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

Today’s featured book

Hi, Koo! : a year of seasons presented by Koo and Jon J Muth.
Haiku poems about the four seasons.

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

Leaning over a multitouch table, middle schoolers examine a digital underwater environment, shifting blocks across the screen and building lures to capture computerized fish. While the game introduces engineering principles and logic through an entertaining vehicle, the surface of the table is only half the story.

Beneath the table, computers record every move, streaming real-time data to Madison, Wis., to be examined by researchers to better understand what types of games and learning environments foster collaborative behavior and support problem solving in children.

Called “Oztoc” or “cave” in the Aztec Nahuatl language, the project between the University of Wisconsin–Madison and NYSCI is an interactive multitouch table to investigate how collaboration and learning occur during play in informal settings such as museums.

Developed in coordination with Games+Learning+Society, a research group with the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and the School of Education at UW–Madison, the project has reached its home at NYSCI.

To explore the game, which purposefully does not have instructions, players combine physical blocks (representing electronic components) to create circuitry and lights to attract undiscovered underwater creatures. With both collaborative and competitive modes, the game allows learning researchers to target and test specific scenarios, asking broader questions about how children can learn to think like engineers as they problem solve, reason and work with each other.

Funded through NSF’s Research in Engineering Education program, Oztoc was designed to complement NYSCI’s new Design Lab exhibition, which opens on June 7. Design Lab will provide museum visitors with a deeper understanding of engineering and the design process through a variety of activities. Using Oztoc, researchers will explore engineering education issues that will inform the design of future Design Lab activities.

“We’re thinking of new and inventive ways to bring in kids who wouldn’t have thought that engineering might be an activity they enjoy,” says Leilah Lyons, assistant professor of computer science and learning sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of digital learning at NYSCI. Lyons and colleagues are exploring how the game can be designed to engage groups of learners to solve problems together. “As soon as they realize there’s a shared objective, they start emergently organizing themselves. And that’s fantastic because typically one kid might suggest a particular strategy first, but it really does become a shared effort among the group as they engineer a solution.”

In addition to gathering analytics from the game, the team plans to capture behavioral data from players, with the goal of adjusting the game scenarios to explore new research questions.

“Because we can change things on the fly to some extent, we can test out theories and we can say, ‘Oh, it seems like kids who build more complex circuits have a hard time working with other people.’ And then we can change the setup to further test that theory,” says Matthew Berland, Games+Learning+Society researcher and assistant professor of digital media who co-leads the project. “It’s the theory building we’re really interested in. The bigger questions we’re asking relate to how we can build learning environments that work for children with different personalities and interests.”

Berland and Lyons say insight gained from the project can help inform how to build collaborative environments in a variety of informal and formal places such as homes and schools.

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

On May 27, Caroline Placzek, a NYSCI Maker Space resident and former Explainer, attended the 2014 White House Science Fair.

Caroline has worked at NYSCI for six years as an Explainer, and most recently as a Maker Space resident through the Science Career Ladder Institute. In both capacities, she has developed expertise in science and education by helping museum visitors engage with science through exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and after-school programs. The Science Career Ladder has provided education, youth development and career mentorship to more than 3,000 high school and college students since its founding in 1986.

The 2014 White House Science Fair, hosted by President Obama, celebrated the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. This year’s Fair included a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work. The President also announced new steps as part of his Educate to Innovate campaign, an all-hands-on-deck effort to get more girls and boys inspired to excel and to provide the support they need to succeed in these vital subjects.

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

Threatened coastlines, resource depletion and environmental health are urgent concerns for us all. These ocean-related issues have direct impacts on the lives of humans, however, our understanding of the ocean, known as ocean literacy, remains elusive. NYSCI assembled a diverse consortium of scientists, educators and museum experts to develop a report that reviews the current state of ocean literacy and offers recommendations for improvement.

COSEE OCEAN Inquiry Group Report: Opportunities for Creating Lifelong Ocean Science Literacy reviews the state of ocean science education in formal and informal settings and offers suggestions for improving ocean science education. It provides references for hundreds of resources and tools that scientists, educators and organizations can use to help their audiences understand ocean science. Brainchild of Dr. Alan J. Friedman, renowned science communicator and former New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) director who sadly passed away this month, the 124-page report was supported by the National Science Foundation and UMass Boston Oceanographer Dr. Robert F. Chen.

The report can be downloaded at no cost:

Download Report

 

“The relationship between humans and the ocean is intimate and complex, yet, as terrestrial beings, for us it is an alien world,” said Dr. Stephen Uzzo, vice president of science and technology at NYSCI and one of the contributors to the report. “The Inquiry Group Report brings into sharp focus the urgent need to transform learning about the ocean and to provide opportunities for all citizens to be more aware of its influences and to think more deeply about its systems.”

The report includes contributions from Dr. Paul Boyle, senior vice president for conservation and education for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and founder of The Ocean Project; Vincent T. Breslin, professor of science education and environmental studies at Southern Connecticut State University; Lisa Craig Brisson, executive director for the Michigan Museums Association; Dr. John Fraser, a conservation psychologist, architect and educator; Dr. Alan J. Friedman, a physicist and consultant in museum development and science communication; Katie Gardner, an educator at Liberty Science Center; Sarah Schoedinger, senior program manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Education; Dr. Jerry Schubel, president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific; Dr. Stephen Uzzo, vice president for science and technology for the New York Hall of Science; and Dr. Steven Yalowitz, a researcher and evaluator.

COSEE OCEAN: Opportunities for Creating Lifelong Ocean Science Literacy was supported by National Science Foundation sub-award OCE-1038853 to the New York Hall of Science, in collaboration with award OCE-1039130 to the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

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

From the time the City of New York first committed to building a Hall of Science at the 1964-65 World’s Fair, it was with the understanding that a post-Fair expansion would be required to transform the Hall of Science from a World’s Fair pavilion into a major cultural institution on par with its peers in New York City. The particulars concerning that expansion were left for further consideration during the Fair. Memos and minutes of Board meetings from 1964 and 1965 show ongoing discussions about what types of exhibits should be in the expanded museum, who should build it, and how it would be financed. Plans began taking shape as the Hall of Science transitioned into a permanent museum and reopened in 1966. But before there could be new exhibits, there would need to be new buildings.  As a City-owned facility, capital funds would have to be appropriated by the Mayor and City Council.

Ceremonies and op-eds were deployed to build the base of support for expanding the Hall of Science. The New Yorker compared the 1966 opening to the original dedication in 1964. “Now, as then, the apparent purpose of the opening ceremony was to promote interest among civic-minded New Yorkers with money in the Hall of Science.”

An April 1967 Robert Moses op-ed in Newsday made the case for The Science Center at Flushing Meadow. “For several decades New York has sought a science museum or center. This field has somehow been neglected and, as the interest in applied science has skyrocketed with new discoveries and inventions in an expanding universe, the absence of a center for exhibit and education has become obvious and more and more of a reproach to a community which otherwise has well-endowed cultured collections.” As Moses saw it, “a museum, like a cathedral and a city, is not built in a day. It is subject to slow growth and the winds of change. It is no mere passing, generous impulse and no inspiration of the moment.”

the science center at flushing meadow

Mayor Lindsay dreamed of a Hall of Science that would “not only be one of the great science museums of the nation and the world, but also a major center for scientific research and training.” Lindsay predicted that once expanded the Hall of Science “will become a cultural center equal to the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and other such great institutions.” In fact, soon after it reopened, news accounts credited the Hall of Science as the third most popular museum in New York City.

But getting city and federal agencies to appropriate funds is not the same thing as having those funds in hand.  The planned expansion was to be completed by 1969. That future never arrived.

See all posts in the NYSCI Archive.

 

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

Congratulations to NYSCI’s President and CEO, Margaret Honey, for receiving an honorary doctorate from Bank Street Graduate School of Education.

Bank Street College, located in New York City, is an internationally recognized leader in early childhood education, a pioneer in improving the quality of classroom education and teacher preparation, and a national advocate for children and families. Its structure is unique in American education: a free-standing graduate school of education partnered with an onsite independent school for grades preK–8.

In her commencement speech, Margaret said that Bank Street has been central to her career and that she was “bred-in-the-bone at Bank Street.” In addition to her tenure at NYSCI, Margaret’s career includes 15 years at the Education Development Center (EDC), where she served as vice president, and director of EDC’s Center for Children and Technology. She has also collaborated with PBS, CPB and some of the nation’s largest public television stations. Her recent book, Design, Make, Play – Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators, explores strategies for supporting student engagement and deeper learning.

 

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


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Today’s featured book: Curious George plants a tree by Monica Perez, illustrated in the style of H.A. Rey by Anna Grossnickle Hines.

The mischievous monkey learns about protecting the environment by planting trees and recycling paper. Includes tips on conserving energy and resources. With 20 kid-friendly tips for a greener world.

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

Today’s featured book: DNA by Alvin Silverstein. For grades 5-8.

Explains the structure and function of DNA, including how heredity works, how scientists read code, and the treatment of diseases caused by genetic errors, and discusses relevant scientific

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

Today’s featured book: Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine by Katherine Krohn ; illustrated by Al Milgrom.
An account of Dr. Jonas Salk’s work to find a vaccine to prevent polio, a deadly disease that had been plaguing the U.S. and other countries throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Presented in graphic format.

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


On Monday, May 12, 2014, some of the SciPlay team attended the New York City Museum Educators Roundtable annual conference and presented a poster describing the evolution of the SciGames project, now known as the SciPlay Physics Noticing Tool.

NYCMER organizes an annual conference for colleagues to exchange ideas, research, best practices, and programming approaches. This year’s conference theme was “Refresh and Reengage: Museum Communities.” SciPlay’s poster, titled SciGames Implementation and Lessons Learned: Investigating Connections Between Children’s Natural Play and Science Learning, described the evolution of the SciGames project from early prototypes that began in 2011 to the final version that seems almost unrelated to its predecessors. Many of the themes have remained unchanged:

  1. Bridging informal and formal settings, specifically moving the fun from the playground into the learning environment of the classroom.
  2. Reasoning about students’ own data that is generated during the playground experience.
  3. Make it fun! We always want the SciGames experience to be a positive one.
  4. Building an experience that opens up kids’ ability to critical think and problem solve. NYSCI appreciates opportunities for divergent thinking and divergent solutions to problems.

The major lessons learned seem obvious:

  1. K.I.S.S. – Keep it simple. Everything from our design principles to the interaction experience have been stripped down to the minimum necessary to meet learning and engagement goals. In addition, real-life physics is complicated and difficult to think though so simplifying what users see on the screen really will help understanding and make it easier to reason about the science on the playground.
  2. Noticing not gaming. NYSCI as an institution has learned to move away from games and highly structured experiences and is excited to create more and more “noticing tools” that help students notice the math and science in their everyday life. This noticing allows for different, divergent thinking, problem solving, and more opportunities for kids to learn independently and together in ways that benefit them the most.
  3. People and play at the center. In the early designs, we though this meant that using sensors to capture data from students. We were highly dependent on external sensors which were never as reliable as they needed to be. Instead we have refocused so that the data (from videos captured of students) maps to the experience (what do you feel when you do an activity) in a meaningful and less abstract way.

For more information about the SciPlay Physics Noticing Tool, contact sciplay@nysci.org or join our mailing list.

 

2014_SciGames_NYCMER

SciGames is a research and development project housed at New York Hall of Science. NYSCI has been prototyping the SciGames tools for the last 4 years and has used evidenced-based research to revise and improve the design. The focus of this session is to share the conceptualization, development, and implementation of the SciGames tools on playgrounds and science classrooms and to share lessons learned and best practices in the use of technology to connect formal and informal settings. We will tell the story of the evolution of SciGames, present the final products, discuss tool-adoption strategies, and formative research practices.

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

Rebecca Eydt and Leilah Lyons joined the University of Wisconsin- Madison for a play test at the Games Learning and Society Center. Fifteen local middle school children from an after school program specializing in computer sciences visited in order to test out the newly finished table top game. The researchers observed three groups of children during their game play so that developmental changes could be made before the table was shipped to NYSCI.

Prototype of Resistor Block. Images by Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Game Developers Testing the Table. Images by Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Prototypes of Light Blocks. Images by Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Prototypes of Light Blocks. Images by Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Prototype Drawings of the Different Sizes of Fish. Images by Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Prototype Drawings of the Different Sizes of Fish. Images by Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

The play test was a success and the game has since been shipped to NYSCI. Installation will begin this week and research will start. Stay tuned!

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

This Caldecott medal winner details what the first passengers experienced as they traveled West on the transcontinental railroad in the summer of 1869. Available now in the library.

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

Mother Earth’s Counting Book by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Lonnie Sue Johnson.
Gorgeous watercolor illustration show Mother Earth teaching children how to count using plants, animals, lakes, oceans, an continents.Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 11.49.23 AM

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

We launched the NYSCI Archives almost two months ago with a look back at 1966 when the Hall of Science reopened as a permanent museum following the World’s Fair. Two weeks ago, we looked back even further to 1964 and the opening of the Fair, at which time the Hall was still a work in progress.

Today, we jump forward 20 years, to 1984 and the arrival of Alan J. Friedman as Director of the Hall of Science. These memories are difficult ones because we learned yesterday that Alan passed away following a battle with cancer. He is gone too soon. But he left us so much.

In fact, you can say Alan left us everything. Everything the Hall of Science has become would be nothing if not for Alan Friedman.

Hall of Science Names Pioneer as New Director

When Alan arrived in 1984, the Hall of Science had been hollowed: “There was an inch of water on the floor. All the exhibits had been given away. Even the light fixtures had been yanked out of the wall.”

The museum had been closed since 1981. $2.9 million was appropriated in the City capital budget for renovations to include construction of a 13,000 square-foot mezzanine, a 100-seat planetarium, and new lighting, heating and cooling systems. The Board pledged to raise additional private funds for new exhibits and programs. (News accounts differ on the amount of the private fundraising goal. We’ve seen it pegged anywhere from $3 to $8 million.)

In May of 1982, the Daily News observed that inside the Hall “an almost tangible tranquility prevails.” But outside, “paint peels from the Saturn V and Apollo hulls, and graffiti adorn the walls around the space park; chipped cement and scattered stones fill the moat beneath the hall. But a sign at the gate assures: ‘Closed for renovation. Will reopen in 1983.'”

The capital renovations were completed, but in August of 1983, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Bess Myerson declared the Hall a failure and cut City funding. Only, $40,000 of the $8 million private fundraising had been achieved, and Myerson said that the museum would never be successful as it was currently constituted. She also felt the Flushing Meadows location of the Hall was an obstacle too great to overcome. Queens Borough President, Donald Manes, countered that Myerson was suffering from “Manhattanitis.”

A deal was brokered. The Hall of Science received partial funding from the City. A new Board was constituted. And in the aftermath, Alan Friedman was hired as Director.

Never again would the viability of the Hall of Science be called into question. Perhaps Alan’s greatest contribution to the Hall was giving it its permanence. The World’s Fair relic that had been shuttered three times before; the rockets with their peeling paint and graffiti tags; the museum that had given away its exhibits and had no proper entrance.

In the year before he arrived, the Hall of Science had an attendance of zero. In 2006, the year Alan retired, the Hall of Science had 447,000 visitors. In 1984, the Hall had five staff members.  In 2006, there were more than 90 full-time employees and more than 150 high school and college students employed as Explainers in the Science Career Ladder–a program created in 1986 under Alan’s leadership. The museum galleries that in 1984 displayed nothing other than standing water and feral cats boasted more than 450 hands-on exhibits in 2006.

In 1996, a $13 million expansion gave the Hall a new entrance rotunda, driveway, cafe, gift shop and theater. A year later, the 30,000 square-foot Science Playground opened, inspired by outdoor science parks Alan had discovered on a trip to India. In 2001, the rockets were dismantled, shipped to Ohio for restoration, and returned to the new Rocket Park in 2004. Later that year, the $92 million North Wing opened.

These were the major milestones. The minor ones were no less important to shaping the Hall of Science.

His approach was as simple as it was revolutionary. ‘‘Normally museums get together the best experts they can,” he said, ”have them design the exhibits, build them, put them out – and pray they work.”  But Alan’s approach to curating exhibits was a bit more iterative. “If they don’t get the message across, we’ll change them.”

Alan retired in 2006 and became an advisor and consultant to museums and universities worldwide. He ultimately had a 40-year career. He mentored hundreds of museum professionals, many of whom have written to share their memories of Alan. We know how important he was to the Hall of Science, but there’s also ample evidence of his impact and influence elsewhere. He helped us make sense of international student assessments.  He rallied his fellow museum directors to stand with one of their besieged colleagues. Just last month, he looked at what is happening to Detroit’s art museums and wondered “what exactly were the cost-benefit ratios of Newton’s laws, or of the Parthenon?”

We can write more. And we will.  There is much more of Alan Friedman to be discovered in the NYSCI Archives. For now, we miss him. He is gone too soon. But he left us so much.

UPDATE May 7: The New York Times ran Alan’s obituary today. Read it here.

Read all the posts in the NYSCI Archive.

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

einstein-as-myth-and-museToday’s featured book:
Einstein as Myth and Muse by Alan J. Friedman and Carol C. Donley.

Alan Friedman, the late Director of the NY Hall of Science, collaborated with Carol Donley, a literary critic, in order to assess the impact of the revolution in physical theory on literature.

How did quantum theory and the general theory of relativity influence creative writers in the first half of this century? Beyond the community of scientists there was and still is much misunderstanding of Einstein and his achievements.

Friedman and Donley review the impact of his theories on major contemporary writers, and particularly how writers have viewed the material (or ‘real’) world since the 1920s. The central thesis is that modern science does indeed have a deep influence on other aspects of culture, even those far removed, such as serious literature.

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

Today’s featured book:Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 10.57.23 AM
I use science tools by Kelli Hicks.
This book introduces young readers to various tools used in science, including microscopes, magnifying glasses, and rulers.

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

Car Idling Lesson Plan

In this project, students will redesign the traffic flow of drop offs in their school parking lot and teach their fellow students and teachers the benefits of reducing car idling.

Problem worth solving: Think about the numbers of cars in the world that sit, idling, using gas because of traffic that is not moving. Millions of gallons of gas are wasted every day because of this. Major changes to highways and intersections are often not very feasible, however there are other situations where idling is happening that simple solutions could be enacted with new designs. For example, school drop off areas and parking lots where cars idle just waiting in line to park.

Design challenge: Improve the current traffic flow in your school’s parking lot during the morning rush.

Core topics: Design, living environment, engineering, information systems, technology, interdisciplinary problem solving, analyze patterns and trends.

Grades: 6-8th

Time it takes to implement: 8-10 sessions

Teacher Reflections:

Car Idling Teacher Reflections from NYSCI Design Lab on Vimeo.

Materials: Smart phones & video camera, computer

More resources:
People Watching Plus
3-way Street
Osnap (app)
Traffic flow experts around schools

National Standards: STEM Standards

Next Generation Science Standards
Science and Engineering Practices

MS-ETS1-1: Asking Questions and Defining Problems
MS-ETS1-4: Developing and Using Models
MS-ETS1-3: Analyzing and Interpreting Data
MS-ETS1-2: Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Disciplinary Core Ideas
ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Full Lesson Plan, click to download word doc
Car Idling Lesson Plan

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

Updated May 4, 2014 –

Earlier this week, we learned that Alan Friedman had fallen seriously ill. This morning, we received word that Alan has passed away. We are devastated at the loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Mickey.

Alan was Director of NYSCI from 1984-2006. After retiring from NYSCI, Alan became a consultant to museums worldwide. He will always be one of the most respected and loved people in our community.

We created this page as a way for friends and colleagues to share their thoughts and remembrances. We love you, Alan.

You can read more about Alan’s legacy at NYSCI here.

UPDATE May 7: The New York Times ran Alan’s obituary today. Read it here.

Download our special booklet, Thinking of Alan Friedman, which includes transcripts of the tributes shared at the NYSCI Memorial on June 14, 2014, as well as memories and comments submitted to our website.

friedman004

 

 


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

Our Spring book order arrived last week. We love new books. We enjoy all aspects of new books:

1) determining the need

2) researching the titles

3) ordering them

4) anticipating their arrival

5) unpacking the boxes

6) sharing the excitement with our new librarian, Denise, and other NYSCI staff.

7) Offering them to you

 

Today we feature two great titles:

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 9.40.43 AM

Stripes of all types by Susan Stockdale.

An beautifully illustrated introduction to the many ways that animals wear stripes. Includes an afterword with a brief description of each animal and a matching game.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 9.29.08 AM

Madam C.J. Walker and new cosmetics by Katherine Krohn.
Presents a brief biography in graphic novel format of Madam C.J. Walker, who invented a line of African-American hair products and cosmetics that helped her become the first self-made female millionaire.