessions that include NISE Network partners 


Chemist Celebrate Earth Week at the Museum of Science: Visitors Dive into Marine Chemistry!

The Museum of Science in collaboration with the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society recently hosted a day of hands-on activities for Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) centered around this year's theme of marine chemistry. This year's event hosted over 80 guest educators from 10 different local schools and organizations and engaged over 700 museum visitors throughout the day! During CCEW, the Museum of Science was able to trial the NISE Net's Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit facilitator training materials, as well as near-final versions of some of the hands-on activities that will be included in the kit. Read more about the Museum's CCEW, including the chemistry kit activities used to engage the public in conversations about marine chemistry.

New "Buy It, or Better Not?" Activity Training Video 

This video explores the many products where we find titanium dioxide (TiO2) in our everyday lives, from chewing gum to sunblock to house paint. Participants get to consider the costs, risks, and benefits of nanoparticles in products. Download digital materials and watch training video

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

The ChemAttitudes project is a collaboration between the NISE Network and the American Chemical Society, and has developed a new Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kit of hands-on activities to engage the public in chemistry and impact attitude's around chemistry. The kit provides a great opportunity for museums to participate in National Chemistry Week 2018. View the recording and resources from the 4-10-2018 online workshop

Online Workshop: Changing the Conversation About Climate (Recorded)

Learn how your organization can be part of a larger movement to change public discourse about climate change to be positive, productive, and solutions-focused. A presenter from the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI) and a NISE Network partner share their knowledge, techniques, and experiences to help empower educators in public dialogue. View the recording and resources from the 5-1-2018 online workshop


From homemade slime to stomp rockets, NC Museum of Natural Sciences hosts Triangle SciTech Expo 

By Kari Wouk, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

On April 28th, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences held the official North Carolina Science Festival, an annual event that brings the wonder and excitement of STEM topics to visitors of all ages! This year, over 5,600 visitors enjoyed a day filled with experiential games, crafts, and hands-on activities, including some of the activities from the 2018 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit. From learning about exoplanets and their transits to filtered light to, everyone's favorite, stomp rockets, each of these activities were able to take complex topics and make it accessible for all visitors, as well as provide opportunities for parent-child interactions. Read more about how Earth and space activities were used in a science festival setting and some valuable partner feedback 


NanoDays Alive & Well in Wisconsin!

By Christina Leavell, Science Museum of Minnesota

It's not a fairy tale. NanoDays is still alive and well, and continues to be hosted at numerous locations throughout the U.S. each year, including in Wisconsin. Since 2013, the Children's Museum of Eau Claire and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) Materials Science Center have been collaborating and continue a thriving relationship built around their annual NanoDays events. One of the most exciting parts of this ongoing collaboration is that the UWEC student volunteers are also part of the Center's K12 outreach group, which educates and inspires the next generation of scientists and engineers by connecting youth to real scientists and engineers in the field! Read more about NanoDays 2018 at the Children's Museum of Eau Claire


Earth and Space News

'Rock it' to Mars
NASA's InSight lander is scheduled to launch on May 5th from California, a historic first for the west coast, and is bound for Mars. This is also the first mission that will study the interior of the planet providing insight about how rocky bodies like Mars, Earth, the moon, and other planets in the solar system formed. Learn more about the InSight mission and additional information on viewing the launch

The awesome wonder of science, in one little video
A new perspective of the moon is shared through this video about a pair of filmakers, a telescope, and their interactions with the public on the streets of Los Angeles. "We all have the same reaction to the universe we live in...and there's something special and unifying about that." Watch this short video 


Synthetic Biology News

Genes behind deadly heart condition found
Scientists say they have identified genes that cause a deadly heart condition that kills 50% of those affected within five years, and can only be cured by transplants of the heart or lungs. These findings could lead to earlier detection of the disease and ultimately new treatments.
Read more about this genetic discovery

Chemistry News

Damage to Great Barrier Reef from global warming is irreversible, scientists say
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's largest living structures and under ocean temperature spikes in 2016 due to global warming have resulted in nearly one-third of the reef's coral being killed. Corals require warm water to thrive but are extremely sensitive to heat, and with greenhouse emissions continuing on their current trajectory, the reef will likely be unrecognizable in 50 years. Read more about the Great Barrier Reef and how global warming is transforming coral reefs

American Chemical Society's Reactions Video: Burning Ice from the Ocean Floor 
Methane typically bubbles through water but under extreme pressure and in the cold temperatures of the ocean, methane hydrate forms. Most methane hydrates are buried in sediments around the edges of continents, binding up methane. However, the most vulnerable hydrates are on land locked up in the Artic thermofrost that is thawing with rising global temperatures.


NISE Network to participate in 2018 NSF's STEM for All video showcase to highlight innovation in STEM education

The NISE Network will be featured in the 2018 STEM for All video showcase funded by the National Science Foundation, which will be hosted online May 14-21. The "NISE Network's Space & Earth Informal STEM Education Project" video highlights the Space & Earth project in collaboration with NASA and a few partner Explore Science: Earth & Space public events from 2017. We welcome partners and the public to view, discuss, and vote! Learn more about the STEM for All video showcase. Voting begins May 14th! Vote here


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.


National Children's Book Week (April 30-May 6)

NASA's Night Sky Network - What's up for May 2018
Learn about astronomical events taking place 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.
May: Deep Space Exploration System: Space Launch System



World Oceans Day (June 8)
Sun and Sand - see Seasonal Events
Summer Camps - see Seasonal Events


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. Registration opens May 31st. Learn more about the Fall ACS Meeting 

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

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

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

February 14-19, 2019; Washington, DC
Theme: "Science Transcending Boundaries." Poster submissions open July 16, 2018. Learn more about AAAS 2019