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

NYSCI’s Evening of Science and Inspiration was a wonderful celebration of our exhibits, our research, and especially the young people we serve. Our 2017 gala provided an opportunity to celebrate and share our work, and to raise crucial unrestricted funds to support our ability to engage and inspire young people through Design-Make-Play.

This year’s Top of the Ladder awardee was Yessenia Bautista, who has a background in education and is currently involved with NYSCI’s Digital Design program for ELL students.

If you would like to help us support programs like this, learn more here.

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

In this activity, you will gather and test how much light passes through the different types of leaves in your neighborhood by utilizing Google’s Science Journal app. Grades: 2nd and 3rd. Duration: 30 – 40 minutes.

 

Have You Ever Noticed Sunlight Passing Through Leaves?

As one of the few planets that can sustain life, Earth hosts a huge variety of life, most of which require light to grow and thrive. One of the best and most obvious examples of this is trees. Even among trees, there a great many varieties. If you take a look around your own neighborhood, you will likely notice many different types of trees with many different types of leaves.

Many people turn to trees for shade when it’s hot out because the leaves block the rays of the sun, but while we may benefit from this, leaves have a very important job to do for the survival of the tree: they must capture the light energy from the sun to power the process of photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, the light energy from the sun powers the chemical reaction to combine carbon dioxide in the air with water. This creates oxygen, which animals breathe, and starchy carbohydrates, which are the energy-packed building blocks of all trees.

Trees that grow in different climates develop different ways of using sunlight for photosynthesis. You can tell a lot about a tree just from the shape of its leaves and how much sunlight each leaf will let through.

 

What Trees Are in Your Neighborhood?

When you walk through your neighborhood, what trees do you see? (Adult supervision required. Classroom teachers can collect leaves for their students if desired.) Gather one leaf from at least three different trees that you see. Most of the time you can just grab a leaf that has fallen to the ground, but if the branches are low enough, make sure to pluck the leaf from the stem. One of the first things to notice is, whether the stem has multiple leaves attached or just one.

 

Identifying Your Green Neighbors

Once you’ve collected some leaves, it’s time to identify them. In the past, this used to be a slow and sometimes difficult process, but today there are lots of tools on the Internet that make it easy. Here is a brief list of some such tools:

If you’ve collected many leaves, it may be helpful to label them as you learn what they are. An easy way to do this is with masking tape and a pen.

Now that you know some of the species of trees in your neighborhood, you can read up about those trees to learn more, but it’s so much more fun to explore first-hand using the leaves you have.

 

Leaf Translucency

As we have learned, leaves block the sun’s rays, creating shade, but some sunlight passes through leaves. How much sunlight passes through depends on how many features the leaf has. Let’s take a look at the leaves that you have.

For this activity you will need the following materials:

  • A cell phone or tablet with the Google Science Journal app.
  • The leaves you have gathered.
  • A flat surface either outdoors or in daylight (a flashlight can be used if done indoors).

 
Make sure the Google Science Journal app (GSJ app) is measuring light or Lux which a measurement of how much light is reaching a given surface.

The light from any source looses intensity the farther away from that source it travels. To give you an idea of the amount of Lux you may experience daily, the full moon provides approximately 1 Lux of illumination while direct sunlight is approximately 30,000 Lux. Average daylight might be around 3,000 Lux (see image above). Your cell phone or device uses the Lux sensor to determine how bright to display the screen; the brighter the ambient light, the brighter the display. Determine where the Lux sensor is located on your cell phone or device. You can place the tip of your finger over various places along the edge of your phone; when you notice the Lux meter reading drop to zero you’ve found the location of the sensor (see image below).

 
1. Hit the record button located at the bottom of the Google Science Journal app to begin recording your first observation.

 
2. Place a leaf over the Lux sensor, being careful not to place your finger over the sensor.

 
3. Press stop on the recording (same button as record) and then press the edit pencil icon (see below) on the top right to name the trial. It’s best to name it after the tree the leaf belonged to.

 
4. Press the back arrow in the top left to return to your observation recording, then tap the eye icon to continue with your observations (see image below).

 
Repeat the process until you have seen how much light gets through each leaf or, in other words, the translucency of each leaf.

 

What Does Leaf Translucency Tell Me?

There are many things that affect the translucency of a leaf. In fact, the more features a leaf has, the less translucent it is likely to be. On one end of the spectrum are thin leaves that are very translucent. These tend to be leaves that grow in fair weather climates where the leaves have access to sunlight, moisture, and rich nutrient-dense soil. One example of this is a mint leaf. On the other end of the spectrum are dense leaves that are much less transparent. These leaves tend to grow in harsher climates that challenge growth in one way or another. One example is an aloe leaf. Aloe plants have fleshy leaves that hold water to sustain the plant during a drought. To help prevent water loss through to the leaves and to reflect excess light away from the plant, aloes have a waxy coating on the outside of the leaves.

So what features did you notice on the leaves you gathered? Did any of them have a fuzzy coating or a waxy coating which can help it to reduce water loss? Were the leaves large, allowing it to collect as much sunlight as possible, or small, narrow and compact, reducing its surface area to gather less sunlight and stay cooler?

Chances are that many of the leaves you have collected share many similarities since they are growing in the same climate. However, even in the same climate, there is variation in trees and different trees develop different adaptations for dealing with their surroundings. Often, the evidence of these adaptations is in the leaves.

 

More on Things That Grow in Your Neighborhood

We hope you have enjoyed exploring tree leaves in your neighborhood. In your adventures gathering leaves, you may have noticed a lot more than just trees growing. There are a great many plants that grow in whatever climate you may live in, even in cracks on the ground. If you expand your observations to include bugs, insects, and other wildlife, you will begin to see the network that exists around you that you may have overlooked before. Consider the fact that all these things need the light from the sun in some way or other. We encourage you to continue exploring your living environment and growing right along with it.


 

Making a Better Speaker activity is made possible with support from Making & Science, an initiative of Google.

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

In this activity, you will explore the built-in accelerometers in a cell phone to sense changes in speed by utilizing Google’s Science Journal app. Grades: 8. Duration: 30 – 45 minutes.

 

What Factors Make a Car Faster or Slower?

The force generated from a car’s engine can propel the vehicle along any plane, but what about a toy car with no engine? What other factors affect its acceleration? A car (or any object) in motion, tends to stay in motion. But when that car is still, it has a tendency to stay still. This tendency to stay in its current state is called inertia and is Newton’s first law of motion: An object continues in its state of motion or rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

Acceleration is what happens when the above “unbalanced force” is introduced. When you say a car is accelerating, that means its speed is changing. It can go faster, slower, or change direction. You can measure a car’s acceleration based on how many meters it moves per second squared (m/s2).

 

Can You Control a Toy Car’s Acceleration?

What can you do to control a toy car’s acceleration? For this exploration, let’s see how the surface of the plane the car travels on, and the angle of that plane, affect its acceleration. We’ll be able to see how far the toy car goes, but we can also directly measure its acceleration.

 

Measuring Acceleration

The Google Science Journal app uses the built-in accelerometers in a cell phone to sense changes in speed. This allows the phone to switch its display mode between portrait and landscape depending on how the phone is held.

Open the Google Science Journal app on your device. Your screen should look like this:

The blue area tells you which sensors data is being displayed, and lists all the sensors available to you including light, sound, X, Y and Z acceleration, and barometric pressure. If you do not see available sensors listed, just click on the arrow circled in red on the left (see image below). The active sensor currently displaying data will have a yellow line underneath it:

 

It’s interesting to note that when using the Google Science Journal app to measure acceleration on the Z axis, you will notice a persistent fluctuation even when the phone is completely still on a stationary surface.

 

This is due to the acceleration created by the gravitational force of the Earth which is approximately 9.8 m/s2.

In addition, you can graph your observations using an acceleration graph:
acceleration graph

 

Create Your Own Test Course

Gather the following materials:

 

  • 1 long strip of cardboard (at least 24 inches in length)
  • 1 toy car
  • Felt or carpet fabric (enough to cover one side of the cardboard)
  • Sandpaper (enough to cover one side of the cardboard)
  • Tape (enough to tape the sandpaper to the cardboard)
  • 2 paper binders (to clamp the felt to the cardboard)
  • 10 cups
  • 1 protractor
  • 1 cell phone (or tablet) with the Google Science Journal app installed

Tape sandpaper to one side of your cardboard strip. Try to cover as much surface area as possible. This will serve as one side of the ramp that the toy car will roll down.

 

Traditionally, vehicle acceleration is tested on drag strips. These are straight tracks usually a ¼ mile long. Using standard sized 81/2” x 11” copy paper, you’ll need to tape together at least eight pieces.

 

Place a distance marker every inch along your drag strip so that you can later measure how far the car travels under various conditions.

 

Rest one end of your cardboard on two cups and lay out your paper drag strip in front of the opposite end of your cardboard.

 

Your entire setup should look similar to the one in the picture below.

 

Next, measure the angle of the cardboard from the base, where it meets the drag strip. Make sure to write down all your observations. So far, this includes the number of cups used and the angle of the cardboard.

 

You’re almost ready to run your first trial, but first, you will need to attach your device to your toy car. How you do this will depend on your device as well as your car’s shape and size. See the image below for a sample.

 

Now it’s time to run your first trial. Press the “record” button located on the bottom of the Google Science Journal app interface (see image below). Point the car towards the drag strip and let it roll. When your car stops rolling, note how many inches it has rolled, stop the recording, and note the maximum acceleration.

 

If you prefer to see your acceleration results in graph form, just click on the graph icon.

You can also record in this graph mode:

 

Your notes should now include the type of surface used for this trial, the angle of the cardboard, number of cups used, and the maximum acceleration/distance traveled by the toy car. You’ll find the provided graph conveniently accommodates documenting these results.

Now that you have documented your first trial, you can change one variable and run a second trial. What are your variables? Which ones will you change? The variables that are directly under your control are:

  1. Type of surface (cardboard, sandpaper or felt) to increase or decrease friction.
  2. Number of cups used to increase or decrease the height or angle of the cardboard ramp.

Testing Tip:
For your second trial, as well as all following trials, it’s important to change only one variable and keep everything else you do the same. This way you can be sure that the results you observe later are only due to the changes you have made.

 

Make Predictions

Do you think the toy car will accelerate faster on the felt, cardboard or sandpaper surface? What about the angle of the cardboard? Does a greater angle = greater acceleration? Make a prediction before you continue to see if you are right. Continue running trials.

 

Results – What Happened?

Did you try all surfaces? Did you try at least two different angles? Under which conditions did the toy car travel the farthest? Which conditions lead to the most acceleration? You may have noticed that the different surfaces had different effects on the toy car’s acceleration. These different surfaces introduced varying amounts of force into the equation depending on the type of surface. The force created by these surfaces runs against the acceleration, thereby causing a decrease in acceleration. Were you able to determine which surface slowed the car down the most? Now that you know the results, do you think you can control how far/fast the toy car goes?

 

Ready for an Extra Challenge?

Challenge 1: You may find it easy to get the car to go very far, or even slow it down enough that it barely travels past the ramp, but can you control just how much it travels? Get the toy car to go 46 inches down the paper drag strip. (Anything above or below this amount does not count. Strategy and control are very important to accomplish this challenge.)

Challenge 2: Spoiler Alert! The highest angle (though under 90 degrees) you place the ramp in while using the smoothest surface will give you the greatest acceleration. But can you control the conditions enough to reach a target acceleration? Reach a peak acceleration of 18 m/s2 manipulating only ramp angle and surface type.

 

More on Motion

We hope you have enjoyed exploring Newton’s first law of motion through your acceleration experiments. If you are inspired to learn more, then you are in luck! Whether you want to continue exploring acceleration through making a bobsled or are interested in learning about the forces of flight through creating a human-powered flying machine, there are more hands-on activities for you to explore on our learnXdesign website.


 

0 – 60 mph: An Exploration of Acceleration activity is made possible with support from Making & Science, an initiative of Google.

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

Why Do Buildings Fall Down During Earthquakes?

How would a one or two-story building behave in an earthquake? How do the building’s materials used affect the stability of the structure? How does the way those materials are joined or connected influence the behavior of a falling structure?

From the perspective of an engineer, failures are important. Houses are built to stand up; it’s when they fall down that a problem presents itself. Each failure provides new information about how a house can fall down, about what works, and what doesn’t. In this activity, you will investigate how a house collapses and then build a structure to test various ways to use materials to withstand an earthquake.

Can You Design a Structure to Withstand an Earthquake?

The first step is to understand how and why a structure collapses during an earthquake. How might a house frame behave in an earthquake, and what is the best way to make it earthquake resistant?

Earthquakes are usually measured using a seismograph, but this activity is more concerned with how structures are affected by the shaking caused by an earthquake. You will use meters per second squared (m/s2) to determine the acceleration of the structure. Fortunately, Google’s Science Journal app makes this easy by utilizing the accelerometer built into many modern cell phone and tablet devices.

 

Set Up Your Own Earthquake Simulator

Gather the following materials:

  • 2 equally sized pieces of cardboard (These must be larger than the size of the structure you will build so that the structure can rest on it.)
  • 4 marbles
  • 2 large rubber bands
  • Device with the Science Journal app
  • Tape

Evenly place the rubber bands around the two pieces of cardboard. Squeeze the marbles in between the two pieces of cardboard as evenly distributed as possible. If you tug on one of the cardboard pieces, it should shake.

You now have your earthquake simulator! The structure you build will go directly on top to test its earthquake readiness.

Next, tape your device with the Science Journal app onto the top surface of your earthquake simulator. Make sure to leave plenty of room for the structure you will create. Your setup should look similar to the image below:


Make sure the Science Journal app is measuring acceleration in the appropriate direction and give it a test. You should be able to get at least 6 m/s2 (meters per second squared) worth of vibration from your simulator.

 

Time To Build Your Structure

There are many things you can use and many ways to complete this activity. The following lists include potential materials to get you started. Feel free to experiment with other materials.

Edible Materials

  • Graham crackers
  • Frosting or fluff
  • Plastic knives
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Tape
  • Sugar cubes
  • Cardboard or construction paper (to serve as a base for your structure)

Simple Materials

  • Cardboard (ideally uniform pieces)
  • Tape
  • Scissors or crafting blade
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Rubber bands
  • Cardstock/Construction paper

Some questions you need to answer before you begin construction are:

  • How many stories will your structure be? Why?
  • How will you connect and join the pieces?
  • What will the overall shape of the structure be?

Once you’ve answered these questions and made your design choices, it’s time to make your structure. This is your opportunity to let your creativity flow. Explore a variety of ways to use the materials you have chosen and see which proves most efficient.

Here are some ideas for joining two pieces of cardboard (or other materials) together:

Try using slots.

Slotted joints can be very effective depending on where your structure bears weight. Tip: When cutting slots, make sure they’re not bigger than the thickness of the material, otherwise your joint will be very loose and unstable.

Don’t be afraid to try different shapes.

You can also try using popsicle sticks as cross-cutting beams.




Of course, you can use tape or other materials you would like to experiment with to attach pieces.


In addition to the above ideas, there are plenty of resources online for different types of joints. Often, the type of joint you use will depend on the type of material you are using, but inspiration can come from imagining what is possible. Have a look at the following websites for possible ideas:
http://www.craftsmanspace.com/knowledge/woodworking-joints.html
http://cardboardchair.weebly.com/
https://www.theartofed.com/2016/06/24/6-amazing-things-tab/

Building Tip:
Be sure to secure your structure onto the top of the earthquake simulator so that it does not slide off when it is being shaken!

Your finished structure should be fastened to its cardboard base. The cardboard base, the structure and the device with the Science Journal app should be fastened to the earthquake simulator like so:

 

Make Predictions

Take a minute to predict what will happen to your building/structure. Do you think it will stay upright? How long do you think it will be able to withstand the earthquake? Can you predict what the weakest part of your structure is? To achieve a successful design, engineers imagine how a design might fail; their job is to identify (and prevent) each way the design could fail.

 

Shake the House!

Now imagine there is an earthquake and the ground beneath the house shakes. The average earthquake lasts between 10 – 30 seconds. Keep shaking your simulator for 30 seconds. Try to get the Science Journal app to a peak acceleration of 6 m/s2. What happens to the house?

 

Results—What Happened?

Evaluate the test results to determine why it may have failed. Now that you have seen how your design handled a simulated earthquake, there will be a whole new series of questions to answer. Was your guess about the weakest part of the structure correct? Did anything unexpected happen? How do you think the way you shook your structure comes into play – how would frequency, amplitude, and duration affect the results?

 

Redesign

Making your observations and forming new questions will give you ideas to make improvements and prevent the same weaknesses from causing another failure. You can use the same materials. However, if you think one of the materials used was part of the problem, consider trying other materials.

 

Real Earthquakes

For this activity, we are just simulating earthquakes. The truth is, real earthquakes can be much more complex. An earthquake is the shaking of the Earth caused by pieces of the Earth’s upper crust, or tectonic plates, suddenly shifting. This shifting of tectonic plates causes the ground to shake in many directions. When the shaking occurs, structures can potentially get thrown from side to side and/or up and down, but the structures have entropy; this means that a structure that is resting with no acceleration tries to remain at rest. The problem is, the tectonic plate that it’s resting on is moving. This is illustrated below:

Another factor that affects structures during an earthquake is what that structure is built on. The surface over the tectonic plate can be hard rock of soft soil. Before actual construction workers begin the process of making a building there are many things to consider. Will the materials be strong, rigid and well reinforced, or flexible, thereby able to absorb movement without deforming? Also, is the planned construction site near a fault or in a place that has a higher chance of earthquakes? Often, hazard maps like this one will be used:

The green, outer portions of the map are farthest away from the fault line located in the center of the map. Areas closing in on the center gradually change colors from yellow to red indicating an increasingly greater risk of experiencing earthquakes. (Hazard Map courtesy of Dr. Robert Herrmann, Saint Louis University)
As you try this activity, we encourage you to learn more about earthquakes. Have a look at the research being run by the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER). But most of all, we encourage you to try out your own ideas. There is nothing like learning first hand what works and what doesn’t work.


 

Shake, Rattle and Roll – An Earthquake Simulation activity is made possible with support from Making & Science, an initiative of Google.

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

In this activity, you will explore methods for visualizing sound and then create a device to amplify the sounds generated from a cell phone or tablet by utilizing Google’s Science Journal app.

Materials:
Clear drinking glasses

  • Water
  • Tuning forks
  • Balloons
  • Crisped rice cereal
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Small Mylar sheets (the size of a small index card is sufficient)
  • Coffee Canisters
  • Laser pointers
  • Paper towels
  • Rubber bands
  • Tape

 

Investigation #1: Seeing Sound Waves
  1. Fill a drinking glass or clear container with water.
  2. Strike the side of the table gently with the tuning fork.
  3. Look at the tips of the tuning fork after you strike it. What do you see, hear or feel?
  4. Make the tuning fork vibrate.
  5. Once the tuning fork vibrates, place it gently in the water. What happens to the water? Are there different effects if the tuning fork comes close to the water but doesn’t touch the water?

What’s Happening?

Sounds are vibrations that move through matter. When a tuning fork is struck, you cannot see the sound waves move out from the tuning fork, but you can hear them. When the tuning fork vibrates, air molecules quickly bounce off the fork. The vibrations move through the air until they reach your ear, causing it to hear a sound. The vibration of air molecules is invisible to us. However, we can witness this vibration if it occurs in a denser medium such as water.

 

Investigation #2: Crisped Rice Cereal Dance
  1. Place half a teaspoon of crisped rice cereal in an empty balloon.
  2. Gently blow up the balloon and tie it securely.
  3. Strike your tuning fork to create vibrations and place the tuning fork on the balloon where the cereal is resting in the balloon (usually at the bottom). Predict what will happen and then compare your predictions with your observations.

What’s Happening?

The vibrations from the tuning fork cause the balloon to vibrate which causes the cereal to move around in the balloon.

 

Investigation #3: Seeing Sound Tube
  1. Gather a balloon, a small sheet of Mylar, a rubber band, the scissors and the laser.
  2. Cut the top of the balloon off, leaving the rounded part intact.
  3. Place the balloon firmly on the toilet paper tube so the balloon is stretched as far as it can go.
  4. Reinforce the balloon with the rubber band to keep it in place.
  5. Cut three or four 1/2-inch-squares of Mylar and tape them onto the balloon surface.
  6. Ask a partner to shine the laser onto the Mylar while the tube is aimed downward at an angle. The reflection of the laser should hit the table.
  7. Cup your hand over the tube and place your mouth on your cupped hand. Talk into the tube. What do you observe? What happens when you change the pitch of your voice?

What’s Happening?

The vibration from your voice travels into the tube and hits the inner surface of the balloon, which vibrates the balloon and the Mylar, creating different shapes in the projected laser image on the table. Changes in pitch will create changes in the laser image.

What can we say about sound based on our experiments?

When something moves quickly back and forth, it is vibrating. You hear a sound when a moving object makes the air vibrate. These vibrations are called sound waves and can travel through any substance, whether it is a solid (like metal), a liquid (like water), or a gas (like air), but the speed at which sound waves travel is different in each substance. Substances are made up of molecules. The more tightly “packed” the molecules are, such as in solid objects, the quicker the sound waves can travel. More loosely “packed” molecules (like air), cause the waves to move more slowly. Sound waves travel the fastest through solids, followed by water, and then air.

Vibrations also create different notes or pitches. High-pitched sounds, such as the sound of a whistle, create waves that are close together. Lower-pitched sounds, like thunder, create waves that are farther apart. The pitch of a sound is determined by its frequency. Frequency is the number of waves that pass a point in one second. The higher the frequency, the higher the pitch. The lower the frequency, the lower the pitch. The length of a vibrating object contributes to the pitch.

 

WHAT’S NEXT? TURN IT UP!

 

Make A Better Speaker Challenge

In this design engineering activity, you will amplify the sounds coming from a device of your choice by using simple, everyday materials.

First, gather recyclable materials. We suggest the following:

  • Portable music player or cell phone, or tablet
  • Headphones
  • Cups (plastic or foam)
  • Various types of paper
  • Canisters
  • Toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Plastic bottles
  • Bowls
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Cell phone or tablet with the Google Science Journal app

Create a speaker that will amplify the sound coming from your mobile device. You can use any of the materials in a way that you think will amplify the sound. Then use the Google Science Journal app to measure if your design increased the sound waves emitted from your device.

Step 1. Investigate the materials available to create your design. What are they made of and how can you arrange them so that they will amplify sound?

Step 2. Create an initial sketch of what you would like to make, label the parts, or describe your idea.

Step 3. Start making your speaker and attach it to your mobile device. This is your prototype!

Step 4. Turn the device on and use the Google Science Journal app to measure the decibel output of your design. Compare it to the decibel output of your phone without your prototype attached to it. Did it improve the sound?

Step 5. The best designs are always based on a previous design that failed in some way. Reiterate your design to try to make it even better.

Hints:

Sounds can be made louder or amplified in a number of ways. By providing more energy in making the sound, its loudness can be increased. This could be achieved by beating a drum with greater vigor, blowing harder on the recorder, or using more energy when shouting. Electricity can supply the extra energy needed to increase the volume of sound, for instance in a hi-fi amplifier. When a stylus rests in the grooves of a rotating vinyl record, it is made to vibrate with very small movements. These movements are turned into small electrical impulses and sent to the amplifier of the hi-fi system. Here the small electrical currents are made larger and sent to the loudspeaker system where they are converted into the much larger vibrations of the speaker cone. A microphone picks up the small vibrations from the voice in a similar way. The tiny movements inside the microphone of a coil of wire inside a strong magnet can be turned into small electrical impulses. These once more can be amplified by an electronic system and made to drive a loudspeaker.

Funneling sound waves into the ear can also increase the volume of sound we hear. The outer ear already provides a funneling effect but a hearing trumpet will improve this. Holding our hands behind our ears will also have an impressive effect on the volume of sound received.

Another way in which sounds can be amplified is seen on the acoustic guitar, violin, drum, xylophone and many other instruments. These types of instruments are basically hollow sound boxes made of rigid material and often with a hole in. The small sound made by the instrument enables the sound box to reverberate and thus to project the sound further away from the instrument.

While there are many ways to create a speaker using the materials listed above, the following is a step-by-step detail of one possible way to do so.

 

Figure 1: Gather the materials you’ve chosen to use. Pictured is a cell phone, 2 cups, a toilet paper roll, a ruler, a pen and a precision blade.

 

Figure 2: Measure and mark the center of the toilet paper roll.

 

Figure 3: Since the built-in speaker on the phone is on the bottom, it was necessary to trace the shape of the bottom of the phone to prepare for cutting.

 

Figure 4: Cut the traced shape out of your toilet paper roll cutting an extra 1/8 inch to create flaps at the ends as pictured below.

 

Figure 5: Trace the shape of the toilet paper roll onto the side of each cup to prepare for cutting.

 

Figure 6: Try to make the holes in both cups identical.

 

Figure 7: Fit either end of your toilet paper roll into the holes in the cups.

 

Figure 8: Arrange the phone so that it points upward and the top of the cups face the direction you want the sound to be the loudest.

 

See if you can come up with a different way to amplify the sounds from your device using simple materials.


 

Making a Better Speaker activity is made possible with support from Making & Science, an initiative of Google.

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


Picture Dots is an iOS app designed to assist young children and their grown-ups engage in conversations about what they notice in the world. The app invites families to take a photo of something they see in their daily life. Children can then drag red, green, blue and yellow dots onto the photo and assign each dot a sound, a word or a phrase. When they press play, they can hear the story they created.

Picture Dots is part of the Noticing Tools™ app suite that promotes STEM learning for children. Picture Dots uses NYSCI’s Design, Make, Play approach, which puts children at the center of learning, engaging children as creators of content. Design, Make, Play emphasizes open-ended exploration, imaginative learning and personal relevance, resulting in deep engagement and delight in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Picture Dots are accompanied by storybook guides for children and parents and will be ready to download in Summer 2017.

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

mobile ecosystem

Our mobile devices can pay bills, deposit checks, connect us with friends in faraway places, provide the latest weather forecast, and make light work of an 800-page book. At this point, it seems that the only thing our digital devices can’t do is save the world. But that’s about to change.

In a few short years, a new portable experience will be ready to take on one of our society’s most pressing issues: how to balance the needs of various stakeholders in an ecosystem.

NYSCI’s new mobile application will challenge users to solve problems in a simulated world of playful creatures and vibrant flora. The world will be composed of interconnected ecosystems where players can control the behaviors of creatures to accomplish goals and respond to changes in the health of the habitats. The experience will allow players to work by themselves or join with friends to collaborate or compete.

Funded by the National Science Foundation and the JPB Foundation, the initiative is a collaborative effort between NYSCI, Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network, and Design I/O.

The application was recently a part of a White House Fact Sheet listing new commitments to President Obama’s Computer Science for All Initiative, a bold plan to give every American student the opportunity to learn computer science.

Inspired by NYSCI’s Connected Worlds exhibition, the application will get middle school students using the kinds of computational ideas (sequences, loops, variables, conditionals and events) and models that ecologists use to solve problems in environmental science. The goal is to get kids interested in ecology, and ultimately, to use their brainpower to help save our favorite planet.

 


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1543144.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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

Gain new perspectives on the exhibits of NSYCI with three super fun Monkey Spot Scavenger Hunts. See what you can discover about eating, moving, and hacking.

Downloads are FREE.
Available for iPhone and Android!
 
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For Apple Products: Requires iOS 7.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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For Android: Requires 4.1 and up. Android users require a code to download the app. Please contact publicprograms@nysci.org for the code.

Eat
How can cooking and eating be more fun and healthy? Explore NYSCI to learn how food relates to energy and can be used as fuel to do more and better things.
 
Move
Learn about momentum, energy and different forms of transportation, and
discover the causes and effects of movement throughout NYSCI.

Hack
To hack is to be clever and creative, and to make things your own.
Use your ingenuity to see NYSCI in different ways.

Monkey Spot Scavenger Hunts turn any place into an adventure! The thought-provoking clues prompt kids to take photographs, ask questions, perform tricks, tell stories, and document the world and people around them. Along the way kids make discoveries, create art, and get to know people. Our ever-expanding library of scavenger hunts ranges from bedrooms, backyards, and restaurants to museums, zoos, and airports.

Monkey Bar Collective: Monkey Bar Collective is a game design and production company specializing in children’s games. Founders Amy Kraft and Sharon Bilman combined have 30 years experience making games for kids. Monkey Spot is our first homegrown original app.

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

As New Yorkers head to the polls this Tuesday, there are still 5% of Republican voters and 3% of Democratic voters who remain undecided according to a recent poll of likely primary voters. This in spite of a deluge of information, often fueled by data from exit polls and opinion polls at every step and turn of the primary season. Today, the New York Times even took an informal look at which candidate is a true New Yorker, using images of pizza slices to show their ratings on things like accent, attitude, and whether or not they’ve seen the Broadway hit Hamilton.

This election year, one thing is clear: Someone out there is having a lot of fun with math.

And now you can too.

Using our Fraction Mash app, you can take photos of your two favorite presidential hopefuls and merge them into your ideal candidate. Perhaps you like 5/8ths of Clinton’s views, but want to add 3/8ths of Sanders. Or you prefer 5/8th Trump with 3/8th Cruz. You even get to choose what fraction size each piece of your presidential puzzle should be. Maybe you like your puzzle pieces to be big and bold – 1/8 or 1/16 pieces may be best for you. Or maybe you like them small and precise – 1/100 or even 1/625. You decide. The power is in your hands.

So what if you haven’t decided who you’ll vote for on Tuesday. You’re a New Yorker, you’ll figure out what to do. You’re used to deciding among many choices at the last minute – what party to go to, sushi or samosas for dinner, cab or subway, standard deduction or itemized.

You still have a few days to make up your mind about Tuesday’s primary. In the meantime, have some fun with fractions and decide what your ideal presidential candidate would look like. For some of you, that may be the easiest decision you make all month.

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

noticing_page
NYSCI’s Noticing Tools™, a suite of five math and science apps, has been selected as a Science Learning Challenge winner by NewSchools Venture Fund, a philanthropic investor headquartered in Oakland, Calif. NewSchools Ignite supports entrepreneurs working to address the most pressing gaps in K–12 education technology, specifically engaging a broad array of learners in science. The award includes a generous grant, along with business advisory support and access to a team of cognitive scientists focused on applying the latest in learning science to product design. Competition for this program was intense – although more than 100 companies and organizations applied, NYSCI is one of only 15 selected to be part of NewSchools Ignite’s first cohort.

The Noticing Tools™ suite of iPad apps helps students make mathematics discoveries through their own play and compelling and playful design projects. One of the apps in this suite, Playground Physics, was among Fast Company’s 2015 Innovation By Design Award Winners for Data Visualization and was named a Best New App in the worldwide App Store following its launch.

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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

noticingpress_page
NYSCI’s Noticing Tools™, launched in 2015, are a ground-breaking suite of iPad apps that make learning math and science irresistible through play, creative design projects, and collaboration. Here’s what the press have to say about these unique digital tools:

  • Fast Co. Design: “Want Kids To Be More Interested in STEM Classes? There’s An App For That”
  • New York Times: “Apps to Bring Math and Science Skills Back After Summer’s Slide”
  • Fast Company: Noticing Tools™ Awarded With Innovation by Design Award for Data Visualization

 

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 August 17, NYSCI visited the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square to ring the Opening Bell. The occasion marked the release of the Noticing Tools™, a groundbreaking suite of iPad apps that will aid parents and educators in teaching children math and science concepts. Margaret Honey, NYSCI’s president and chief executive officer, rang the Opening Bell and was presented with a commemorative gift by Anna Ewing, executive vice president and chief information officer of Nasdaq, and a trustee of NYSCI.

The Opening Bell ceremony was broadcast live by CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox Business News and BNN, and via a live feed on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square and on nasdaq.com.

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Above photo: NYSCI staff, trustees and friends gather at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square to ring the Opening Bell. Photo by Christopher Galluzzo, (c) 2015, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Top photo: NYSCI’s Margaret Honey is presented with a special gift by Nasdaq’s Anna Ewing. Photo by Christopher Galluzzo, (c) 2015, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

View additional photos from the event on our Flickr site.

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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

NYSCI’s five new iPad apps will motivate students to learn fundamental math and science concepts and give teachers and parents a set of mobile resources that can inspire children’s everyday explorations in the classroom, at home, on the playground or just about anywhere else. Collectively known as Noticing Tools™, the five apps are now available in the App Store. We created Noticing Tools™ in collaboration with Local Projects, a media design firm for museums, brands and public spaces.

The apps that make up the Noticing Tools™ suite embody our Design-Make-Play approach to learning, which invites a broad array of learners to explore complex concepts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM.) These are among the same concepts that often discourage learners from pursuing STEM education and careers.

With the Noticing Tools™, users can measure distances, capture photos and videos for documentation, and create notations and narratives about all types of data. The apps, designed for students in upper elementary grades through high school, include:

  • Playground Physics – Focuses on the science concepts of force, motion and energy. Using this app, students record ordinary play activities such as tossing a ball and then playback the recording in the motion, energy or force modes to discover and analyze the physics of that activity. The app and accompanying curriculum activities are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
  • Choreo Graph – Allows users to learn about rotation, translation and reflection. With this app, users create an animated character from photos and explore graphs and coordinate geometry to choreograph dance moves for their character. The app and corresponding curriculum activities address Common Core Math Standards (CCSM).
  • Fraction Mash – App users explore fractions while creating mashups of two or more photos, manipulating the size and number of pieces from each individual photo. The app and accompanying curriculum activities address Common Core Standards for Mathematics (CCSM).
  • Size Wise – Users explore ratios and proportions while creating forced perspective photographs. The app encourages users to reason proportionally while creating images where something large appears small, or vice versa. The app and curriculum activities are aligned to the Common Core Standards for Mathematics (CCSM).
  • Volumize – With this app, users can take two-dimensional photos and make them three-dimensional models. In the process, they’ll explore the relationship between surface area and volume.

Aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Standards for Mathematics, the open-ended apps and supporting resources offer a creative platform for students of any age to explore math and science through self-guided projects they find intrinsically motivating. Educators and parents will find theNoticing Tools™ useful for doing many types of activities and supporting lesson plans on a broad range of topics. The Noticing Tools™ website also features a gallery of user-created projects to demonstrate the vast potential of the apps.

Noticing Tools™ will be available in the App Store for $2.99 each, or as a bundle for $9.99. For educators, the apps are available through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program, which offers a 50 percent discount for purchases for 20 or more devices. All proceeds support the educational mission of NYSCI.

We’ve developed a starter pack of lessons and usage tips for the apps that are designed for students both in and outside the classroom. These resources can be downloaded for free at noticing.nysci.org.

The development of Noticing Tools™ was made possible with generous support from the US Department of Education Investing in Innovation Award, the National Science Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Sara Lee Schupf Family Center for Play, Science and Technology Learning (SciPlay), The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Motorola Solutions Foundation and BNY Mellon Foundation.

App_Store_Badge_135x40_Master_062012

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

Doug Moore, NYSCI’s VP of Digital Education Strategy, talks about NYSCI’s new Noticing Tools

The IOS-based apps offer fun and creative ways for students to wrestle with complicated math and science topics such as proportion, force and motion, by allowing students to create and document their design projects and share with others.

UPDATE AUGUST 17, 2015: Noticing Tools are now available for download.  Learn more at noticing.nysci.org

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

Dorothy Bennett, NYSCI’s Director of Design Based Learning in Schools, talks about young people’s desire to play and be active participants in their learning experience.

She discusses the development of NYSCI’s Noticing Tools™ – which offer fun and creative ways for students to wrestle with complicated math and science topics such as proportion, force and motion, by allowing students to create and document their design projects and share with others.

Dorothy’s team has been specifically working on the Size Wise tool – an iPad app which allows students to explore ratios and proportions while making funny pictures that make things look wildly bigger and smaller than they really are.

If you’re a teacher, sign up for the beta download here: nysci.org/noticing/

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

SciPlay, in partnership with The Concord Consortium, presents GeniGames, a web-based application that supports the teaching and learning of genetics in high school Living Environment classes. Designed, developed and produced by SciPlay (NYSCI) and the Concord Consortium, GeniGames aims to increase student engagement, motivation, affect and learning.

GeniGames includes an all-inclusive curricular guide, aligned with all NY State Standards, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

GeniGames users become dragon breeders in a fictional world full of towns, characters, and dragons! Dragon breeders will connect their basic knowledge about cells, DNA and sexual reproduction and develop their understanding of how genetic information results in the production of both genotypes and phenotypes. Breeders will incorporate their knowledge of meiosis and patterns of inheritance to see how traits are distributed to offspring and how selective breeding produces unique individuals with specific traits. Beginning with dominant and recessive traits, then moving through each town, breeders will understand topics such as sex-linked traits, incomplete dominance traits, “polyallelic” traits and “multigenic” traits.

Students use this unit to develop their understanding of how genetic information results in the production of phenotypically and genotypically unique individuals, and incorporate knowledge of meiosis and patterns of inheritance to answer the driving questions: “How are traits distributed to offspring?” and “How does selective breeding produce unique individuals with specific traits?”

Interested in using GeniGames in your classroom? Please download the curricular guide and worksheet packet. Visit http://concord.org/projects/genigames for more teacher resources including access to The Concord Consortium’s Learning Portal.

Looking for a little guidance on how to use the software? Download the GeniGames Instruction Manual and Task Guide.

Looking to just have some fun? Visit http://genigames.concord.org/ to start playing immediately. Anyone can play anytime!

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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

vv_sciencelabappNYSCI’s Digital Learning team are currently taking their signature Virtual Visits remote learning to a whole new level.

With generous support from The New York Community Trust, NYSCI has been able to develop a series of virtual Science Labs that incorporate Android and iOS based apps to simulate the lab experience for chronically ill high school students. These virtual Science Labs and their corresponding apps maintain the one-to-one attention and inquiry based learning that is particular to NYSCI’s Virtual Visits, allowing students to stay up-to-date with their lessons and foster their curiosity of science.

For more information about Virtual Visits and Science Labs, contact Anthony Negron. We hope to see you soon virtually!

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

SciPlay and Design Lab have been working hard to create a suite of apps for release in the app store to help support playful and engaging STEM learning. Collectively, these are the NYSCI Noticing Tools™. While the many apps we are creating promote exploration of a variety of concepts, including ratios, graph translation, motion, energy, and force, they all center around the same core principles.

 

Noticing not gaming

These apps move away from games and highly structured experiences and serve as tools to 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 in personalized and open-ended ways.

 

People and play at the center

Our Noticing Tools™ foster engagement by capitalizing on the learners and their personal experiences. Rather than introducing concepts through abstract scenarios, all of our apps allow the learners to interact personally with the technology, including capturing videos or pictures of themselves, their friends, or photos of their own creation. The apps mine these resources for data that map directly to the learner’s experience in a concrete and meaningful way.

 

Divergent thinking and divergent solutions

With the noticing approach that our resources promote, children and families alike are invited to explore and wonder about the world around them. Rather than posing a set of questions in which learners are expected to provide “correct” answers, these Noticing Tools™ encourage deep and creative thinking, exploration, and discovery.

 

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

Fast Company checked in with NYSCI’s Harouna Ba and Local Projects’ Jake Barton as they tested the latest prototype of our soon-to-be-available Physics app.

“I think sometimes technology does a better job of showing [physics] than actually having someone talk about the concept,” Ba says. “Some of these concepts–motion, force–they are very complex scientific concepts to teach. They’re just hard.”

Getting kids to play outside, on the other hand, is relatively easy. “Natural play is intrinsically motivating for children,” says Ba, who holds degrees in psychology and sociology.

Harnessing playing as a motivator, rather than approaching physics concepts in a more pedagogical way, can help science learning reach a broader audience. Ba says he’s noticed that kids, especially those from underserved communities, can get intimidated by technical scientific tools like microscopes. “They’re like, ‘I don’t want to touch this; it’s too expensive,’” Ba says. “We’re trying to invite them into science learning in a very playful way. It’s not school, where they’re just sitting there listening to someone talking.”

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The app will be ready later this year. You can check out the entire article and slideshow here.

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

Remember when NYSCI had a bunch of extinct technologies out for hands-on display during our Summer Chronoleap: technolution event?

Now the beta version of Chronoleap is ready to download along with a stack of free games that will transport you into a virtual version of the 1964/65 World’s Fair. These educational games and activities were created in partnership with the University of Central Florida, Queens Museum of Art and New York Hall of Science.