The Challenge: As the nation continues to identify gaps in STEM education and science literacy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Nanotechnology Center is putting a powerful solution directly into the hands of kids, parents and teachers: the Molecularium® Project. The project includes the award-winning Digital Dome show, Molecularium -Riding Snowflakes, Molecules to the MAX!, and NanoSpace, an online virtual theme park with 25 fun, interactive and educational games and activities.  The renowned scientists partnered with CSG to launch NanoSpace® and educate kids, parents and teachers about the free valuable resource, to increase the number of users on the site. CSG continues to build awareness of The Molecularium Project and recently promoted the new Molecules to the MAX! DVD.

Action Steps:

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  • Established partnerships with national associations – such as the National Science Teachers Association – to reach target audiences on their “own turf”
  • Developed all media materials including news releases, pitch letters, fact sheets that were used in media outreach
  • Pitched high profile mass media and science and technology trade media
  • Created a social media strategy to engage new audiences, including teachers, homeschooling parents and media
  • Developed a proposal seeking new funding for foundations and corporations
  • Researched and identified opportunities for award entries and conferences

Results: The number of participants continues to increase as CSG reaches children, parents and teachers through high-profile media coverage and engage with new audiences via social media. A few successes include:

  • NanoSpace was awarded the Center for Digital Education 2013 Best of the Web award
  • Garnered national attention by Wired Magazine’s GeekDad; Channel One (news program reaching students and teachers across the country); Scholastic; Teach and Learning Magazine; and Free Technology for Teachers blog
  • The Molecularium Project participated in the 2014 National Science Teachers Association conference engaging with teachers from across the nation.  The NSTA featured NanoSpace in its national newsletter, and the Molecularium Project continues to obtain widespread attention in the NSTA state chapters’ newsletters, listservs, and/or news updated on their respective websites.  More than 11 state chapters have distributed information to their members (teachers)
  • The Molecularium Project continues to obtain positive reviews in target media and blogs. Highlights including Common Sense Media, HomeSchool Den, among others.

From our perspective...

“It was extraordinarily rewarding to launch NanoSpace, The Molecularium Project’s virtual theme park. Our team of former journalists and social media experts worked with the Molecularium team to closely define the audience of this free resource. While the client was primarily focused on reaching parents and school-aged children, CSG introduced the idea of targeting homeschool teachers and educators. This proved to be an effective strategy as we established partnerships with Channel One and the National Science Teachers Foundation.”