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

Last month, NYSCI celebrated the holiday season with our annual ReMake the Holidays event. Over the course of the four days of ReMake, both visitors and staff were encouraged to think a bit more consciously about the waste we produce and were given opportunities to bring common recyclable materials back to life in creative new ways. In Maker Space, we tried out a brand new paint marbling project using wood and were thrilled by the response it received. The marbling process involves floating acrylic paint on top of a base of thickened water, swirling and moving the paint into unique patterns, then dipping in a piece of wood that will be stained with the pattern. This amazing art project can easily be replicated with materials you likely already have at home, using these simple instructions.

For this project, you will need the following materials:

  • Pieces of thin scrap wood
  • Container to dip wood into (we like 8oz deli containers for smaller scraps, and foil baking dishes for larger pieces of wood)
  • Cold water
  • Corn starch
  • Acrylic paint
  • Pot and heating element
  • Toothpicks
  • Containers for paint (we’ve used condiment cups, or paintbrush cups with lids)
  • Something to drip paint (pipettes, popsicle sticks, chopsticks)

To start, you will need to create the thickened water base that your paint designs will float on top of. For this, we’re going to jump into the kitchen (or wherever you have a stove/heating element set up), to cook up our thickened paint base.

The base consists of two ingredients: water and cornstarch. Begin by placing a pot containing three cups of water on the stove, and bringing to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, mix two tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup of cold water, mixing to remove all the clumps. Once the water on the stove is boiling, pour in cornstarch/water mixture, and mix well. Stir frequently for about three minutes. After three minutes, turn off heat and let the mixture rest until cooled. You want to make sure that the mixture has fully cooled down before starting to marble, you can prepare the base mixture several hours in advance of doing the project in order to ensure that it is fully cooled to the touch.

While the base mixture cools, we will go ahead and prepare the paints that we will use to create our marbling patterns. Your goal will be to make the paint a bit thinner than it’s starting consistency, but still thick enough that it will float on top of your base mixture. To do this, pour your paint into a mixing container (in the pictures below we’ve used condiment cups, as well as paintbrush cups like these, either work).

Slowly add small amounts of water to your paint, mixing as you go. You will want to get your paint to be a bit thicker than water, but not as thick as your base mixture. Some marble painters suggest the consistency of milk as a guide for your paint thickness. All paint is different though, so be prepared to do a bit of experimenting with your specific paint in order to find a consistency that most successfully floats on top of your base mixture.

At this point, you should have some thinned paint as well as a base mixture that is cooled to the touch. Time for some marbling!

Choose a container that you will be using to hold your base mixture, and into which you will dip your wood scraps. You will want to choose that is large enough for the wood you’re planning on staining. We’ve done larger scraps in a foil baking dish from the grocery store, and smaller pieces in 8 oz deli containers (both are pictured below). Pour enough base mixture into your dipping container to cover the bottom. You will want an inch or more of base mixture to start with.

Using a pipette, popsicle stick or whatever dripping instrument, add a few drops of paint to the surface of your base mixture. It is normal for the first few drops of paint you add to spread quite a bit, as you add more paint, the drops will stay put more easily. Add more drops slowly to the surface of your cornstarch mixture. Going slowly will help avoid oversaturating your mixture with paint too quickly.
With a toothpick, begin to gently move and swirl the floating paint droplets, creating your desired pattern.

Once you’ve got your paint swirled into your desired pattern, take your scrap wood and gently dip it into the surface of your paint pattern. Focus on having the surface of your wood gently touch the paint floating on your mixtures surface, you want to avoid dunking your scrap wood all the way into your base mixture. You only will need to touch your scrap wood piece to the paint for a few seconds for it to pick up the pattern you have swirled into the paint. After you dip, gently lift up your wood and lay on a flat surface to dry.

Learn more about the history and tradition of marbling here, and be sure to share any of your marbled creations with us by tagging @nysci on social media.

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

Making is always particularly satisfying when you are able to create something beautiful and creative, but also useful! One excellent example of this kind of practical and creative making is bookbinding. Designing your own notebook is an excellent, accessible activity that you can probably do with supplies you already have at home. Here is a quick tutorial to get you started with some simple bookbinding.

The first thing you’ll need to do is assemble your supplies. We use chipboard cut to size but any kind of sturdy cardboard will do. Think backs of notepads or cereal boxes, anything that’s sturdy, but not too thick. You want something thin enough to bend, but strong enough to support the paper inside your notebook. The backing should be slightly larger than the paper is when laid out flat. For this notebook, we use sheets of 8 ½ x 11-inch copy paper, and so we’ve left about a quarter inch margin of backing around the pages on each side. You’ll also need sheets of filler paper, (we used 10 sheets of copy paper), embroidery floss and an embroidery needle for the binding, binder clips, a large nail, a hammer, and some kind of board or foam that it’s safe to hammer into.

 

Materials:
  • Backing
  • 10 Sheets of paper
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Binder clips
  • Large nail
  • Hammer
  • Scrap wood or foam block

Once you’ve gathered all your materials you need to line up your paper and backing. I like to start by folding all of my paper sheets in half, and separately folding my backing in half. This means I get a good sharp crease in all of my sheets as well as in my chipboard. It can be easier to fold the chipboard using a straight edge, so try inserting a ruler or using the edge of a table or counter to get that nice fold.

 
After you’ve folded your paper and backing, you’ll want to open them up again and clip them together with binder clips. Open up the paper and lay it flat on top of the opened up backing. It won’t reach the edges completely but should be close enough for you to clip it in place. Put a binder clip on each side to keep the pages in place while you punch the holes and sew the binding.

 
When you’ve got your pages all clipped up, lay your booklet open (paper side up) on your foam block or piece of scrap wood, making sure that the crease in the notebook is lined up with the center of the foam or wood (we’re about to hammer into it so you want to make sure they’re lined up).

 

Start your first hole at the top of the binding in the crease. Hammer the nail all the way down, through all of the pages and your backing. It’s alright if it goes into the foam/wood. That’s what it’s there for! You just want to make sure you don’t hammer it in so far you can’t wiggle it out. Pull out the nail and move down the seam about a quarter to a half an inch and add another hole. Continue in this manner until you’ve reached the bottom of the page. You’re now ready to sew your binding.

 

The appropriate length of thread to bind your notebook seems to always be about the length of your outstretched arms. So grab the end of the thread, and unroll slowly with the other hand until your arms are stretched wide, snip it off and you’re ready to thread your needle.

 

Embroidery needles have a slightly larger eye and are therefore a bit easier to thread, however, a needle threader can be helpful if you need some help getting your needle threaded. No matter how you do it, once you get that thread through the eye you want to pull it through until one end of the string meets the other. This is called double threading the needle. Once the two ends meet, tie them together (an overhand knot will do).

 

Once your needle is threaded and your knot is tied you can begin sewing the binding. Be sure to keep those binder clips on until you’re all done. Starting with the knot on the outside (meaning the back/chipboard) push your needle up through the paper. Make sure you’re going through all the layers here from the backing all the way up through all ten sheets and pull until the knot reaches the backing. Then go back down through the next hole in the paper and pull until taught again.

 

Continue in this fashion until you’ve reached the opposite end of the book then go back the other direction toward where you started. This time you want to sew in and out of every opposite hole thereby closing up the white space gaps between the binding. It will look like this:

 

When you get back to the top where you started you can tie off your thread and cut the remainder at whatever length you like (sometimes a longer thread is nice for a bookmark).

 

Now you can finally unclip your binder clips and close up your notebook. You’re done! Add embellishments, a clasp a pocket or anything you’d like. This little beauty is yours to fill with your thoughts, ideas, plans, designs, doodles, poems … whatever! What will you fill your brand new, handmade notebook with?

Share your creations and tag @nysci on Twitter or Instagram.

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

Hey everyone!

Welcome to our Little Buddy tutorial! Little Buddies are a great way to learn the basics of hand sewing. Little Buddies also make great gifts, because who doesn’t love receiving a wonderful hand-made present? Making a Little Buddy doesn’t take too long and uses everyday materials that you may already have at home. Here’s a list of the materials that you’ll need:

  • Fabric (about 1 sq. foot)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Fabric markers
  • Dull #6 Needles and thread
  • Stuffing
  • Buttons (optional)
  • Pins (optional)

image
 
Once you have gathered your materials you can get started!

 

Step 1

Start by deciding what you want to make.

 

Step 2

Fold the fabric in half and draw an outline of your chosen buddy.

In this example, I’m making a bunny.
image

 

Step 3

Next cut out the shape that you drew about 1/2 in outside of the line while keeping both halves of the fabric together. Pin if necessary.
 

Step 4

Take the thread and measure from the tip on your right fingers to the tip of your left shoulder and cut. Thread the needle and make a knot on one end. Leave the other end of the thread about 2 inches shorter than the end of the knot.

image
 
Now we’re ready to start sewing! There are different kinds of stitches but today, we’ll be using one called the whip stitch. It’s simple and it’s good for this kind of project because it will help hold the stuffing inside of the finished little buddy.
Note: the side that we are working on is the inside of the little buddy.

 

Step 5

Start at the bottom right of the fabric. Push the needle up from the underside and through both layers of the fabric. Then pull the thread all the way until the knot is underneath the fabric. This is one stitch. Notice that the other end of the thread is loose. If you hold the fabric and pull the needle, the thread will come off the needle so make sure you don’t pull too hard after every stitch.

image

image

 

Step 6

For the next stitch, place the tip of the needle about half an inch to the right of the original stitch and push the needle up. Again, pull the thread all the way until the stitch is secure. Keep an eye on the loose end of the thread to make sure it does not unravel.

image

image

 

Step 7

Repeat this sewing technique until you’re about halfway around the entire little buddy. Remember to always start the stitch by pushing it from the underside up.

image

 
Now that you’re halfway there, it is a good time to add any designs or decorations you want. Adding things like buttons once it’s already stuffed is possible but more difficult.

 

Step 8

If you wish to add buttons, add some thread on another needle and tie both ends into a knot. Take the fabric, separate the layers, and turn it inside out.

image

image

 

Step 9

Position the buttons the way you would like for them to go. Hold one of the buttons in place with your hand. Separate the layers once again and push the needle with the new thread from the underside of the top layer all the way through one of the holes in the button.

image

image

 

Step 10

Push the needle back down through a different hole in the button. Make sure it’s only the top layer of fabric. Repeat up and down motion until the button is secure in place.

image

 

Step 11

In order to tie off the thread, hold the fabric on the underside of the button. Push the needle through the fabric as shown. Pull the thread most of the way through.

image

 
You’ll notice a loop that is formed. Pull the needle through that loop, tighten, and cut the thread.

image

 
Repeat steps 9 and 11 with each button.

 

Step 12

Once all of the buttons are in place turn the fabric inside out once again. It is time to keep sewing around the fabric. Leave a hole on the bottom in order to add the stuffing before closing it up.

image

image

 

Step 13

Turn the fabric inside out once more. The buttons should be on the outside now. Fill the inside with the stuffing.

image

image

 

Step 14

Finally, it’s time to close up the fabric. Make a knot at the end, the way we did with the buttons to avoid any unraveling.

image

image

 

Step 15

Now that your Little Buddy is complete, we can add and decorations! And we’re done! Now you can show your Little Buddy off or give it away as a gift!

image

 
If you make something share it with us! Tag @nysci on Twitter and Instagram. We can’t wait to see what you’ve created.

Until next time,

– Annalise.

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

We have been playing around with linkages the last few weeks in Maker Space, and have gotten a few questions from families about how they could make their own. It turns out that linkages are a wonderful activity for tinkering at home because they are so easy to make with simple, easily accessible materials.

image

 
The first thing you will need is cardboard, as much as you can get. We recommend re-using cardboard boxes from online purchases or pizza deliveries. Then you will need to get a few tools: a box cutter (a grown up to lend a hand), something to cut on like a cutting mat (or even another piece of cardboard), a ruler and pencil.

image

 
Measure out 1.25 inch strips on your cardboard and start cutting! Your strips dont have to be perfect, so just focus on using that box cutter correctly (cut across from yourself, not towards!).

image

 
As a side note, cardboard has corrugation (those waves between the top and bottom of the cardboard sheet) and we have found that our cardboard linkages are stronger when we cut down with the waves instead of across them. You do not have to cut with the corrugation though!  Your linkages will work fine either way you make them.

image

 
Then you are going to want to punch some holes in your strips. Generally, we just punch the holes where and when we need them, but you can pre-punch holes if you are working with younger makers. Don’t worry about making the holes uniform or evenly spaced, we actually think linkages look better when they are asymmetrical. To create the holes we use an awl, but really any sharp pointy object will work, like a sharpened pencil, a screwdriver, or a cheap pen. To punch the holes safely we put a piece of foam underneath the cardboard so kids don’t have to worry about poking their hands or the tables. You could also use sponges or big stiff bristled brushes.

image

 
The last piece of the puzzle is brass fasteners or brads. You can buy these online, or from any office supply, art, or stationary store in a variety of sizes. We recommend 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, or 1 inch.

image

 
Now we are ready to create some linkages! To start making the simplest linkage, an “X”, put a brass fastener through the holes in two cardboard strips and fold the legs out to secure it in place. Repeat this two more times and then connect your X’s end to end. Moving the first two links will cause a chain reaction causing all the other links to move too!

image

image

 
After that try and experiment with squares, and asymmetrical linkages. By adding some simple crafting supplies like scissors, markers, colorful paper, and tape you can create fun mechanical toys ranging from grabber-arms to beautiful butterflies.

image

 
For more inspiration check out the Tinkering Studio and the Moving Toys Workshop.

 

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

Whether stacking blocks to construct a model city, designing ways to preserve leaves found on the way to school, or lining up by height in the classroom, children demonstrate a clear readiness to engage in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning early in life. While early childhood educators are often excited about supporting STEM learning, they aren’t always aware of all the STEM opportunities that can be cultivated in the things they already do with young children inside and outside the classroom.

To address this, NYSCI and Bank Street College of Education are collaborating with teams of educators from P.S. 28 and P.S. 330 in Queens to pilot the “Active STEM Learning in the Early Childhood Classroom” professional development program. As we embark on this new partnership, here’s three things that we hope our school partners take away from this experience.

 

Recognizing STEM Learning in the Everyday

A major goal of this project is to provide early childhood educators with opportunities for noticing the STEM learning that is already happening in their classrooms. Anytime students are asking and answering their own questions, imagining solutions to problems, or exploring the properties of materials, there is a foundation for STEM learning. Throughout this project, NYSCI and Bank Street coaches will guide our school partners in observing their students and reflecting on these observations. Participants will use a newly developed observation tool that we hope will give them a new “lens” for looking at their students’ thinking. Through observation and reflection, we’ll start to identify moments when students are already engaging in STEM thinking in order to build off these successes to provide additional contexts for STEM learning.

 

New Ideas for Familiar Materials

Many people think STEM requires specialized tools or constant access to digital technology, but even the simplest materials can foster deep thinking. During the guided classroom observations, as well as a series of hands-on workshops at NYSCI, we’ll be exploring different uses for materials that are readily available in early childhood classrooms. Something as simple as paper can be used to construct a model house, create a glider, or make a shadow scene. By thinking about how we invite students to explore the properties of materials and consider how these properties can affect the way we use these materials, we’re able to find new life in materials we use every day.

 

Increased Collaboration at Multiple Levels

Not only is this project a collaboration between NYSCI, Bank Street, and our partner schools, we’re also hoping to increase collaboration across school teams. Each school team consists of two kindergarten teachers, two first grade teachers, and one science cluster teacher. In many early childhood settings, there is limited time and support for collaboration among classroom teachers and science specialists. Through this project, we hope to provide our partners with space and resources needed to create an increased culture of collaboration that lasts after the project has ended.

As the project continues throughout this academic year, we’ll use future posts to share what we’re learning from one another, including strategies and tools that we hope other educators can use to support the active STEM learning in their own early childhood classrooms.

Dorothy Bennett and Michaela Labriole.

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

We’ve been experimenting with zip line racers in the Maker Space this week, trying out different body size configurations, wings, flaps and rubber bands. To conserve materials (yay environment!) we kept this a make and take-apart program, but we’ve had lots of “how-to” requests from visitors and since we aim to please. Just a note, this activity was inspired by the fine work of Lance from the Young Engineers Workshop. You can learn more on instructables, as well as check out his other great projects.

First, you’ll need to gather your materials. The “standard” zip line racer body that Lance designed uses five popsicle sticks, but you can add more or try less as you get comfortable with designing. You’ll also need a rubber band powered propeller which you can easily find online and in hobby shops, 1 paper clip (the kind without the notches in them), 2 small or medium binder clips, a rubber band, masking tape, hot glue, some paper or cardstock and cord for the zip line (we used nylon but fishing line or any other monofilament type cord will do).

image

 

Materials:
  • Popsicle sticks (as few as 3 would work, these instructions use 5)
  • Rubber band powered propeller
  • 2 small or medium binder clips
  • 1 Paper clip
  • Rubber Band
  • Hot Glue
  • Tape
  • Scrap Paper
  • Cord for the zip line (we used about 20 feet)

You’ll want to start by making the body of your zip line racer. Lay out two popsicle sticks end to end on a protected work surface.

image

 
Apply a strip of hot glue down the length of the third popsicle stick and center it as best you can on the two sticks on the table. This will make sure your body is nice and strong and can withstand the torque from the rubber band.

image

image

 
Next you need to partially unfold the paper clip. The easiest way to do this is to hold the big part between your thumb and index finger on one hand, and pinch the little inside part with your thumb and index finger on the other and pull down slightly until you’ve made an “L” shape out of the bend.

image

 
Add some glue to one end of your racer’s body and place one half of the paper clip firmly on top of it. Add another dab of glue over the metal, just to make sure it’s really secure. This will be the hook that holds your rubber band taught.

image

 
While that’s drying add a small dot of hot glue to either side of the center support stick. This is where you’ll glue your racer uprights.

image

 
Place one popsicle stick on each glue dot, trying to keep them as straight as possible (you want them perpendicular to the body).

image

 
After all the hot glue is dry you need to apply some masking tape to the paper clip/hot glue joint. This keeps the paper clip secure and stops the rubber band from ripping the hook off the end of your racer. A small three inch piece will do. Just wrap it around your paperclip and the popsicle stick, making sure not to accidentally tape the paperclip closed.

image

image

 
Next, you need to add the propeller and the rubberband. Attach the propeller at the end opposite the paper clip, making sure the little metal loop is hanging down away from the uprights.

image

 
Hook your rubber band on the propeller and stretch it back to the paperclip hook and attach it there as well. You’re almost done!

Finally, you’re going to need some drag in order to get your racer going. Use your piece of paper to create wings or some interesting shape (give it some flair!) or, just cut it into a rectangle like I did. Span it between the two uprights and tape it on.

image

 
Add the two small binder clips to the tops of the uprights, these will be the “hooks” that grab on to the line.

image

 

You’re now ready to race!

Place your zip line somewhere high enough that it’s relatively safely out of the way, but low enough that you can still reach it (even if that means you’re using a stepstool). You want your line to be tight so your racer doesn’t have to fight the slack. Ours is about twenty feet long but you can make yours as long as you’d like.

To get your racer to fly you need to wind up the band. With the propeller facing you, wind it clockwise (to the right) until you have a double coil on the band. You can see the difference between a single and double coil in the images below.

 
Single Coil
image

 
Double Coil
image

 
Hang your racer on the line using the two binder clips. You’ll want to hold the propeller with one hand while you open the clips over the line and clip them onto the uprights.

image

 
Give it a little slide to make sure your racer is hanging freely. When you’re ready to race, hold it by the propeller between your thumb and index finger. Then, just open up your fingers (without pulling down on the racer) and watch it fly!

image

 
Now that you know the basics you can experiment with different body sizes, rubber bands, wing/drag configurations and anything else you can really think of.

We hung two zip lines (one over the other) to set up a race track type environment. In order to keep this fair, the lines need to be at the same angle, and the racers have to be started evenly. Build one with a friend or a family member and see whose goes further or faster!

 

Other challenges to try

Add a load! Create a device to carry a load (a basket or a tray, or even just a seat) and add someone/thing to go along for the ride. I’m partial to plastic dinosaurs, but you can be as creative as you like with this. Can your racer carry its passenger to the other end safely? Will it have enough momentum? Try it out and see!

image

 
Try putting your zip line at an angle and see what type of racer is able to go the highest. (Note: this will be much harder to do if you’re using fishing line as the friction between the clips and the line will be next to nil and the racers will want to slide back down. Hooray for gravity!)

Try smaller and larger racer bodies and see what works best.

image

 
Reverse engineer! Try a racer with the propeller in back instead of in front. Does this make a difference? How would you have to change your design to make this work as well as the front facing propeller?

Check out what our visitors have made on our Instagram @makerspace and add your creations too! Let us know if you come up with any other creative challenges and keep making!

Until next time, happy flying!

image

– Annalise

 

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

Halloween is coming up and it’s a great time to make some hot glue masks!

If you’ve already got a glue gun, you probably have everything you need already at home! We use a low-temperature glue gun to help avoid mishaps, and always keep the glue gun stored in a container (a recycled plastic bin works well if your glue gun is low-temp) when it’s not in use.

Materials

  • Mask template
  • Parchment paper
  • Masking tape
  • Hot glue guns and hot glue sticks
  • Bins to hold hot glue guns
  • Embellishments- Beads, feathers, pipe cleaners, buttons, and markers (preferably sharpies)

Start off by placing a piece of parchment paper over the template. Tape the 2 pieces of paper together and tape them to the surface you are working on.

Next, trace over the template onto the parchment paper just in case the 2 pieces of paper slip from each other later.

Here comes the fun part! It’s time to add your personal touch to the mask by designing the shape! Remember, the template is just a general guide, but this is your mask. You can be whoever you want to be!

Next, trace everything with the hot glue and then fill it in!

Now we get to decorate!

And finally, add some strings on the side so you can tie your mask on.

Last but not least, wear it with style!

That’s all folks. Happy making everyone!

Let us know how it goes. Until next time …

Annalise.

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

Flashing rainbows and fun shapes … what more could you want out of a piece of jewelry? Whether you’re wearing it to a party, tying it to your dog’s collar, or pinning it to your bike-messenger bag, our Haute Glue bling is sure to get you noticed. Made from a few simple materials with easily sourced parts, this is a fun and relatively fast project that’s sure to make an impression and leave all your friends asking “Where can I get one?”

The first thing to do is assemble your materials:

image

 

  • 2 pin LED bulbs (you can get these in a variety of colors from a variety of places, this link is purely for reference)
  • Coin Cell Battery (CR 2032)
  • Silicone ice cube trays or candy molds (*Note: we cut our molds out of the tray so that we’re only working with one shape, you can leave yours intact or cut them out, it’s up to you)
  • Paper clip
  • Thin Craft Foam
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hot Glue Stick(s)
  • Ice/cold water bath
  • optional: pin backs, lanyard clips, string, barette clips or other fasteners to attach to your bling

 

Now let’s get started!

 
Step 1

Plug in your hot glue gun while you prep the rest of the project. You’ll want your LED packet ready to go once your mold is filled up.
image
 
Step 2
Cut an approximately ¾ inch by 2 inch strip of the thin craft foam
image
 
Step 3
Put the LED on the battery so that it lights up (the positive leg is the longer one).
image
 
Step 4
Fold the craft foam over the battery/LED to make a little sandwich. The legs of the LED should be in the crease.
image
 
Step 5
Slide the paper clip over the side of the foam to keep the sandwich together. You’re now ready to fill your mold.
image
 
Step 6
Fill the mold of your choice with hot glue. You want to fill it up pretty close to the top, as the LED doesn’t add that much volume. This might take a little time and a lot of glue … be patient.
image

image
 
Step 7
When your mold is filled insert the LED into the glue. Try and keep the battery sandwich out of the glue, so that you’ll be able to change the battery later.
image

image
 
Step 8
Toss the whole thing into the ice bath. It’s okay if it submerges, it will still work, we promise.
image
 
Step 9
Remove your hot glue bling from the ice bath and pop it out of the mold. If you want to attach a backing of some kind now is the time to do it. Otherwise, you’re all done! It’s time to sport your new sparkly gear!

image

image

 
If you make something share it with us—use the comments below or tag @nysci on Instagram and Twitter.
 
We can’t wait to see what you’ve created.

image
 
Until next time,

– Annalise
(With special thanks to Ed Services staff/model Sarah!)

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

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

 

Have You Ever Noticed Sunlight Passing Through Leaves?

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

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

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

 

What Trees Are in Your Neighborhood?

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

 

Identifying Your Green Neighbors

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

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

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

 

Leaf Translucency

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

For this activity you will need the following materials:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What Does Leaf Translucency Tell Me?

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

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

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

 

More on Things That Grow in Your Neighborhood

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


 

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

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

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

 

What Factors Make a Car Faster or Slower?

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

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

 

Can You Control a Toy Car’s Acceleration?

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

 

Measuring Acceleration

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Create Your Own Test Course

Gather the following materials:

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

You can also record in this graph mode:

 

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

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

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

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

 

Make Predictions

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

 

Results – What Happened?

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

 

Ready for an Extra Challenge?

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

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

 

More on Motion

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


 

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

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

Why Do Buildings Fall Down During Earthquakes?

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

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

Can You Design a Structure to Withstand an Earthquake?

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

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

 

Set Up Your Own Earthquake Simulator

Gather the following materials:

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

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

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

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


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

 

Time To Build Your Structure

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

Edible Materials

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

Simple Materials

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

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

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

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

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

Try using slots.

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

Don’t be afraid to try different shapes.

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




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


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

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

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

 

Make Predictions

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

 

Shake the House!

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

 

Results—What Happened?

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

 

Redesign

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

 

Real Earthquakes

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

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

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


 

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

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

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

Materials:
Clear drinking glasses

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

 

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

What’s Happening?

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

 

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

What’s Happening?

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

 

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

What’s Happening?

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

What can we say about sound based on our experiments?

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

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

 

WHAT’S NEXT? TURN IT UP!

 

Make A Better Speaker Challenge

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

First, gather recyclable materials. We suggest the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hints:

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


 

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

Background

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

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

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

About the Position

The seventh annual Mamas Expo by the Mamas Network offers parents information, samples, local resources and kid-friendly activities.

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

Celebrate Earth Day at NYSCI! Reuse, recycle and rethink how to respond to climate change. Take part in hands-on activities, learn how personal choices impact the climate, and come up with solutions and strategies to combat climate change.

 

Rethink and respond to climate change with these hands-on activities in Design Lab.

  • Emergency Structures – Climate change is leading to more frequent extreme weather events. Engineer a structure using dowels and rubber bands that can fit you and your family and can keep you safe through a storm.
  • Tote Bag Screen Printing – Customize your own tote bag by adding your own screen-printed design and learn about ways to reduce your waste.
  • Urban Planning in Empty Spaces with CUSP – Climate change is expected to bring hotter summers and more severe rainfall events to New York City. Act as an urban planner to redesign a vacant lot while considering different solution strategies.
  • Recycled Animation – Tell a story about the environment by directing your own stop motion sequence.

The Climate & Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP) is a group of organizations and individuals dedicated to climate change education through local and relevant solutions.

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

Celebrate Earth Day at NYSCI! Reuse, recycle and rethink how to respond to climate change. Take part in hands-on activities, learn how personal choices impact the climate, and come up with solutions and strategies to combat climate change.
 
This event continues on April 22

 

Take part in fun, family friendly activities to learn more about climate change and find ways to respond.

  • Extreme Events – Explore the impact that green infrastructure has on managing water runoff in the face of extreme events.
  • Empty Spaces – Act as landscape architects to redesign a vacant lot while considering different solution strategies.
  • Hidden Cost Café – Explore the carbon footprints of your favorite foods.
  • Hot Spots – Explore differences in surface temperatures of locations across the city and discuss solutions to keep New York City cool.
  • Get to the Game – Explore the carbon footprint of their game-day food and transportation choices.
  • Choices in your Neighborhood – Identify which green energy choices are available in their neighborhood by stacking different colored legos on a map.
  • Digital Map – Upload stories, videos, data and pictures related to climate change impacts or programs in your neighborhood and see what your friends and neighbors are sharing.

The Climate & Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP) is a group of organizations and individuals dedicated to climate change education through local and relevant solutions.

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

Do you have a passion for helping the environment? Join us for STEM Night: Conservation and Energy to explore the wide range of opportunities in conservation, energy and environmental science.

Hear from guest speakers, engage in hands-on activities, and learn about different ways you can help save our planet.

 

STEM Professionals and Organizations (with more to be added):

  • Con Edison
  • Hunter College
  • The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • The Museum of Interesting Things
  • NYU Tandon School of Engineering
  • SUNY Maritime College
  • The Lowline
  •  

    RSVP required.

     

    Get Involved
    STEM professionals interested in sharing their experiences with students and joining this event, or educators with student groups who want to attend this event, please contact acanova@nysci.org for more information.

     

    The STEM Night series is a program of NYSCI’s Alan J. Friedman Center for the Development of Young Scientists. 

    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

    Join us at our special evening event, STEM Night: Using Social Media to Engage in STEM, to learn about the wide range of career opportunities available in social media and how science is communicated through various platforms. At this free event, you can engage in hands-on activities, hear from experts in the field through a panel discussion, and network with STEM professionals.

    RSVP required. 
    Get Involved
    STEM professionals interested in sharing their experiences with students and joining this event, or educators with student groups who want to attend this event, please contact acanova@nysci.org for more information.
    The STEM Night series is a program of NYSCI’s Alan J. Friedman Center for the Development of Young Scientists. 

    Background

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

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

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

    About the Position

    mobile ecosystem

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

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

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

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

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

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

     


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

    Background

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

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

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

    About the Position

    Transmissions ebook

    Dengue, zika and chikungunya fever mosquito (aedes aegypti) on human skin

    Zika, Ebola, West Nile virus. In today’s global, hyper-connected world, identifying emerging diseases requires scientists who not only have the skills and experience to gather evidence and conduct research, but also who have the persistence to continue their research in the face of a variety of obstacles.

    Using lessons learned from persistent work done by a veterinary pathologist who helped identify West Nile Virus in 1999, NYSCI is creating an interactive comic ebook for middle school and high school students. The comic book will use a fictional storyline about five 9th graders. They work to investigate a mysterious disease, collect evidence, meet with scientists, and even time travel. The ebook aims to demystify how humans can get diseases that also infect birds and other animals.

    The Transmissions ebook will be available to the public in 2018 and is funded by a prestigious Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health.

     

    This project was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA), Grant Number 1R25OD021906-01, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

    Research reported in this publication was supported by the Office Of The Director, National Institutes Of Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25OD021906. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.