Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network

Saturday, October 1, 2005 to Friday, September 30, 2011
Resource Type:
Project Descriptions
Environment Type: 
Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Resource Centers and Networks
General Public | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists
Chemistry | Engineering | Physics | Technology
Museum of Science, Science Museum of Minnesota, Sciencenter, Multimedia Research

The Museum of Science (MOS) seeks to establish a Network, a national infrastructure designed to foster public awareness, engagement and understanding of nanoscale science and engineering (NSE). As part of this undertaking, MOS will create a set of interactive, media-based and discourse-based educational productes based on NSE; generate new knowledge about design for learning and produce a sustainable network that involves inromal educators and researchers. Core partners are the Exploratorium and the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM). This project will establish for the first-time an open national network that links science centers across the nation, focusing for this award on the development and delivery of exhibits and programs addressing the interdisciplinary content areas of NSE. In addition, the Network will establish ties and collaborative relationships with university-based NSE research centers, including MRSEC's and NSEC's. An educational research and development component will address the challenges of public understanding of a difficult-to-grasp emerging field. Project deliverables will be created primarily at three sites. The Center for NISE Research at the Exploratorium will collect, develop and disseminate knowledge about how to communicate to target audiences. The NISE Center for Public Engagement at MOS will develop a network media framework for dissemination to other science centers, network radio (with WBUR), and produce forums for dialogue and deliberation with adult audiences. The NISE Center for Exhibit and Program Production and Dissemination at SMM will develop interactive exhibits, exhibition packages for distribution, and immersive media environments programs. Development of deliverables will involve the following science-technology center partners: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), OR; New York Hall of Science, NY; Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, TX; Museum of Life and Science, NC; Sciencenter, NY; and Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). NSE research partners include Main Street Science, Cornell University; Materials Research Society; University of Wisconsin Madison, MRSEC Interdisciplinary Education Group; and Purdue University, Envision Center for Data Perceptualization. The resulting Network and the knowledge gained as a result of this project are intended to produce a dramatic improvement in the capacity of the science center field to engage and educate the public about NSE, both in quality and quantity. By Year Five, there are expected to be NSE exhibits and activities at some 100 sites across the nation. In addition, the NSE research community should gain a deeper appreciation of the role that science centers can play as intermediaries in conveying scientific research to the public.

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Project Products

Team Members

Larry BellPrincipal Investigator
Robert Semper Robert Semper Co-Principal Investigator
Thomas RockwellThomas RockwellCo-Principal Investigator
Paul MartinCo-Principal Investigator
Carol Lynn AlpertCo-Principal Investigator
Catherine McCarthy headshotCatherine McCarthyProject Manager
Barbara FlaggEvaluator

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