The Museum of Science, Boston, in partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, has been selected by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to form and lead a national Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Network) comprised of multiple science museums and research institutions, including Purdue.
The NSF award is intended to foster public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology through establishment of a Network, a national infrastructure that links science museums and other informal science education organizations with nanoscale science and engineering research organizations.
The goals of the Network are to:
- Create a sustainable service-oriented infrastructure that supports long-term efforts to educate the public about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, as well as build capacity in the field and within participating institutions.
- Strategically plan, develop, implement, and disseminate educational deliverables of all kinds that foster greater engagement with and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology in a comprehensive way by the general public, as well as K-12 school groups.
- Stimulate educational research and evaluation that add to the nanoscale informal science education knowledge base, inform continuous improvement of both products and processes, and guide the development of future deliverables.
Larry Bell has worked in the Education and Exhibit Departments at the Museum of Science in Boston since 1971 where he has served as Education Associate, Director of Exhibit Research and Planning, Head of Exhibits, Associate Director, Vice President for Exhibits, and Sr. Vice President for Research, Development and Production. Through a series of National Science Foundation grants from 1986 to the present, he developed a new model for science center exhibits employing contructivist learning experiences to provide visitors with practice in scientific thinking skills. Currently he is engaged in the early stages of a strategic plan for informal technology education at the Museum and heads the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network, a major NSF initiative to raise public awareness, understanding, and engagement with nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. He received a B.S. in Physics and an M.S. in Earth and Planetary Science from M.I.T. in 1971.
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