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Newsletter: November 2018



Celebrating "out of this world" chemistry events across the country

October has been a busy month for NISE Network partners hosting National Chemistry Week and spooky STEM events and festivities, and engaging their audiences in hands-on chemistry activities and other STEM activities from NISE Net's Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry and Frankenstein200 kits. We look forward to seeing partners' Let's Do Chemistry events online throughout the rest of the year!  Check out these great social networking partner shares. Don't forget to tag us online:  #explorescience #nisenet

NISE Network's first participation in the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) Conference was stellar

This year's annual GLPA Conference was hosted by Abrams Planetarium in East Lansing, Michigan and the NISE Network had the pleasure of attending the conference and learning more about the planetaria community. While attending, the Network hosted a booth, hands-on workshops, and presented about the Network during a sponsor showcase luncheon. It was a great opportunity to learn more about how planetaria are engaging with their audiences and introduce many new faces and organizations to the Network. Read more about NISE Network at GLPA and see all that GLPA had to offer

Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition fabrication underway and shipping soon!

Now in final stages of fabrication, the first group of the NISE Network's Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition is in the process of getting its final touches before getting shipped out to partners all across the U.S. Get a behind the scenes look at the fabrication process and what partners awarded the exhibition can expect. To learn more about the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition, visit

Quiet on the set! And action! A new set of training videos has wrapped for the 2019 Explore Science: Earth and Space toolkit

NISE Network project staff from the Museum of Life and Science just completed filming a new set of activity and content training videos to accompany the hands-on activities in the 2019 Explore Science: Earth and Space physical toolkit; videos will also be available online in early 2019. These activity and content training videos are designed to help staff and volunteers facilitate the new Earth and space activities with learners of all ages. Take a more in-depth look at the training video filming process


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


Extending Your Earth & Space Science Exhibits - Free Multimedia Resources from NASA's Universe of Learning, NASA's Eyes, and the NISE Network

Tuesday, November 27, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up now
Are you looking for ways to add low-cost interactive technology to your soon-to-be delivered Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition or other Earth and space science exhibits on your floor? Maybe you want to add a dynamic window into NASA images and missions in a quiet space of your museum? Join us for this discussion where guest presenters will demonstrate various NASA multimedia for visitors to explore during and after their trip to the more

Using the GLOBE Observer App: Your Visitors Contributing Local Environmental Observations to NASA's Satellite Missions

Tuesday, December 4, 2018; 11am-12pm Pacific / 2pm-3pm Eastern - Sign up now
Through the GLOBE Observer, anyone can join the international GLOBE network of citizen scientists, students, teachers, and scientists while learning more about our shared environment. Learn about how your visitors can participate by downloading the GLOBE Observer app and exploring the three exciting in-app observation tools: clouds, mosquito habitat mapper, and land cover. NISE Network staff will also share activities from the Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits thematically connected to each observation more


Online Workshop: Deepening and Extending Family Engagement and Learning Through Interactive Exhibits and Facilitated Hands-on Activities (Recorded)

This online workshop provided a look at two NSF-funded projects, ChemAttitudes and REVEAL, and how they incorporated facilitation strategies into the design of hands-on activities and interactive exhibits. With ChemAttitudes, presenters discussed particular facilitation techniques that can be employed with visitors that may increase visitors’ interest, sense of relevance, and feelings of self-efficacy in the topic of chemistry. REVEAL (Researching the Value of Educator Actions on Learning) is a professional development program to help facilitators become more reflective in their practice and responsive to the complex dynamics of family audiences. View the recording and resources from the 10-23-2018 online workshop


Introducing the #EPSpaceFestival

By Meghan Curry, Insights El Paso Children's Museum

On Saturday, September 29th El Paso, Texas celebrated its first space festival with over 500 attendees, 10 NISE Network Earth & Space activities, 10 local space organizations, and an astronaut!  This was NEVER our intention. What started as a simple plan to host a science event for 100 children from local child crisis centers at the neighborhood Elks Lodge quickly got out of a great way. With growing community support, we were able expand the festival scope to include a Q&A session and group photo with an astronaut, donated NASA materials, raffle prizes, free access for children from group homes, an evening star gazing party the full Partner Highlight to learn about the impact this first of its kind space festival had on El Paso and the surrounding community 


Arkansas State University Museum Presented Scary STEM!

By Jill Kary, Arkansas State University

In this 200th year of Mary Shelley's famous novel, Frankenstein, Arkansas State University Museum celebrated by presenting a Scary STEM event complete with Frankenstein-themed activities. Joined by his Monster and author Mary Shelley, Dr. Victor Frankenstein stepped from the pages of Frankenstein into a makeshift laboratory at ASU Museum where he encouraged his guests to explore and meddle in his "research." Guests even got to participate in a giant, Frankenstein's Monster Operation game the full Partner Highlight to explore all the Scary STEM activities 


Earth and Space News

Mars InSight mission scheduled to land November 26, 2018

The Mars lander, InSight, will be touching down in just a few weeks at a landing site that is a flat, smooth plain that was selected for its lack of surface features. Landing near the equator will ensure enough sunlight to provide adequate power to the stationary lander and to keep it warm all year long, InSight will be studying Mar's deep interior - the first mission ever to do so. By comparing Earth's interior to that of Mars, researchers hope to better understand our solar system. Read the five things to know about InSight's Mars Landing

The moon eclipsed the Sun, then the bees

While millions of eyes were fixed on the Sun during the August 2017 solar eclipse, researchers along with a team of elementary school children and other volunteers were focused on collecting audio recordings of bees as they visited flowers along the path of totality. Researchers expected there to be a gradual decrease in the number of buzzes as it got darker and darker, but they didn't see that. At totality, the bees..Read about what happened to the bees at the moment of totality 

Synthetic Biology News

Caffeine-triggered cells help control blood sugar in diabetic mice

Scientists have engineered human embryonic kidney cells that, in the presence of caffeine, produces a synthetic version of a human molecule that prompts the release of insulin. When these engineered cells were injected into diabetic mice, research showed that the animals' blood-sugar levels could be controlled by adding caffeine to their meals. While in the early stages of development, it could one day replace insulin injections. Read more

Chemistry and Nano News

Scientists think they can use silver to help kill brain-eating amoebas

Although still considered rare, brain infections caused by amoebas are most often life threatening and have no official treatment options. While many antifungal drugs can't cross the blood-brain barrier to treat these types of infections, some drugs used to treat seizure or anxiety can. Early findings recently published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience suggest that using silver nanoparticles as a delivery method in combination with use of anti-seizure drugs can be effective at killing these amoebas. Researchers are continuing to study potential treatments for rare brain-eating diseases


Exploring visitor data from an ongoing multi-institutional visitor study

How much do museums really know about our visitors? At the Collaboration for Ongoing Visitor Experience Studies (COVES), we’re obsessed with this question. Our 22 participating institutions, including several NISE Net partners, have been hard at work collecting visitor experience data. The COVES Project Team has just finished putting together a report of findings from Fiscal Year 18 Aggregate Data. What did we learn? How can you get your institution involved? Read more to find out

Current issue of Connected Science Learning now available online

This issue focuses on STEM learning through afterschool experiences. View CSL Issue 9, Part 1 Linking In-School and Out-of-School STEM Learning

National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) upcoming webinar about 'Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA' Free Resources

Join the NGCP on Thursday, November 8th at 12pm Pacific / 3pm Eastern for the webinar, Exemplary Practices using 'Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA's Free Resources. During this webinar, presenters will provide a brief overview of free NASA resources, along with time to talk with NASA's Universe of Learning team on how to best support your program efforts with the Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA materials. Learn more about NGCP webinar


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.


11/10: International Science Center and Science Museum Day (ISCSMD)

Learn more about how your organization can get involved


11/15: America Recycles Day

SustainABLE digital kit includes Creative Reinvention activity


11/22: Thanksgiving
Did you know that turkey breast feathers are iridescent due to nano-sized structures within the feathers: for more details check out:


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

Planning ahead for 2019
1/20: Total lunar eclipse will be visible from North and South America

SummerA Universe of Stories 2019 Summer Learning Program (nationwide)
Year-long events: 


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

February 14 - 17, 2019; Washington, DC
Meeting theme is Science Transcending Boundaries. Registration now open

American Chemical Society (ACS) 2019 National Meeting 

March 31 - April 4, 2019; Orlando, FL
Explore the meeting theme Chemistry for New Frontiers. Call for abstracts now open

Association of Children's Museums (ACM) Interactivity 2019

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