2010 Informal Science Education PI Summit (March 3-5)

The ISE Summit 2010, organized by the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education with support from the National Science Foundation, took place March 3-5, 2010 in Washington, D.C.


Surrounded by Science

The broad goal of the ISE Summit was to mobilize, energize, and empower the informal science education community — including film and broadcast media, science centers and museums, zoos and aquariums, botanical gardens and nature centers, digital media and gaming, science journalism, and youth, community, and after-school programs. Nearly 450 people participated, including principal investigators of NSF grants and others who take an active interest in broad strategic issues that cut across the informal science education field. Together, they reported on impacts of their work, expanded their networks, learned about funding opportunities, explored emerging issues, and  began to build a compelling case for the contributions of informal science education — and the ways we’re all “surrounded by science.”

Nearly 450 people from across the informal science education field gathered for the ISE Summit 2010. The program included a keynote address by Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of NOVA scienceNOW, and presentations by officials from federal agencies and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. There were reports from CAISE Inquiry Groups and other NSF-funded projects that are addressing issues critical to society and to the ISE field. And there were opportunities for robust discussion and emergence of proposals for future collaborative work.

Selected Presentations

Selected presentations from the ISE Summit 2010 are available in PDF format.

Setting the Stage

The Case for Informal Science Education

Federal Agencies Working with the ISE Community

  • NCRR and Informal Science Education (PDF 1.63MB) Barbara Alving, Director, National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health
  • Informal Science and NOAA (PDF 990KB) Richard W. Spinrad, Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • NASA and STEM Education (PDF 1.65MB) Joyce Leavitt Winterton, Associate Administrator for Education, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NSF Workshop: Developing Measurable Impacts and Indicators for Project Monitoring

  • Using the ISE Impacts and Indicators Worksheet – Gary Silverstein, Westat
  • Streamlined Instructions: How to Use the Impact and Indicator Worksheets 
  • Worksheets: ISE Impacts , ISE Indicators 


Extensive documentation by Cathy McEver of the Bureau of Common Sense captures the spirit and substance of the event. It is posted here as a resource for those who participated and others in the field. 

Download (PDF 7.9MB)

  • Opening Remarks: Wendy Pollock, Al DeSena
  • NSF Influence on Informal Science Education: David A. Ucko
  • Word from the White House:Tom Kalil
  • Informal Science Education: Who Are We, and How Did We Get Here?: Bruce V. Lewenstein

The Case for Informal Science Education

Download (PDF 11.8MB) | ISE Community Timeline

  • Introduction: Al DeSena, John Falk
  • Infrastructure Inquiry Group:John Falk, Carlos Manjarrez
  • Policy Study Inquiry Group:Saskia Traill
  • Learning Inquiry Group:Kevin Crowley
  • Synthesis and Reflection:Sheila Grinell, Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Rob Semper, Julie Johnson, Erik Peterson, Rick Borchelt, Wendy Wheeler, Kevin Crowley

Hot Topics in Informal Science Education

Download (PDF 10.9MB)

  • Introduction: Al DeSena
  • Pathways to STEM careers: Jon Miller
  • Connecting the public with the research community: Dennis Schatz
  • ISE opportunities in civil engineering: Robert Reitherman and Denis Mulligan
  • Public engagement with science-based issues: Ellen McCallie
  • Public participation in scientific research: Rick Bonney
  • Older adults and informal science education: Kali Lightfoot
  • Collaborations between informal science education and K–12: Bronwyn Bevan
  • Inclusion, disabilities, and informal science learning: Christine Reich
  • Serious games: Robert Hone
  • Science learning through media creation: Sue Ellen McCann
  • Public attitudes toward climate science: Edward Maibach

How Federal Agencies Are Working with the ISE Community

Download (PDF 4.4MB)

  • Informal Science and NOAA: Richard W. Spinrad
  • National Center for Research Resources, NIH: Barbara Alving
  • NASA and STEM Education: Joyce Leavitt Winterton
  • Q&A: Evaluation Across Federal Agencies

Roundtable Discussion

Download (PDF 3.9MB)