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

Event Description:
6:30 pm: Wine Reception
7 – 8:30 pm: Moderated Discussion and Q&A
 
Why has this topic been so difficult to address? What are the current priorities for communicating about climate change? What can we expect from the current administration on climate policy and research? What can we all be doing to support efforts to make the kind of change we want?
 
On the eve of Earth Day, join the NYSCI in Manhattan, and meet three pairs of artists and scientists who have created new artworks about current climate change research. These works, currently on view at ARTech (a free, pop-up activity center for children hosted by Meatpacking Business Improvement District, through April 29) present the perfect inspiration and platform for diving into an honest and timely conversation about the imperative and challenges of communication about climate change. Led by Reply All’s senior reporter, Sruthi Pinnamaneni, this conversation will cover many climate change angles.
 
Limited capacity. Ages 21 and older.
 
This event will be held in lower Manhattan. Those who R.S.V.P. will receive an email with the exact address.

 

About ARTech
NYSCI commissioned three artworks during 2016 as part of the ACCESS project, an annual exhibition series that fosters collaborations between visual artists and scientists in order to make themes from NYSCI exhibits accessible in new ways, for multiple publics. ACCESS 2016 focused on the ideas explored in NYSCI’s newest exhibition, Connected Worlds: ecology, connected systems, sustainability and climate change. Each artist was paired with a scientist to bring a unique, collaborative view of scientific research, making the research more accessible and inviting to museum-goers. Artists and scientists worked together over a six-month period, with resulting works taking the form of a 3D animation, an immersive video installation, and an interactive installation/performance, presented at NYSCI: November 19, 2016 – January 29, 2017, and at ARTech: March 1 – April 28, 2017.

ARTech is a partnership between NYSCI the Meatpacking Business Improvement District (BID) and the Children’s Museum of the Arts. The Meatpacking BID has generously offered to support this event.

 

About the Panelists
Moderator:
Sruthi Pinnamaneni is a producer and reporter at Gimlet Media’s Reply All. She graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with honors, while assisting at the BBC-NY Bureau and a documentary production company, where she worked on the award-winning feature film, Kumare. As the audio/video correspondent at The Economist, Sruthi worked on political stories and traveled between cities and villages in India to produce an Economist video series on rural education and the informal economy in slums. Sruthi has worked on radio stories that have aired at various shows, including Reply All, Love + Radio, Studio 360, Radiolab, Marketplace, Freakonomics, Transistor, and The Splendid Table. She won the 2013 PRX STEM grant, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Science Media Award for best radio story in 2014.

 

Artist/Scientist Pair #1:
Coche Gonzalez is a freelance TD/Compositor who has collaborated with various studios in the production of museum exhibitions, commercial animations and film effects. He has also taught at Pratt Institute, Columbia University and the Parsons School of Design, and he cofounded the New York City design studio SOFTlab.

Jack Tseng is a paleontologist with interests in both field-based and laboratory-based research on the fossil record of carnivorous mammals. He has led or participated in dozens of fossil digs in California, Utah, Wyoming, Mexico, Taiwan, Inner Mongolia and Tibet.

 

Artist/Scientist Pair #2:
Laura Chipley is a Queens-based artist who uses video, site-specific interventions and emerging technologies to explore potentials for human collaboration and to document the social and environmental impacts of energy extraction.

Hannah Zanowski has her Ph.D. in physical oceanography in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program at Princeton University. Her research explores the impacts of Antarctic open-ocean polynyas (vast regions of open water in the sea ice) on abyssal ocean properties and circulation.

 

Artist/Scientist Pair #3:
Carrie Dashow is a New York City-based artist working at the intersection of video, performance and visual arts. Her often-participatory work examines the undercurrents of authority, subjectivity and an indebted relationship to location.

S. Matthew Liao is a philosopher interested in a wide range of issues including ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, moral psychology and bioethics. He is director and associate professor of the Center for Bioethics, and affiliated professor in the department of philosophy at New York University.

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

Calling all middle school teachers: NYSCI wants you for our Comic Book Activity Design Team!

As part of the Comic Book Activity Design Team, you’ll work with NYSCI staff and other educators to design activities and classroom resources that will help support the integration of a new interactive comic book, Transmissions: Astonishing Tales of Human-Animal Diseases, in schools across the country.

Transmissions: Astonishing Tales of Human-Animal Diseases tells the story of a group of young people who work to investigate a mysterious disease by collecting and analyzing evidence. The ebook aims to demystify how humans can get diseases that also infect birds and other animals, and helps build science inquiry skills.

Commitment

  • Attend all onsite meetings and complete two hours of online work between each session.
    • March 8: 4 – 6 pm (at NYSCI)
    • April 4: 4 – 6 pm (at NYSCI)
    • May 10: 4 – 6 pm (at NYSCI)
    • June 8: 4 – 6 pm (at NYSCI)
  • Help design curricular resources to support the use of the Transmissions ebook in middle school classrooms.
  • Co-facilitate a one-day summer camp at NYSCI (date TBD).

Benefits

  • $500 stipend
  • Acknowledgement in the final curricular materials.
  • Early access to the Transmissions ebook.
  • Professional development experiences related to content and pedagogical aspects of the Transmissions ebook.

How to Apply

There is no cost to participate in the Comic Book Activity Team, but capacity is limited. Please complete the application form by February 24. Acceptance notifications will be sent out by February 27.

Questions? Please contact Michaela Labriole.

 

APPLY NOW

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) integrate engineering into every grade level from kindergarten through 12th grade. Yet, at the elementary and middle school levels, in particular, most teachers do not have backgrounds or expertise in engineering. Even if they would love to teach it, many say they lack the resources and support to prepare students to be proficient in engineering and inspire them to pursue careers in engineering fields. To address these rapidly growing needs, Accelerate Learning™ and NYSCI have joined forces to develop a new solution called STEMscopes™ DIVE In Engineering.

“The best way to teach engineering isn’t from a textbook; it’s with hands-on, inquiry-based experiences,” said Dr. Vernon Johnson, president and CEO of Accelerate Learning. “For decades, NYSCI has been creating hands-on, energetic educational experiences where learners can indulge their curiosity and nurture their creativity. From the Design Lab to Maker Space Workshops to Design-Make-Play STEM Institutes, NYSCI has deep expertise in engineering and design, and in creating content and experiences that are engaging for students and teachers alike. We’re delighted to collaborate with a true thought leader in STEM to bring STEMscopes DIVE In Engineering to life.”

“There’s a great synergy between STEMscopes and the types of solutions NYSCI develops. However, one of the things that really drew us to Accelerate Learning was the company’s thoughtful approach to supporting teachers. They not only provide the curriculum and tools to meet teachers where they are now, they provide the embedded support teachers need to continuously improve how they teach STEM,” said Margaret Honey, president and CEO of NYSCI. “Our partnership with Accelerate Learning will result in an engineering curriculum that will be used in schools across the country, and get young students engaged in engineering and design and inventing the future.”

STEMscopes DIVE In Engineering will be part of Accelerate Learning’s award-winning STEMscopes PreK–12 product suite, which is built from the ground up to address the NGSS and today’s state standards. The online, comprehensive, hands-on engineering curriculum for grades 3–8 will be available for the 2017-2018 school year.

For more information, visit acceleratelearning.com or call toll-free 800-531-0864.

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

Parent's role in STEM education

Like countless immigrants before her, Angelica Salgado came to the United States to provide a better life for her family. Like many newcomers in the Corona section of Queens, Angelica works hard to give her three children the best education New York schools have to offer. She trusts that the school system and teachers “will do right” by them.

Indeed, the schools have improved. But perhaps not enough to merit her trust.

In 2016, the district’s English Language Arts scores for 3–8th graders increased by seven percentage points as compared to the previous year. However, English language learners, like Angelica’s children and those of the two-thirds of Corona families born outside the U.S., did not fare as well: their scores decreased by one percentage point.

The situation is even worse for non-native students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. Careers in those areas are where the jobs are, now and in the future, but many parents who are ambitious for their children hesitate to get involved in advocacy for them or in planning their courses and extra-curricular activity. To immigrant families, the overall school-to-work pipeline may be downright mysterious.

So what’s a parent to do? As president and CEO of the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), I take this question very seriously.

(Andrew Kelly/ NY Hall of Science)

Our educators and researchers know that few formal and coordinated efforts exist to connect students to STEM opportunities and careers. Yet studies indicate that family engagement in children’s education yields positive results — children stay in school longer, they perform better and have better school experiences. This is consistent across grade levels, for in- and out-of-school contexts and among African American and Latino families.

So we’ve identified five types of programs and resources that parents need:

1. Resources to help parents understand and navigate the school system. The New York City Department of Education created parent coordinator positions in 2003. Parent coordinators have traditionally answered phones and helped with translation, but as Mrs. Salgado noted, “Some schools have more engaging parent coordinators than others.” Chancellor Carmen Fariña has moved to increase training for parent coordinators to be more proactive, such as organizing parents to take field trips and explaining ways they can help their children’s education. More could be done to strengthen these connections.

2. Access to STEM academic coursework and real pathways to STEM-related careers. Some schools host career nights and other work-focused events. Informal institutions such as museums and libraries could offer more programs. At NYSCI, we host free STEM Nights where kids can watch presentations from STEM professionals and chat with them afterward in a relaxed setting. Free resources such as the New York Urban League’s A Parent’s Guide to STEM can provide further insight.

3. Programs that emphasize a two-generation approach that includes both children and parents. Some activities that are becoming popular educate the parents while educating the child. The Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is a nonprofit program that shows parents their critical role as their children’s first teacher. HIPPY uses home visitors to role-play educational games with parents they can then play with their children. NYSCI runs a similar Little Makers program that invites families with young children to tinker, design and create projects together, from glider airplanes to sidewalk chalk art to superhero gadgets.

4. Activities across multiple settings that foster student success as a shared community responsibility. Our NYSCI Neighbors program works with 700 local families and schools to provide discounted entry to museums and invitations to STEM activities. The NYSCI auditorium is used for PTA meetings, and every year before our annual Maker Faire we invite area families to a pre-Faire community event.

5. Platforms that give parents a voice to ensure that their concerns and stories are recognized. School listservs, Facebook groups, parenting blogs and similar resources let parents seek guidance from teachers, school administrators and other experts, and to support other parents struggling with similar issues.

We still need to offer parents more. A new program called Parent University will be a component of our Queens 20/20 initiative that makes it easier for parents to find and use available resources. Then parents like Angelica Salgado will be better able to prepare their children for college work in STEM subjects and possibly careers in a STEM field.

Only if all of us — schools, museums, and community organizations — make it easier for parents to find the resources they need will we be able finally to “do right” by Angelica Salgado and her children.

Margaret Honey is the president and CEO of the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York. Her essay is part of a series on parent engagement produced by the philanthropic foundation Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí.

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

By David Wells.

I have been making things for as long as I can remember.

Has everything I made been a success? Certainly not! But as I look back on my experiential continuum, I notice a sense of self-efficacy. At the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) Maker Space, we call this the “I Can Mentality.”

I have gotten many miles out of this approach to problem solving. Though I may not be sure how to do something, I am sure that I can try.

Let me illustrate this with a story of a young maker in Experimental Sound Machine, our middle school program that focuses on the science of sound.

In true Maker Space fashion, we began our journey by deconstructing the challenge at hand. Our entry point to the science of sound was through musical instruments. We first asked two questions:

We answer these questions by dissecting the instruments:

– What is it?

– How does it work?

Through this deconstruction, we figure out that all musical instruments are systems of simpler parts, i.e the materials they are made of. And one of the inspiring discoveries is that they are typically made from the same materials!

This discovery often leads to the kids exploring the sonic quality of a wide variety of materials and expands the possibilities of what a musical instrument can be.

Enter Derek. Or that is what we will call him as we would like to protect his identity.

Derek was testing out the sonic possibilities of strings made from different materials. He made his selection and attempted to add it to his creation. I observed him as he tried to attach it to his instrument and noticed him struggling. I decided to ask him what was going on.

He shared that he couldn’t quite get the right amount of tension on the string because of its inherent elasticity. I suggested that he might consider trying another string and offered a few options. He quickly rebutted, “This one sounds better than those.”

Now let me take a step back and explain how we test the sound of a string in Maker Space: Wrap it around your finger a couple times, put that finger in your ear, pull the string taught, and pluck. If you have never tried it, I HIGHLY recommend as it will blow your mind!

I proceeded to test the options to hear for myself and found that Derek was absolutely correct.

My response was simple and direct: “OK, you are right. How can we make this work?”

We brainstormed possibilities and he went about his way. He eventually got to a point that I thought was a great improvement, but it did not meet his credentials. So he scrapped that idea and moved on.

Derek with his final Experimental Sound Machine.

Later, I was reflecting on how comfortable Derek was in telling me that his option sounded best. I was very impressed by this and thought about when I was his age, would I have been comfortable saying that to my teacher? Would I be comfortable saying that to a teacher now?

I might say no to both of those questions, but I feel it is contingent on the environment of the space you are in — is it set up for empowering people to think, to challenge, to explore, to discover? Does it encourage people to say, “I can do this!”? Learners of all ages need trust and permission to act.

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the CTE Makeover Challenge, encouraging high schools to “design maker spaces that strengthen next-generation career and technical skills.” This is a fabulous concept. Our government is inspiring and supporting schools, students and teachers to work collaboratively to improve their learning environment based on what the community needs.

First, I would like to express my full support of this initiative; it has the potential to make a tremendous impact. Making is infectious. When someone else is making, it inspires others to want to make. In that way it is similar to laughter; when one laughs, others follow.

That being said, I think there needs to be an additional push for, and understanding of, the benefits of making in the classroom at all levels. This is a tall order. In a system as large as our national education system, we may need a Cambrian Explosion of sorts — a veritable educational structure explosion. This may seem a bit dramatic, but sometimes we need drama.

I would like to respond to the blog post on the CTE Makeover Challenge site. In the second paragraph, it states:

… in support of President Barack Obama’s Nation of Makers initiative, an all-hands-on-deck call to give students access to a new class of technologies — such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and desktop machine tools — that are enabling Americans to design, build, and manufacture just about anything.

This is a true statement. However, it focuses solely on students. Where are the teachers in all of this?

We need to set up the same learning environments for our teachers as we wish for our youth. It is vitally important to allow teachers to experiment and relive the feeling of being learners alongside their students, lessen the distance between what it means to be a teacher and a learner, and create multi-developmental learning groups within administration, faculty and student body.

In addition, though it’s favorable to make high-end tools like 3D printers accessible to all, it’s disadvantageous to see tools as an answer. Being a maker is a mindset, not a tool.

At Maker Space, we offer experiences that playfully explore concepts and materials/tools, where visitors creatively design and make things that have importance to them as well as their communities. Putting people at the center of their learning is a foundational concept in NYSCI’s Design-Make-Play philosophy.

A programmatic example of this is the National Science Foundation-funded Innovation Institute. This teen program focuses on designing and making products or processes that will benefit our local Corona community.

During the Innovation Institute, we seek out problems and collectively discuss potential ways to solve them. The teens explore ethnographic concepts through neighborhood walks, observations and reflections, and learn how to use tools to build prototypes. They also co-facilitate middle school programs with NYSCI staff, creating a connection between teaching and learning. They transfer their knowledge to a younger audience, providing a firsthand application to problem solving. The program culminates with the Innovation Institute interns showcasing their projects at World Maker Faire.

The Design-Make-Play philosophy is embedded in all of our programs and exhibits, including school group workshops, teacher professional developments, out-of-school time programs, exhibitions and public events. Through our philosophy and museum experiences, NYSCI actively supports the national initiatives the White House has been advocating.

So where does this leave us? All this is good. Yes. All this is going in the right direction. Yes. We should continue to be thoughtful in our approach and truly inclusive when considering major shifts in the educational landscape (formal and informal) and not fear the possibility of shaking things up a bit; maybe not quite an educational Cambrian explosion.

For now, let’s consider Derek. He was able to thrive, make decisions, make mistakes, and build a sense of autonomy, all because he was given permission to do so. This permission was partially achieved due to the environment we set up in NYSCI’s Maker Space, but getting permission from ourselves is elemental.

As NYSCI’s Director of Maker Programs, David Wells oversees maker-related programs and education initiatives, and manages the museum’s Maker Space. He serves on several advisory boards including Maker Ed and the Institute of Imagination in London. He also served as the project lead on NYSCI’s Makerzines, a series of three maker-related publications that can be downloaded for free.

To read about the programs and activities at NYSCI’s Maker Space, follow us on makerspace.nysci.org.