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

“Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

Discover how vehicles move while you design and make an escape vehicle for the Gingerbread Man.

Recommended for children ages 18 months and older. $6 per child. (Members: $5 per child.)

Sometimes creativity can get messy, so dress your little maker (and yourself) in old clothing that can be splattered with things like paint, ink and oobleck.

This program is supported in part by funding from the New York Community Bank Foundation, the Liu Foundation and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation. Maker Space is made possible thanks to an investment by Cognizant through its Making the Future education initiative.

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

 

Happy Halloween from NYSCI!

Halloween is the coolest time of year! It gives everyone a chance to mask their every-day identities to become a new character. A masquerade that blankets everything for one night. From fairies to werewolves, anything you can imagine comes alive.

In this Halloween Special, Explainer TV investigates the phenomena of “spooky.”

Subscribe: www.youtube.com/nyhallofscience

Crew:
Writer, Director & Producer: Brandon Palmieri
Talent A: Stephanie Valenzuela
Talent B: David Meer
Music: Bensound.com

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

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

 

What Factors Make a Car Faster or Slower?

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

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

 

Can You Control a Toy Car’s Acceleration?

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

 

Measuring Acceleration

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Create Your Own Test Course

Gather the following materials:

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

You can also record in this graph mode:

 

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

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

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

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

 

Make Predictions

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

 

Results – What Happened?

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

 

Ready for an Extra Challenge?

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

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

 

More on Motion

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


 

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

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

Why Do Buildings Fall Down During Earthquakes?

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

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

Can You Design a Structure to Withstand an Earthquake?

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

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

 

Set Up Your Own Earthquake Simulator

Gather the following materials:

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

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

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

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


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

 

Time To Build Your Structure

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

Edible Materials

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

Simple Materials

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

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

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

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

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

Try using slots.

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

Don’t be afraid to try different shapes.

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




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


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

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

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

 

Make Predictions

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

 

Shake the House!

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

 

Results—What Happened?

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

 

Redesign

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

 

Real Earthquakes

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

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

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


 

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

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

(Due to a heat advisory, our Catapult Launch at 1 pm is canceled.)

Get a little dirt under your finger nails and explore what it means to grow and farm in an urban setting with workshops and demonstrations. Free with NYSCI admission, unless otherwise noted.

*Activities are weather permitting.

Rocket Park Activities

  • Carnivorous Plant Workshops: (1 & 2:30 pm) Learn about carnivorous plants and the bugs they like to eat with plants supplied by Midtown Carnivores. Materials fee: $4 (Members: $2) Unfortunately, due to a smaller capacity, we cannot accommodate groups for this workshop.
  • (Canceled) Launch of Giant Catapult, Chuck: (1 pm) in the Back Field.  Watch our catapult, Chuck, toss watermelons in the air.

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

Get a little wet and explore the physics and engineering behind (hand made) boat propellers and how parkour can help to maneuver our bodies through any number of spaces. Free with NYSCI admission.

*Activities are weather permitting. (Due to rain Rocket Park activities will take place inside the museum.)

Rocket Park Activities

  • Physics and Engineering activities: Make and propel your own boat with a rubber band and handmade propeller.
  • Open session parkour obstacle course with The Movement Creative: Try out The Movement Creative’s obstacle course and learn the basics of Parkour, a playful platform of movement that encourages interaction between our bodies and environment, and encourages curiosity, experimentation, strength-building, self-confidence and healthy living.  All ages and levels of fitness are welcome. Sneakers/rubber soles are recommended.
  • Launch of Giant Catapult, Chuck: (1 pm) In the Back Field.  Watch our catapult, Chuck, toss watermelons in the air.

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

Get a little messy with some outdoor science experiments that explore how chemical reactions can launch (hand made) rockets into the air and parkour can help to maneuver our bodies through space. Free with NYSCI admission.

*Activities are weather permitting. (Today’s catapult demonstration at 1 pm & Simple Chemical Reactions will be canceled due to rain.)

Rocket Park Activities

  • Simple Chemical Reactions: Launch balloons and rockets into the air with simple chemical reactions.
  • Open session parkour obstacle course with The Movement Creative: Try out The Movement Creative’s obstacle course and learn the basics of Parkour, a playful platform of movement that encourages interaction between our bodies and environment, and encourages curiosity, experimentation, strength-building, self-confidence and healthy living.  All ages and levels of fitness are welcome. Sneakers/rubber soles are recommended.
  • Launch of Giant Catapult, Chuck: (1 pm) In the Back Field.  Watch our catapult, Chuck, toss watermelons in the air.

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

Have you ever wondered how spin is applied to a tennis ball? Join the coach of New York’s only professional tennis team, 17-time Grand Slam champion Gigi Fernandez for an interactive exhibit on the science of sport, featuring a tennis demo with NYSCI Explainers and Q & A session with Gigi!

Event Schedule:
2 – 2:40 pm Demonstration with the Public
2:45 pm Members-only Meet and Greet

Then, see her NY Empire team in action, including Mardy Fish, Genie Bouchard and John Isner from July 16 – 31 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Click here to get tickets for NY Empire!

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

Is it a solid or a liquid? Mix simple household ingredients to make wacky oobleck. Discover new and exciting ways to play with this non-Newtonian fluid – freeze it, swirl in colors, and even make it dance!

Recommended for children ages 18 months and older.

Sometimes creativity can get messy, so dress your little maker (and yourself) in old clothing that can be splattered with things like paint, ink and oobleck.

 

This program is supported in part by funding from the New York Community Bank Foundation, the Liu Foundation and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation. Maker Space is made possible thanks to an investment by Cognizant through its Making the Future education initiative.

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

Investigate the powerful science of magnets by tinkering with everyday objects and exploring their magnetic fields. Use magnets in fun ways from painting to racing cars.

Join us for hands-on science experiments and sensory-rich projects in workshops specially designed for young children, ages 3–5, with autism spectrum disorder and their parents and siblings.

Family Science Adventures for kids with differences include a small teacher-to-student ratio as students practice focusing/concentration, social cognition, collaboration/teamwork, listening/comprehension skills
and more. Our educators are trained to work with kids with differences.

These free workshops provide opportunities to enjoy family time at the museum in a welcoming, safe and understanding environment, allow parents to network with one another, and help families discover the wonder of science learning together. Materials will include visual schedules, a communication booklet and more.

Sometimes creativity can get messy, so please dress your little scientist (and yourself) in old clothing that can be splattered.

To register and for more information,
call 718-699-0005 ext. 341 or email dmeza@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

Investigate the powerful science of magnets by tinkering with everyday objects and exploring their magnetic fields. Use magnets in fun ways from painting to making magnetic slime!

Recommended for children ages 18 months and older.

Sometimes creativity can get messy, so dress your little maker (and yourself) in old clothing that can be splattered with things like paint, ink and oobleck.

 

This program is supported in part by funding from the New York Community Bank Foundation, the Liu Foundation and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation. Maker Space is made possible thanks to an investment by Cognizant through its Making the Future education initiative.

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

An interview with NYSCI’s Inaugural Design Fellow, Deren Guler.

After finishing her degree in physics, Deren went on to become a fellow at NYSCI, where she has been developing the prototypes for her DIY electronic kits designed for young children.

As part of her fellowship, Deren facilitates workshops to deploy existing and new design and learning kits related to her Teknikio company but tailored to NYSCI’s current and developing audiences.

Through conversations with NYSCI’s Public Programming staff, Deren will craft workshops combining her skills and research with information regarding programming needs and audience specifics.

The Design Fellowship provides an opportunity for Guler to develop her new design and science-related kit content and rigor through public workshops and feedback/prototyping with NYSCI staff.

For more about Deren and Teknikio visit: http://www.teknikio.com/

MUSIC
“Allada” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

VIDEO
Produced by Bec Susan Gill and Jayde Lovell for ‘Did Someone Say Science?’

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Background

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

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

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

About the Position

In this episode, Mariel interviews female pilot and engineer, Pauline Parent, from Dassault Falcon Jet in Teterboro Airport, New Jersey.

Questions asked were:
• Please introduce yourself by your name and position here.
• What is the overall philosophy of Dassault Falcon Jet? What’s their purpose?
• How did you discover that you were interested in aviation?
• What has been your hardest parts and your triumphs as a female pilot?
• What tips do you have for females wanting to go into this expanding field?
• What do you hope the aviation industry accomplishes in the next decade?

Special thanks to NYSCI Trustee Al Bunshaft, and to John and Pauline at Dassault Falcon.
To learn more about Dassault Falcon, visit https://www.dassaultfalcon.com/en/Pages/Home.aspx

Producer: Mariel
Cam B: Kevin Cunningham
Editor: Emily
Co-Editor: Kevin Cunningham
Audio: Emily
Director: Mizanur Rahman

Subscribe  

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

Discover the physics of sound as you make your own musical instruments with recycled materials.

Recommended for children ages 18 months and older.
$8 per family, plus NYSCI admission. (Members: $5 per family.)

Sometimes creativity can get messy, so dress your little maker (and yourself) in old clothing that can be splattered with things like paint, ink and oobleck.

 

This program is supported in part by funding from the New York Community Bank Foundation, the Liu Foundation and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation. Maker Space is made possible thanks to an investment by Cognizant through its Making the Future education initiative.

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

Discover the physics of sound as you make your own musical instruments with recycled materials.

Recommended for children ages 18 months and older. $8 per family, plus NYSCI admission. (Members: $5 per family.)

Sometimes creativity can get messy, so dress your little maker (and yourself) in old clothing that can be splattered with things like paint, ink and oobleck.
 
Book Now

 

This program is supported in part by funding from the New York Community Bank Foundation, the Liu Foundation and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation. Maker Space is made possible thanks to an investment by Cognizant through its Making the Future education initiative.

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

Workshop full. Wait list only.

Explore the physics of how things move as we tinker with cars and trains on ramps, paint with wheels, and build our own vehicles from recycled materials. Vroom!

Join us for hands-on science experiments and sensory-rich art projects in workshops specially designed for young children, ages 3–5, with autism spectrum disorder and their parents and siblings.

Family Science Adventures for kids with differences include a small teacher-to-student ratio as students practice focusing/concentration, social cognition, collaboration/teamwork, listening/comprehension skills and more. Our educators are trained to work with kids with differences.

These free workshops provide opportunities to enjoy family time at the museum in a welcoming, safe and understanding environment, allow parents to network with one another, and help families discover the wonder of science learning together. Special needs will include visual schedules, a communication booklet and more.

Sometimes creativity can get messy, so please dress your little scientist (and yourself) in old clothing that can be splattered.

This workshop is full. To be placed on the wait list, please call 718-683-9366 or email dmeza@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

SciPlay invited 18 New York City middle school science teachers to take part in the SciPlay Summer Institute at NYSCI in August 2014. The goal was to explore the use of playground experiences to teach middle school science, such as topics on energy, simple machines, motion, and force. The teachers discovered how to engage students in playful, fun, and science-rich experiences that can motivate them to explore the physics in their world. The teachers also discovered playful ways to teach physical science activities using the NYSCI Science playground, local playgrounds and in classrooms.

Watch the video to see more on what our teachers had to say about the workshop, and view images of the event here.

The Sciplay Summer Institute video was directed, produced and edited by Alyssa December, and produced by NYSCI’s Explainer TV.

SciPlay are currently seeking New York City 6th and 7th grade teachers to test our physics app in their classrooms. Email Laura at LRodriguez@nysci.org for more information and to request lesson plans for your next visit to the NYSCI Science Playground.

 

 

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

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

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

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

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

3032886-slide-s-21-this-app-shows-kids-the-science-behind-fun

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

Background

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

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

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

About the Position


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

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

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

The major lessons learned seem obvious:

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

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

 

2014_SciGames_NYCMER

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