Background

Since its founding at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) has inspired millions of people—children, teachers, and families– by offering creative, participatory ways to learn and encouraging people to explore their curiosity and nurture their creativity. Located in Queens, the most ethnically diverse county in the country, NYSCI welcomes 500,000 visitors each year and serves thousands more through outreach in schools, teacher professional development, and participation in a variety of public events and research initiatives.

NYSCI is a leader in the science museum field, recognized for its highly regarded exhibitions, programs, and products, all of which are informed by strategies of engagement called Design, Make, Play. The defining characteristics of Design, Make, Play — open-ended exploration, imaginative learning, personal relevance, deep engagement, and delight — are the ingredients that inspire passionate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learners. NYSCI engages diverse communities of learners, particularly young people, in STEM, by fostering the excitement of self-directed exploration and by tapping into the joy of learning intrinsic in young people’s play. Our transformative model for STEM exploration invites broad participation and makes engagement and learning irresistible.

NYSCI has approximately 120 full-time and over 180 part-time staff members.

About the Position

The 2012 Making Meaning Symposium

As the host site for World Maker Faire, NYSCI has been convening national leaders in conversations about learning and engagement as they relate to young people’s passions about making. The first two conferences, funded by Time Warner Cable, the National Science Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Kauffman Foundation, yielded learning frameworks related to DMP methodologies.

This report describes the third of these annual conferences, supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and Time Warner Cable, which took place on October 1, 2012 on the heels of World Maker Faire. Building on the previous meetings and held in collaboration with the Maker Education Initiative, Making Meaning [M2] took a critical look at how to describe and document the learning that takes place when young people make.

The symposium brought together nearly 150 makers, funders, educational researchers, educators from k–12 and informal settings, museum and community- based leaders, and policymakers. Download the report to see a complete list of attendees, the keynote address, young maker profiles and more.

 

Download M2 Report

 

Download Maker Faire Report