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Newsletter: October 2018


Application deadline approaching for new Explore Science: Earth & Space 2019 toolkit 

Last call to apply for the Explore Science: Earth & Space 2019 toolkit, which will include some new and exciting hands-on activities as well as some of the “best of” and “partner favorite” activities from past toolkits. The Network will be awarding 350 toolkits to successful applicants and eligible organizations for use in hosting an Earth and space event between March and May 2019. The application deadline is Thursday, November 1st; learn more and apply now

Partners unpack their Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kits! 

The NISE Network's new Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry kits have been delivered to 250 museum and chemistry partners across the country. Partners have been sharing their adventures of unpacking their kits in preparation for October's National Chemistry Week and other public outreach events being hosted between October and December. Check out these great social networking partner shares

Important reminder! Partners who received the physical Let's Do Chemistry kit are strongly encouraged to take a look through your kit and become familiar with activities before hosting your events. Read this update for more information

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein

The latest episode of PBS's The Great American Read delves into the literary world's villains and monsters, and our perceptions of them. The novel Frankenstein explores the potential benefits of science and technology while raising questions about the people who are doing the transforming, their responsibility, and motivations. The NISE Network's Frankenstein200 digital kit is a great resource of hands-on activities that encourages creativity and reflection about responsible innovation, and can provide some additional ideas to make your Halloween programming "spooktacular." Watch the recent episode of The Great American Read (skip to minute 32:00 to hear about Frankenstein)

ASTC 2018 NISE Network recap

This year's 2018 Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Annual Conference was another great opportunity for NISE Network partners and colleagues to reunite through participation in workshops and conference sessions, activities in the exhibit hall and Network booth, as well as at the annual NISE Network Partner Breakfast. See the full round up of the Network's resources and images from this year's ASTC Conference

Coming soon - Annual Partner Survey 2018 invitations

In a few weeks, many of you may receive an invitation via email to participate in the NISE Network's online Annual Partner Survey. Your unique perspectives and input are crucial in helping us assess and improve the experience of participating in the Explore Science: Earth and Space project. The survey should take no more than 20-30 minutes to complete, and to show our appreciation for your time, completion of the online survey will automatically enter you into a drawing to win educational materials. Whether you've completed our annual surveys in the past or this will be your first time, we want to hear from you! So, please fill out the survey even if other people from your organization have already completed one. For questions, please contact Marta Beyer.


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



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 ChemAttitudes and REVEAL projects for a discussion of facilitation strategies you can employ with your visitors...learn          more

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
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 museum...learn more


NISE Network presence at upcoming Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) Meeting in Michigan

The NISE Network will be hosting a booth and other hands-on activities at the 2018 GLPA Conference taking place in East Lansing, Michigan on October 10-13th. Learn more about this conference, and if you plan to attend be sure to stop by and say hi! Learn more about GLPA


Online Workshop: Learn More About the 2019 Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit (Recorded)

During this online workshop, participants were provided a brief introduction to the Explore Science: Earth & Space project and how their organization can become more involved in this exciting opportunity. Also provided was a general overview of what’s in the new 2019 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit, which includes some *new* hands-on activities as well as some of the “best of” and “partner favorite” activities from past toolkits. View the recording and resources from the 9-18-2018 online workshop

Online Workshop: Celebrating the Moon, Our Nearest Neighbor in Space

There are a lot of exciting Moon events coming up: International Observe the Moon Night on October 20, a total lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019, and the July 20, 2019 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 first humans landing on the Moon. This online workshop explores these events and how to celebrate them in your museum, as well as NASA's latest efforts to study the moon. Online workshop recording and resources will be available here soon


Tackling the future of human genome editing one conversation at a time at The Franklin Institute

By Jayatri Das

What is the future of human genome editing? This is a question the Philadelphia community has been tackling through public programming about CRISPR technology at The Franklin Institute (TFI) over the past couple of years. Last month, TFI hosted the Editing Our Evolution forum, taking this conversation with the community one step further. Museum educators hosted a Saturday afternoon children's workshop using Building with Biology activities that ran parallel to the forum allowing parents the opportunity to participate more freely. Among the forum participants, the diversity of expertise and lived experiences helped shaped the conversations and inspired many. Read the full partner highlight for the full forum experience and reactions from participants


A world record breaking event that was out of this world at the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium

By Jen D'Agostino

When your Executive Director asks you to "dream up something big," you dream up something big. And what could be bigger than breaking a Guinness World Record? This past August, the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium located in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, set out to break the record for the Largest Astronomy Lesson in the World. With the possibility of rain in the forecast, the big event was anything but certain but alas the skies were clear and the participants were plentiful. A world-breaking record 1701 particpiants took in an astronomy lesson hosted by a museum educator, but that isn't the only important number for the World Record. Read the full partner highlight to check out the Guinness-by-the-number-stats 


Earth and Space News

NASA's InSight Mars lander touches down November 26
The lander is using cutting edge instruments to go beneath the surface and conduct experiments to help scientists better understand the formation and evolution of Mars, and the present level of tectonic activity. 
Learn more about InSight Lander and
Watch NASA video about InSight Lander

Chemistry News

Chemistry is Out of This World
American Chemical Society's (ACS) National Chemistry Week is an annual public outreach event that brings the excitement of chemistry to children and adults across the U.S. and the world. This year's event takes place October 21-27 with the theme, "Chemistry is Out of This World." 
National Chemistry Week resources are available online

2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry announced
One half of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded to Frances H. Arnold, the first American woman, and fifth woman ever, to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry since the prize's inception 117 years ago for her work on the directed evolution of enzymes. Read more about the 2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Synthetic Biology News

African scientists confident GMO mosquitoes will be game changer in fight to control malaria
The male mosquitoes in this experimental release are sterile and will not be able to produce offspring, therefore they will not have a lasting impact on the insect population. However, the knowledge from this study will serve to inform next stages of sustainable vector control in a country where more than two-thirds of all children are hospitalized for malaria before turning age five. Read about the first-ever release of GE mosquitoes in Africa

Nano News

Going up! Japan to test mini 'space elevator'
This very miniature centimeter-scale experiment is going to be the world's first ever to test elevator movement in space. This idea is not a new one, originally dreamed up in 1895, however with the use of carbon nanotechnology, which is more than 20 times stronger than steel, it could be realized one day in the not too distant future. 
Read more about the space elevator test happening from the International Space Station


Help NASA make a better world land map with GLOBE Observer app

NASA needs your help collecting data through the new Land Cover tool in GLOBE Observer (GO). Why? One reason is to fill in details of the landscape that are too small for global land-mapping satellites to see. Land cover is critical to many different processes on Earth and contributes to a community’s vulnerability to disasters like fire, floods or landslides. Read more and get involved 

Current issue of Connected Science Learning now available online

The final contributions in the Maker-related issue highlights how readers can find out how a mobile makerspace that travels to schools, powwows, and community events throughout a tribal reservation can be made culturally relevant, plus how to construct an origami microscope for less than $1. View CSL Issue 7, Part 3 STEM Learning Through Making Experiences


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.



10/8-14: Astronomy Week; Astronomy Day (October 13)
10/14-20: Earth Science Week
10/15-19: Nuclear Science Week
10/20: International Observe the Moon Night

InOMN is a worlwide, public celebration of lunar science and exploration
10/21-27: National Chemistry Week (NCW)
This year's theme is "Chemistry is Out of this World." 
NCW resources are now available online
10/31: Halloween 
Month-long: Campus Sustainability Month

NASA's Night Sky Network - What's up for October 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
Year-long: International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPTCE)
Year-long: 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon landing (July 20) and Apollo missions 


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

American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring 2019 National Meeting

March 31 - April 4, 2019; Orlando, FL
National meeting theme is Chemistry for New Frontiers. Abstract submission 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