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Newsletter: September 2019


Applications for a free physical 2020 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit of hands-on activities due November 1st

The NISE Network is pleased to offer 350 free Explore Science: Earth & Space 2020 toolkits to new and existing eligible partners in the United States. In collaboration with NASA, the Network has assembled a new toolkit of hands-on Earth and space science experiences, including a new hands-on collaborative Moon game as well as science activities about the Moon. Learn more about the 2020 toolkit, eligibility, and how to apply


Sustainability Fellowships announced

Congratulations to the 94 organizations that are participating in the Sustainability Fellowship program. Participants will take part in professional development and create a project to develop or strengthen sustainability efforts at their museum. See the list of 2019-2020 Sustainability Fellowship organizations


The ASTC Conference is quickly approaching and the NISE Network is looking forward to seeing and talking with partners

We encourage partners, and those interested in learning more about the Network, to stop by the Network booth to talk with team members and to join us for the following activities at ASTC (no RSVP required). 


  • See full NISE Net activity details at the ASTC Conference

  • NISE Network Networking Happy Hour - Friday, 9/20; 6:45-7:45pm; Fort York Tavern (also an ASTC meet-up for people interested in education and programs)

  • NISE Network Partner Breakfast - Monday, 9/23; 7:30-9am; Metro Toronto Convention Centre
    (learn about current and upcoming project opportunities and reconnect with colleagues)

  • Pre-conference Workshops and Concurrent Sessions - see details for NISE Net-related conference workshops and sessions


National Chemistry Week takes place nationwide October 20-26, themed "Marvelous Metals"

Engage your visitors in hands-on chemistry while promoting the value of chemistry in everyday life by hosting a National Chemistry Week event, which will be celebrated nationwide October 20-26th, themed "Marvelous Metals." Take a look at resources from the American Chemical Society (ACS) and NISE Network as you plan your public outreach events:


The NISE Network hosts free online workshops as professional development opportunities for our partners. View upcoming online workshops at


Learn More About the 2020 Explore Science: Earth & Space Toolkit

Tuesday, Sept 10, 2019
2-3pm ET / 11am-12pm PT

Join the NISE Network to learn more about the Earth & Space project, how your organization can get involved and receive the new, free 2020 toolkit. Learn more 

Making Chemistry Matter to Your Public Audiences - Using Hands-on Activities to Stimulate Interest, Relevance, and Self-efficacy

Tuesday, Sept 17, 2019
2-3pm ET / 11am-12pm PT

Hear from project team members as they discuss Explore Science: Let's Do Chemistry project findings and a framework for designing and facilitating hands-on informal chemistry activities with public audiences, and how they might be applied to other STEM topics and National Chemistry Week. Learn more

Empowering Girls in Science Through Growth Mindset and the New Girl Scouts Space Science Badges

Tuesday, Oct 8, 2019
2-3pm ET / 11am-12pm PT

Join us for an online workshop focused on Growth Mindset in girls and the new 2019 Space Science badges for Girl Scouts. Presenters will explore ways to engage and encourage girls in STEM, discuss the newly released badges, the Girl Scouts' STEM strategy, and ways science museums can successfully engage girls in Earth and space science. Learn more


Pop-Up Science with NASA at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, Michigan

By Charles Gibson, Director of Outreach

In July, the 23rd annual GLOBE Meeting took place in Detroit just down the road from Michigan Science Center (MiSci), which presented a new, collaborative opportunity for MiSci's planned Apollo 11 50th anniversary events taking place. NASA-funded educators and scientists attending the GLOBE Meeting worked together with MiSci on a special "pop-up science" event to share their work with the public as well as presented several live interactive presentations to visitors on MiSci's Science Stage that discussed current NASA Earth science and highlighted technology. Through this collaboration with MiSci, it presented a first for the GLOBE Annual Meeting and was such a great experience that they hope to continue making these local connections at future meetings. Read the full partner highlight to learn more about MiSci's Pop-Up Science with NASA events


Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing

By Alicia Morgan, Vice President of Education and Programs

The Frontiers of Flight Museum's "Moon Day" celebrates the past, present, and future of space flight and has become the largest annual space-themed exposition in Texas. Moon Day was established in 2009 by the Museum, in collaboration with the National Space Society of North Texas, as a family-oriented event. This year's event celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with a record-breaking 2,200 visitors who enjoyed exhibits and activities from over 30 local, regional, and national scientific organizations and technology companies. Read the full partner highlight to learn about the many Moon Day activities


Interested in an affordable STEM after-school program for your high school students? Join BioBuilderClub!

BioBuilderClub teams around the world combine engineering approaches and scientific know-how to design, build, test their own project ideas using synthetic biology. Learn more about BioBuilderClub and how to get started

Chat online with other NISE Network partners using the online Ryver forum about Explore Science: Earth and Space topics

Have you received an Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit or are you using the digital version of the toolkit? If so, the NISE Network is partnering with the Museum Alliance to moderate a new Ryver forum space to allow our Earth and Space partners to connect, communicate, and collaborate with each other. Read more about the Ryver forum and how you can get connected to Earth and space discussions


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



NASA's Night Sky Network - Astronomical events for September

Read a Book Month (September)

9/3: Protect Your Groundwater Day

2nd Week: National Aerospace Week​

3rd Week: National Pollution Prevention Week 

9/29: Worldwide Day of Play

9/30-10/6: Astronomy Week


10/5: Astronomy Day

10/5: International Observe the Moon Night

10/20-10/26: National Chemistry Week - "Marvelous Metals"

10/31: Halloween and connections to Frankenstein200 kit

2019 Year-long events


Earth and Space News

Droplets of these simple molecules may have helped kick-start life on Earth
Could a simple class of molecules called alpha hydroxy acids, which act as cell-sized compartments, have helped reactions along in emerging biochemical systems in the lead-up to the origin of life. Could these molecules also provide a lesson in the search for extraterrestrial life?

NASA's James Webb Space telescope has been assembled for the first time
Scheduled to launch in 2021, this spacecraft will be the world's premier space science observatory, which will explore the cosmos using infrared light, from planets and moons within our solar system to the most ancient and distant galleries. 


Chemistry News

Researchers build artificial cells that sense and respond to their environment
Scientists have created artificial cells that mimic biological cells and their responses to a chemical change in their surroundings, in a much simpler way, allowing them to be more easily engineered. Potentially, these artificial systems could be created to sense cancer markers and synthesize a drug within the body.    

Synthetic Biology News

Tardigrades have crash landed on the Moon
Tardigrades, sometimes called "water bears," are some of the toughest animals on Earth and have the ability to survive just about anywhere, including the Moon. In April, a privately funded Israeli lunar lander project crashed on the Moon leaving behind a "library" of Earth, including tardigrades. 

Nano News

This Irish teenager may have a solution for a plastic-free ocean
Microplastics, which are less than 5 millimeters long, are the most common type of marine debris found in the oceans and Great Lakes. One teen has found that in the presence of water, ferrofluids attract the microplastics because both have similar properties. 

  • NISE Net-related products: Ferrofluid hands-on activity


Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) 2019 Annual Conference 

September 21-24, 2019
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Registration open

Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA) Annual Conference

October 23-26 2019
Toledo, Ohio

Registration open

Association of Children's Museums (ACM) InterActivity 2020

May 5-8, 2020
St. Louis, Missouri
Learn more