1. Brad Herring
  2. Director, National STEM Networks
  3. National Informal STEM Education Network
  4. http://www.nisenet.org/space
  5. Museum of Life and Science
  1. Darrell Porcello
  2. National Informal STEM Education Network
  3. http://www.nisenet.org/space
  4. Arizona State University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Catherine McCarthy

    Catherine McCarthy

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2018 | 02:58 p.m.
    NISE Network partner organizations that make an appearance in the video include events at Roper Mountain Science Center, Greenville, SC; Museum of Science in Boston, MA; Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC;  Sciencenter, Ithaca, NY; Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN; OMSI, Portland, Oregon; The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA, UC Berkeley, CA; Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh, NC, and Solar System Ambassadors.   These are just a handful of the 250 NISE Network partners who hosted Earth & Space events last year.

     

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Darrell Porcello

    Darrell Porcello

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 03:55 p.m.

    These museum events are powered by the Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits from the NISE Network. Each toolkit includes hands-on activities, planning and promotional materials, training and content videos, and info-sheets and posters with beautiful NASA images. 

    You can download the digital versions of the 2017 and 2018 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits from the nisenet.org website. All resources included in the digital toolkit carry a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license to encourage free sharing, use, and remixing of the collection by similar education institutions and users.

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Catherine McCarthy

    Catherine McCarthy

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2018 | 04:12 p.m.

    The Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits were made possible through a cooperative agreement with NASA and is part of the Science Activation Collective.

    Acknowledgements

    This material is based upon work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AC67A.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

  • Icon for: Darrell Porcello

    Darrell Porcello

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 07:48 a.m.

    We should also add the website for the Science Activation collective from NASA Science Mission Directorate. You can see more about projects and resources from the collective at this link.

  • May 14, 2018 | 07:39 p.m.

    Exciting to see the new directions the NISE Net is taking ... and to see some connections at OMSI as well as across the network. May NISE Net live long and prosper! 

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Darrell Porcello

    Darrell Porcello

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 07:52 a.m.

    Thanks Vicki...as one of the people responsible for the DNA of the original network, we are happy to see you here! We are excited to continue working with OMSI on more NISE Net events. Engage! 

  • Icon for: Anushree Bopardikar

    Anushree Bopardikar

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 07:54 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this exciting work. The broad range of informal science institutions where you have disseminated your work is impressive! Based on your experience with diverse settings, what would you say are key needs and challenges to address in making high-quality STEM experiences accessible to the public? For example, did the science educators present particular needs like content knowledge in implementing the hands-on experiences? And were there particular challenges to tackle in fostering connections among scientists and museum educators and audiences?

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Darrell Porcello

    Darrell Porcello

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 08:19 a.m.

    Thanks Anushree...these are great questions! 

    As you know, there are many challenges to grow and support a community of STEM educators connecting with the public. One strategy we have in the network is focusing on the design and development of high-quality STEM hands-on activities we know educators will use. We like to boil our design principles in this quick 5-word mantra:

    Engaging, Authentic, Current, Relevant, & Accessible.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg of a very intensive design & development process we use to make sure all our materials will be successful. We have captured this process in our Development Process on our website. Peer review and formative evaluation are key components of this process to make sure we are including the right amount of facilitation tips and background content knowledge. We like this support to be baked right into the materials and readily accessible in training videos and other just-in-time additions to our toolkit. The hands-on activities guides in the toolkits are the result of a 10+ years learning about and addressing the needs of our museum educator and scientists audiences. 

    This is a big topic...so we are always happy to talk more!

     
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    Anushree Bopardikar
  • Icon for: Anna Hurst

    Anna Hurst

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2018 | 08:29 p.m.

    We at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific have enjoyed our involvement in NISE Network's Earth & Space program, and we were excited that NISE was able to include in your toolkits a couple activities for young children that we developed through our My Sky Tonight program. 

     

    What do you have planned for future Earth & Space kits? Are you looking ahead to any big events, now that we've all caught our breath after the solar eclipse?

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Darrell Porcello

    Darrell Porcello

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 07:58 a.m.

    Hey Anna...thanks for your comments! We have lots of interesting STEM experiences planned for the next Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit, and will continue to work with you and ASP on activities for young children. Like the entire science activation collective we are looking forward to connecting with some of the big NASA anniversaries approaching not to mention the great exoplanet missions starting soon. The eclipse was nothing less than "astronomical" but we know there will be some other great crystallizing moments for our partners over the next few years.  

     
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    Anna Hurst
  • May 15, 2018 | 01:02 a.m.

    It is wonderful to see the network of partners involved in helping to bring these high quality activities to learners and families in so many places. I was struck by the images in your video of how the materials are not just materials for visitors to do the activities, but serve more powerfully as conversation starters to engage in an extended learning conversation with a peer, sibling, or museum educator. 

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
    H Chad Lane
  • Icon for: Darrell Porcello

    Darrell Porcello

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 08:19 a.m.

    Thanks Sherry...starting the conversation is super important to us, and we spend a lot of time thinking about that activity "spark" for visitors and educators while designing the toolkit. 

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
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    Stephanie Kadam

    Informal Educator
    May 15, 2018 | 04:57 p.m.

    Your time is well spent! I love being able to use the kits as examples of well-thought-out museum activities when training staff to develop their own activities. From thorough materials lists, step-by-step directions, and detailed background information to the way you accommodate diverse audiences through Universal Design, the kits are a great resource even beyond their original content objectives. Thanks!

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Catherine McCarthy

    Catherine McCarthy

    Informal Educator
    May 16, 2018 | 11:21 p.m.

    Stephanie,

    Thanks for all your comments  - feedback you and other partners provide to us really help us shape the materials we develop and distribute. Kudos to you and Stepping Stones for all the great work you do engaging your local audiences in STEM topics!

    -Catherine

  • Icon for: Stephen Uzzo

    Stephen Uzzo

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 09:55 a.m.

    Your video clip is well done and characterizes the product and excitement that it generates. And also great to see how well this product is being taken up by the field. Outcomes seem to be focused heavily on dissemination and usage, but would really love to get a sense of how well these activities deepen understanding of the difficult topics they cover. These are really abstract science ideas, and the fact that the activities are so engaging demonstrates the opportunities for really getting to understanding, deepening inquiry, following up on whether visitors are making connections to their lives, relevant topics in science as presented in school, etc. Any of your findings related to evidence of deeper learning would be great to see. Also, based on Sherry's comment, conversations and narratives among participants and users of the products could reveal a lot about what people are learning from the experience, what misconceptions might be corrected, or persist, changes in attitude, etc. lots to potentially mine there.

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Darrell Porcello

    Darrell Porcello

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 07:27 a.m.

    Hey Steve...

    A lot of the evaluation work for the Earth & Space events and materials is still ongoing, but I can point you to a few from the nano era of NISE Net that have insights into content knowledge. 

    NISE Network Public Impacts Summative Evaluation (2012-2015)

    NISE Net Years 6‐10 Evaluation Summary Report (2017)

    Summative Evaluation Study of NanoDays 2014 Events

    While these are nanotechnology focused, the content is no less abstract that Earth and space sciences.

    You are correct that the hands-on activities we develop allow visitors (and facilitators) to see connections in their own lives, thus providing a foundation for further conversations and exploration into these complex STEM topics. We also structure our activities around a content framework that assists us in steering our activities towards clear and streamlined learning objectives. All the facilitator guides for the activities include these objectives, that are further reinforced in activity and content training videos for each activity, giving facilitators a lot of potential structure for their interactions with visitors.

    Misconceptions are also an important topic for us in this project, and we have created a video and quick guide for facilitators to provide simple strategies to use. These resources and others have laid the groundwork for engaging and high-quality STEM experiences for the public, which we have seen in formative evaluation and will continue to observe in larger-scale summative evaluations happening now. We hope to share those results as they become available.

     

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Paul Slater

    Paul Slater

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2018 | 12:41 p.m.

    Excellent video presentation. I believe I heard that you have 100's of kits that you have distributed across the country. Are your hands on activity kits privatized or open source? and how do you disseminate the information across the country?

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Darrell Porcello

    Darrell Porcello

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 09:33 p.m.

    Hi Paul...the NISE Network sent out Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits to 250 partners after a competitive application process in both 2017 and 2018. All our physical toolkits have a digital version. You can download the digital version of the Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits and many other physical toolkits that the network has distributed over the years on this page of our website. All resources included in the digital toolkits carry a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license to encourage free sharing, use, and remixing of the collection by similar education institutions and users. The NISE Networks is committed to sharing high-quality open educational resources we create through our many projects. 

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Lisa Miller

    Lisa Miller

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 08:20 p.m.

    I love all the images and video clips of people engaged with science! They are beautiful to see.  The video mentioned there are over 600 partners.  I'm curious about what challenges have you faced scaling the network to this size? Are you hoping to scale the network even larger?  Thanks!

     
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  • Icon for: Catherine McCarthy

    Catherine McCarthy

    Informal Educator
    May 16, 2018 | 11:18 p.m.

    Hi Lisa,

    Thanks so much for your comments.  

     

    In terms of challenges, we actually have tried to document some of our history in a way that we hope may be useful to other networks:

    The document is entitled, Leading and Managing the NISE Network: Practical Solutions for Creating a Flexible National Network, and triads to capture some of our history as well as some lessons learned that we hope might be useful for others thinking about setting up a network or large project with many partners:
    http://www.nisenet.org/catalog/leading-and-mana...

     

    In terms of the future, we do have some planned growth this coming year in terms of growing from 250 partners receiving physical Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits to 350 toolkits.  In addition, many other institutions and individuals use digital versions of our materials.  

    To answer your question about scale and growth, we have experimented with different kinds of institutional partnerships over the years, but currently our primary partners are informal science education institutions primarily museums and university outreach programs; we don't have the capacity to reach large numbers of K-12 schools, teachers, libraries, and afterschool programs, community organizations, and youth-serving organizations programs directly ourselves; instead we rely on partners collaborating at the local level to partner with these different organizations.  We do have a collaboration guide focused on museum and community collaborations:

    http://www.nisenet.org/collaboration-guide

  • Icon for: H Chad Lane

    H Chad Lane

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2018 | 08:40 p.m.

    I love this kind of work - I find it so encouraging and inspiring. I think there is such potential to really get people excited for science, we just need to put the right system in place to allow it to happen such as this. Have you linked up with other networks, like Science Beyond the Boundaries?  I know NASA is a partner in that network as well. Thanks!

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Darrell Porcello

    Darrell Porcello

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 07:30 a.m.

    Thanks Chad! I wanted to add to Catherine's comment that we also work with the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) to help us broaden our reach to the informal ed community. We'd love any suggestions about networks that you think we should be talking with. We know there are more people out there doing great work!

  • Icon for: Catherine McCarthy

    Catherine McCarthy

    Informal Educator
    May 15, 2018 | 10:04 p.m.

    Hi Chad, our friends at Saint Louis Science Center (founder and manager of  Science Beyond the Boundaries) are very involved with the NISE Network.  

    This coming year we'll be increasing from 250 physical Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkits to 350 - and Science Beyond the Boundaries is at the top of our list for recruiting for these additional institutions. 

    We also have some fantastic advisors who work with us from other networks like National Girls Collaborative Project and Afterschool Alliance.

     
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    H Chad Lane
  • Icon for: Julia Skolnik

    Julia Skolnik

    Informal Educator
    May 17, 2018 | 07:53 a.m.

    Hi NISE Net team! The reach of the network and quality of the resources is very impressive, and I am a big fan. The Franklin Institute is lucky to be a part of the network, thanks to the great work of our Chief Bioscientist Jayatri Das! Catherine has also advised us on Leap into Science for several years, for which we are also very grateful!

    I'm interested to learn more about the desired outcomes for children/families, as well as educators facilitating the activities, of NISE Net activities. What outcomes do you aim to achieve across themes, and are there strategies you use in developing activities and training videos that increase the fidelity to those outcomes? This is something we're working to better understand in our current Leap into Science national initiative.

    Thanks so much!

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Margaret Glass

    Margaret Glass

    Informal Educator
    May 17, 2018 | 10:07 p.m.

    Hi NISE Net team!

    Congratulations on a great video that shows how you are building on the investment in this network. I find Julia's reference to desired outcomes on educators facilitating the activities especially interesting. I see a lot of long-term continuity in the network participants and wonder what effect this might have had on their career choices and professional pathways. Are you studying the impact of participation on the core NISE Net team, or hub leaders?

     
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    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Julia Skolnik

    Julia Skolnik

    Informal Educator
    May 18, 2018 | 06:25 a.m.

    Very interesting question Margaret! That dovetails so nicely with your work - thinking about how being involved in national networks can professionally develop museum staff in their career. These impacts might also be true for library and out-of-school time professionals as well - could be an interesting thing to study!

     
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    Darrell Porcello
    Catherine McCarthy
  • Icon for: Catherine McCarthy

    Catherine McCarthy

    Informal Educator
    May 18, 2018 | 03:36 p.m.

    Margaret and Julia,

    One research study you may find interesting entitled, "Research on Organizational Change in a National Network of Informal Science Education Institutions" examined the NISE Network as a community of practice and how that affected organizations. http://www.nisenet.org/catalog/research-organiz...

    Although the study didn't focus on career choices and professional pathways, it doest touch on questions about effects on staff.  This study researched whether and how affiliation with the NISE Network led to change in informal science education organizations’ (ISEs) practices. This study focused on qualitative case studies of a few organizations and included in-depth interviews with many staff members at each organization over time. By collecting data through a variety of methods—including interviews with staff members, volunteers, and scientist partners as well as onsite observations of meetings and programs—this study gained a rich sense of how each site functioned as a community, how each received, interpreted, and used information from NISE Net, and how this work changed over time.  

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    Tory Spenla

    Undergraduate Student
    May 21, 2018 | 07:10 p.m.

    It’s great to see that you are bringing together a network of people to work together to advocate for STEM. Working through NASA is a great way to get our future generation interested in the topics within STEM. Also, collaboration with local scientists brings out so much excitement for our future generation. 

     
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    Darrell Porcello
  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.