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

New York City educators made ice cream, designed a “better slime,” and used baking soda and vinegar to propel tabletop cars across the floor. The hands-on activities were part of Design2Learn Summer Educator Institute, a weeklong professional development program for teachers and after-school educators held at the New York Hall of Science July 31 – August 4.

The Institute modeled geology and chemistry lessons to the educators and included activities such as the Chem Car Design Challenge, Pom-Pompeii Volcano Design Challenge, Strong Structures Design Challenge and the Slime Design Challenge, as well as ice cream making, oobleck exploration stations, a scavenger hunt and more.

The weeklong program is part of a larger initiative called Design2Learn that was created to boost student interest, engagement and academic performance in science. It fosters collaboration between classroom teachers and after-school educators, bridges the curriculum between the traditional school day and after-school programs, and promotes design-based learning that allows for hands-on engagement with the material.

Watch the teachers in action in this Spectrum News NY1 video.

Design2Learn is a partnership between the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), ExpandED Schools and the New York City Department of Education.

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

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 NYSCI Neighbors 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.

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 Michaela Labriole.

A group of educators huddles around a paint tray. “Whose turn is it to be the storm this time?”

The designated “storm” pours water over a model city contained in the tray, while the other group members watch. Sponges representing things like parks or green roofs absorb the water. “We did it! Look! We prevented the trash from flowing into the river.”

While this might seem like an experiment about street trash or the water cycle, these teachers were actually investigating how climate change is impacting New York City and the many city systems local residents rely on. Rather than learning about climate change as a collection of discreet facts to be memorized, the educators in this professional development program learned to apply systems thinking to the complex topic of climate change impacts and solutions.

Staff from the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) facilitated this particular workshop as part of the Climate and Urban System Partnership (CUSP), a project between scientists and educators aimed at engaging city dwellers in climate change issues. The workshop participants explored the interplay between increased frequency of heavy rainstorms caused by climate change, an overloading of the wastewater system, and water management options afforded by green infrastructure projects.

One participant said of her workshop experience:

“(Prior to the workshop) When I thought about climate change, I thought about severe heat waves – you know, global warming. I didn’t think about rainstorms or street flooding. And I didn’t realize that we were already seeing effects of a changing climate. And I definitely had no idea how to fit this into my curriculum!”

This teacher is not alone. A recent report, published in Science, reveals that while a majority of teachers in the United States do teach about climate change, they spend, on average, just one to two hours per academic year on the topic. Additionally, a large percentage of the teachers included in the study were found to include incorrect or inaccurate information in their teachings about climate change.

A recent article in the New York Times notes that this level of confusion among educators may not be surprising. Many teachers didn’t have exposure to climate change information as part of their science education training and some educators may lack the confidence needed to successfully teach the subject matter fully.

Still, while climate change is not universally included in a standard curriculum, the importance of teaching about climate change is increasingly recognized and the topic is included in the new Next Generation Science Standards.

To address the findings of the report, it isn’t enough to simply provide teachers with more information about climate change. Traditionally, climate change has been taught using the information-deficit approach to education. Under this model, it is assumed that learners simply lack information about a topic, and that providing more information is sufficient to help people understand a concept.

While prevalent, the information-deficit model has been shown to be ineffective in teaching about climate change. In fact, in some cases, people feel so overwhelmed by the information, they simply ignore it (Moser and Dilling 2011).1

It’s time to move away from an information-deficit approach and embrace a systems thinking approach.

Systems thinking is the process of examining and understanding the various parts of a system and the interactions among these components. A systems thinking approach allows both teachers and students to see complex science concepts as part of a bigger picture.

For climate change education in particular, it’s important to take a step back and examine the impacts the changing climate has on all areas of our lives: local wildlife, flooding, public transit, water quality, etc. Similarly, what opportunities for solutions exist?

By taking a systems approach to climate change in teacher professional development, teachers are empowered to decide how the big ideas in climate change fit in with their curriculum.

NYSCI uses a system approach in its professional development workshops. The workshops combat misconceptions and help educators see climate change as a cross-disciplinary issue relevant to their lives and the lives of their students.

For example, as part of the CUSP project, NYSCI develops educational opportunities, like the paint tray stormwater runoff workshop, that help learners make connections between local climate change impacts and solutions, city systems, and their own personal interests and passions.

By understanding the complex interactions involved in a changing climate, teachers increase their own confidence in teaching about these intricate relationships, to evaluate climate change information they come across in the media, and to connect climate change content to things that are relevant to their students’ lives.

Systems thinking at NYSCI is not limited to teacher professional development workshops or even to programs about climate change. It is also a key component of events such as SUBMERGE, NYSCI’s annual marine science festival, or in experiences like NYSCI’s immersive sustainability exhibition, Connected Worlds.

1Moser, S.C., and Dilling, L. (2011). Communicating Climate Change: Closing The Science –Action Gap. The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (pp. 161-176). Eds. J.S. Dryzek, R.B. Norgaard, and D. Schlosberg. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

As manager of special projects for NYSCI, Michaela Labriole oversees NYSCI’s online programs for educators. Her expertise includes climate change education and programs that engage girls in STEM.

 

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 new iBook, Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think, is now available for free on the iBooks store. Based on NYSCI’s Wild Minds exhibition, the iBook explores the cognitive abilities of animals.

The iBook includes interactives, videos and case studies, taking readers on a journey of discovery where they encounter surprising and impressive thinking skills in a variety of animals.

Written by Martin Weiss, Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think is recommended for grades 5 – 12. Download it for free 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

Watch a special concert by the Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC), a multicultural youth chorus internationally renowned not only for its superb virtuosity and brilliant showmanship, but as a model for an inclusive society that is being replicated globally. Founded by Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez in 1988, this groundbreaking program harnesses the power of music to fulfill the potential of every child.

Over the years YPC has changed the perception of the capabilities of children’s choruses, dramatically heightening an awareness of the unlimited potential of a young choir to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry and establishing the youth chorus as a significant and often untapped instrument for making music.

Almost 1,400 children from ages 7 to 18 participate annually through YPC’s core after-school program, its satellite program in 12 New York City public schools and, since 2012, a thriving new after-school community chorus in New York City’s Washington Heights, YPCWH.

The repertoire of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City ranges from the renaissance and classical traditions through gospel, folk, pop, contemporary and world music. Through its Transient Glory and Radio Radiance new music series, YPC has commissioned and premiered over 80 pieces of music from today’s most distinguished composers, extending and invigorating the repertoire. Through its Transmusica series YPC collaborates with choruses from as far as Israel, Indonesia and Australia in cross-cultural performances that build understanding and bridges among other societies and cultures of the world.

Registration entitles you to free general admission to NYSCI for the day and entrance to the concert at 2 pm. The concert will last approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

 
This Event is SOLD OUT.

 

Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concerts is a program of the Weill Music Institute.

Francisco J. Núñez is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director/founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York, renowned worldwide for its diversity and artistic excellence. Since its founding, Mr. Núñez has changed the perception of the capabilities of a children’s chorus, dramatically heightening an awareness of the unlimited potential of children to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry. Mr. Núñez also leads the University Glee Club of New York City, its fifth conductor since the all-men’s chorus was established in 1894 and is sought after nationwide as a guest conductor by professional orchestras and choirs, a master teacher and a frequent keynote speaker as a leading authority on the role of music in achieving equality and diversity among children in today’s society. Most recently, he created the Núñez Initiative for Social Change Through the Choral Arts, bringing together leaders in the fields to develop a strategy to promote social advocacy for children to choral conductors and music teachers across the nation. Mr. Núñez composes countless compositions and arrangements in all musical formats and styles for choirs, orchestras, and solo instruments. He has received an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award, the New York Choral Society’s Choral Excellence Award, and ABC-TV honored him as its “Person of the Week.” In 2011, he was recognized with a MacArthur “genius” fellowship.

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 has launched a new initiative to create a partnership between the museum and the communities it serves most directly with the creation of NYSCI Neighbors. Co-designed with educators, parents and school administrators from the communities neighboring NYSCI, NYSCI Neighbors aims to create an ecosystem for improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching and learning by developing new programs and engagement strategies to address unmet needs voiced by community stakeholders.

NYSCI Neighbors will engage children and families in creative STEM learning, develop resources for teachers and students, build out-of-school STEM opportunities, and support STEM learning for high school and college students,” said Margaret Honey, president and CEO of NYSCI. “The program also aims to increase participation among Queens students in STEM focused high schools and AP courses, as well as broadening participation in programs created by NYSCI’s Alan J. Friedman Center for the Development of Young Scientists.”

NYSCI announced NYSCI Neighbors during a meeting of the STEM Ecosystems Initiative in Washington D.C. led by the STEM Funders Network, which earlier this year announced more than $20 million in funding to 27 inaugural communities, including the NYSCI Neighbors network. The STEM Ecosystems Initiative has a goal of reaching 600,000 teachers and students in its first three years. The convening brought together a growing community of practice of local leaders who are expanding STEM opportunities in their communities. The education, business and community leaders who participated also met with White House officials to discuss equitable STEM education and federal STEM policy.

Queens2020Panel

In the initial phase of NYSCI Neighbors, NYSCI is engaging in conversations to determine the community’s most urgent priorities for STEM education services. Gathering perspectives from educators, school administrators, parents, community leaders and other stakeholders, NYSCI Neighbors will engender broad-scale, cross-sector collaborations to nurture and scale effective STEM learning opportunities for young people. In early 2016, NYSCI will form an advisory board and host a series of activity and feedback sessions that will determine the blueprint for projects to be undertaken in subsequent years.

NYSCI Neighbors will be led by Andrés Henríquez, who has joined NYSCI as vice president of STEM learning in communities. He brings a broad expertise to this position, having worked previously as a program officer at both the National Science Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York where he launched a national program to develop the field of adolescent literacy and also was a key contributor to the National Research Council’s Framework for K–12 Science Education, and the funding of Achieve Inc. to develop the framework-aligned Next Generation Science Standards. Earlier in his career at the Center for Children and Technology (CCT), he was part of the community transformation in Union City, N.J., where he lead a partnership between Bell Atlantic and the Union City Schools, culminating in Union City receiving national recognition when President Clinton and Vice President Gore acknowledged the extraordinary accomplishments of the school district, which ultimately became the model for a five-year, $2 billion program to put computers in all U.S. classrooms.

“I’m excited to be joining NYSCI in this endeavor to implement high-quality and high-engagement STEM programs into this community that has such high aspirations for their children,” said Henríquez. “This collaborative effort will allow us to take the best of what we know about STEM education and the needs of the future workforce. It’ll be so gratifying to build on the work that I’ve done in research, policy and practice and my experience with foundations locally and around the country.”

NYSCI Neighbors is made possible with the generous support of The Simons 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

Teachers looking for Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) resources now have 17 new options to choose from. The Teacher TryScience website now features a growing set of resources that demonstrate how existing K-12 science lessons can be evaluated and revised to more closely align to the NGSS, using the Educators Evaluating Quality in Instructional Products (EQuIP) rubric. Using the EQuIP process, NYSCI educators have revised existing lessons, making them more rigorous, engaging, and ultimately more informative for teachers.

Through a partnership supported by IBM, NYSCI and Achieve, the nonprofit organization that helped develop NGSS, began collaborating on the lessons in 2014. The free lessons, designed for students in late elementary through high school, cover topics as varied as air pollution, solar design, food packaging, wind power and biodiversity. Along with the lessons, EQuIP Rubrics, outlines and other materials are also available. Lessons are also aligned with the Common Core Standards for Mathematics (CCSM) and the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts (ELA).

The lessons and supporting materials can be downloaded for free at teacherstryscience.com/ngsslanding.

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

Anthony Negron, manager of digital programming at NYSCI, shares his experience at this year’s Digital Media and Learning Conference. 

Due to the generosity of The New York Community Trust and the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund, I was able to attend this years Digital Media and Learning Conference in Los Angeles, California. There was a vast assortment of panel sessions and workshops to choose from and I want to highlight some key insights that I was able to walk away with.

One of the first panel sessions I went to was called The Open Show: Connected Learning Without Expensive Acronyms. This session was presented in an engaging, talk show format. A great tool that was shared is http://connectedlearning.tv/case-studies. On this site you can learn about what connected learning is and its six core principles, and review various case studies showing real-world applications. One of the main ideas I walked away with is how connected learning allows your students the ability to feel empowered and address their specific interests in a setting that allows students to learn from each other. This is something we are really excited to implement in our upcoming #TinkerTech program that will start on August 17.

Another session I attended opened with an anecdote from panelist member Sam Dyson, who said he remembered how deeply transformative it was for him when he realized that something he had learned in one class actually connected to something he learned in another class. This session was entitled Blurring Boundaries By Design and it had some amazing people leading the conversation including my mentor and former NYSCI supervisor, Chris Lawrence. Much of the conversation focused around education ecosystems and how improvements could be made when stronger relationships are built among those directly and indirectly involved in educating young people. There were some really amazing takeaways from this session and it helped cement the importance of ourGirls First Digital Studio curriculum that is currently facilitated across multiple sites in New York City including Girl Scouts of Greater NYC, CodorDojo, Sports & Arts in School Foundation and The Parks Department Computer Resource Center. Establishing this network of educators has allowed NYSCI the ability to spread its program to diverse students in New York and learn best practices for facilitating effective design-based learning curriculum to students of different backgrounds.

Something that I truly enjoyed from attending this conference were the Ignite Talks, which can be described as rapid-fire presentations by organizations who shared the amazing work they are doing with youth. There were representatives from the Harry Potter Alliance, ENGage and The Dream Defenders, to name a few. Hopefully at next year’s conference, NYSCI will be a part of the Ignite Talks sharing our#TinkerTech, C3: Collect, Construct, Change and Girls First Digital Studio programs!

 

 

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

August 24 – 25; 9 am – 3 pm

Join the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management In Education (ISKME) as they provide teachers with the opportunity to learn about a free online resource called OER Commons.

This two day workshop will focus on ways to embed these tools into classroom instruction which will benefit student learning.

You will learn how to achieve inquiry-based instructional goals, including:

• standards alignment and instructional shifts in the Common Core.
• how to access free instructional resources and professional learning materials.
• how to curate and author content for your own classroom.
• classroom-ready resources that are both aspirational and practical.

This workshop will be facilitated by the ISKME team, including an in-service teacher with first hand experience of the connections and benefits of these resources. Teachers who register must be able to attend on both days.
Space is limited and reserved on a first come, first served basis. Free workshop for middle school teachers.
Register Now

 

Institute_for_the_Study_of_Knowledge_Management_in_Education_logo

 

To learn about future courses and resources for teachers, sign up for our Teacher eblast.

 

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

Educators attending the Western Academy Support and Training Center (WASTC) West Coast Academy Conference in Pomona, California in June 2015 had a chance to hear about the successful program for high school students, NetSci High. As the NetSci High project manager, I was delighted to be able to use the Cisco Collaboration Studio at NYSCI to talk live to the WASTC educators about the success of NetSci High, and how they might get involved.

The annual WASTC conference is an opportunity for Western US Cisco Networking Academy teachers to attend seminars and talks, pre-conference workshops, and receive training. Conference organizer Karen Stanton thought this would be an ideal context for the assembled educators to hear details about the NYSCI program NetSci High.

In my presentation I gave an overview of NYSCI’s long-term involvement in Network Science, starting in 2004 with the opening of the exhibit Connections, currently on display at NYSCI. Then in 2012, NYSCI receiving the ITEST grant  from the National Science Foundation for a project called Network Science for the Next Generation, or NetSci High. NetSci High consists of small teams of students, their teacher, and a grad student from a research lab who collaborate on a year-long Network Science research project. NetSci High has been very successful, and has spawned several spin-off efforts such as Network Literacy, and the development of an elective Network Science course in a New York high school. One of our active NetSci High teachers, John Tebbett, is from the Cisco Networking Academy at Chelsea CTE High School in Lower Manhattan.

I concluded the presentation by inviting attending educators to participate in NetSci High, and to date, educators from Woodland and Vista School districts, University of California Davis and Hartnell College have begun to pursue collaborations. For further information about this program, please contact me at ccramer@nysci.org.

You can learn more about NetSci High here: https://sites.google.com/a/binghamton.edu/netscihigh/home

 

 

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

A consortium of science centers, led by NYSCI, has launched learnXdesign, a website for the informal learning community.

The website, learnxdesign.org, contains more than 30 hands-on activities for use by educators in a variety of out-of-school settings, including after-school programs, libraries and youth clubs. Activities focus on design-based learning, a model of learning where students are presented with a challenge that requires them to actively engage in the learning process by creating hypotheses, experimenting and drawing conclusions. Current activities available on the site include shadow puppets, paper circuits and microbots.

NYSCI partnered with six science and technology museums to create learnXdesign – the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio; Explora in Albuquerque, N.M.; the Museum of Science in Boston, Mass.; the Science Museum of Minnesota in Minneapolis; The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif.; and TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Canada. Web development was provided by the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, Calif. Funding for the project was provided through a generous grant from the Noyce Foundation.

Although intended primarily for the after-school community, learnXdesign activities can be accessed by anyone and are available for free as pdf downloads at learnxdesign.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

Monday July 20 – Wednesday July 22, 2015
The New York Hall of Science, Corona, NY

NYSCI invites experts across various disciplines to attend an all-expenses paid 3-day workshop to explore how modern technologies (such as logs of exhibit interactions, technologies for tracking visitor movements) and methods (such as data mining and social network algorithms) can be used to address a challenge that has thus far stymied STEM museums: documenting and understanding learning that occur in museums. Inquiry-driven experimentation, parent-child interactions, emergent collaborations, and peripheral participation are just a few of the learning activities that are known to occur in museums, but which are difficult or painstaking for researchers to detect and document. It may also be the case that new analytic approaches, by virtue of the new lens they bring to visitor behaviors, may expose new learning phenomena to be examined.

Deadline to apply: May 31, 2015

The study of informal STEM learning is at the cusp of innovation, where technology, expertise, and societal need can combine to promote the development of truly new perspectives on how learning can be documented unobtrusively, where it occurs naturally, and without undermining the spontaneous nature of learning.

Outcomes of this workshop will be:

  • to generate new applications for existing analytic approaches.
  • to define opportunities for innovating new analyses and technologies.
  • to begin to lay the groundwork for ethical guidelines for the application of existing and imagined analytic approaches.
  • to foment cross-disciplinary collaborations that can spur the advance of all participating disciplines.

Please use this form to nominate yourself or other attendees who you think would contribute to this endeavor. We are seeking participants who are established in their careers and very familiar with their fields, as well as those who are just beginning their work but who have a fresh perspective to share in these areas:

  • Practice: practical experience with how learning emerges in informal learning settings, and with working in such settings.
  • Learning research: the collection and analysis of data that shed light on individual or social learning phenomena (both quantitative approaches and qualitative approaches that may be amenable to automation).
  • Technology: the design of technology for tracking the behavior of entities in environments (e.g., tracking or logging the actions of humans or animals).
  • Analytics: experience with designing or implementing analytic approaches for studying the behavior of entities using data records (log files, or tracking data files).

The nominations will be reviewed by the workshop organizers and advisory board, and announcements will be sent out in early June. We will work with you to book travel arrangements.

Organizers:

Leilah Lyons, Director of Digital Learning Research, NYSCI, and Assistant Professor of Computer Science and the Learning Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Stephen Uzzo, Vice President of Science & Technology, NYSCI.
Kemi Jona, Research Professor of Learning Sciences and Computer Science and Director of the Office of STEM Education Partnerships, Northwestern University.
Catherine Cramer, Program Manager, NYSCI.

Advisory Board:

Matthew Berland, Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Wisconsin Madison.
Vera Michalchik, Senior Associate Director for Learning Science & Technology, Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), Stanford.
Valerie Shute, Mack and Effie Campbell Tyner Endowed Professor of Education, Florida State University.
Martin Storksdieck, Director, Center for Research of Lifelong STEM Learning, Oregon State University.

Questions?

Please send any further questions to Leilah Lyons and Stephen Uzzo.

nsf1_nextgen

Supported by the National Science Foundation under CISE Award No. 1457431.

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