“Frequently, you see women relegated to very traditional roles - I’ll build the robot, and you can be secretary for the group. Unless you’re very assertive, men can take over the group.” - Angela Bielefeldt, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Colorado Bounder
When we first started working on Design Lab, we invited a number of exhibition firms to come in to talk to us about how we might collaborate on this project. This process helped us to realize that we were not really creating an exhibition space per se, but rather an armature or environment…
Great article by Mommy Poppins on our new Maker Space area at NYSCI. Don’t forget that this Saturday 1 – 3 pm we’re having a workshop on Drum making in there - and the whole family is encouraged to join in! Free with NYSCI admission.
It is official! Modular//Neuroid and The New York Hall of Science will be collaborating to create a multi-layered experience for middle and high school students in a project titled Collect, Construct, Change(C³). The project will give students the chance to collect data on environmental pollution in the field, and then offer them a platform in which to experience this data. This experience will come in the form of an augmented reality cell phone application. The project will culminate in the form of several workshops over the summer at NySci, and a presentation and workshop at the first ever Maker Faire NYC (which is being held at the New York Hall of Science, September 25 and 26, 2010)! The final step of the project is to promote environmental advocacy through the children participating. This is extremely exciting. It also means that I am employed through October 2010. Thank goodness.
This has been on the books for some time now, and have waited to announce it on this site as there were several details to work out. Everything is a go, and I have already begun prototyping for this iteration of modular//neuroid. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity and intend on making use of it. My involvement is the result of a collaboration between the New Youth City Learning Network, along with Parsons and NySci. The team also consists of a Columbia post-doc, as well as the Bank Street College andCity Lore.
In response to a teachers plea for science resources, we’ve gathered some links and lessons from the Teachers Talkingscience site, some of which NYSCI has written and which extend the learning of Science Friday videos. Most of these have videos and associated lesson plans:
To celebrate the history of math and its impact on the world, IBM has released Minds of Modern Mathematics, a free iPad app that re-imagines a classic 50-foot infographic on the history of math that was part of the Mathematica exhibit at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Eric Siegel, director and chief content officer of the New York Hall of Science, says the exhibit remains relevant to this day.
The world has changed a lot since you were a wide-eyed, innocent kid playing with your handmade sock puppet. Puppets have come a long way too.
This week, NYSCI opens Puppet Parade, a new type of puppetry created by Design I/O that uses computers and Xboxes to merge the movements of real people with projections of larger-than-life creatures. Puppeteers control the animals using their hands and arms. Then their actions are tracked through Xbox Kinects, the data is sent through a computer to a projector, and presto! – a fantastical, interactive scene is displayed on a 17-by-26-foot wall.
The experience includes all the entertainment of that old sock puppet, while also including the interactivity and special effects of today’s technology.
Become a Teacher Design Fellow and learn about introductory design starter activities and the design process, a problem-solving process central to engineering and technology. Through an online orientation and our five-day Verizon Summer Design Institute (July 16 – 20), you will develop and…
Lights, Camera, Science! Explainer TV brings science to YouTube
It may not have the glamour of filming at a Hollywood studio lot, but our Explainer TV program uses all the skills and tricks utilized by professional filmmakers. The program syncs science and education with video editing, marketing and communications to teach our Explainers, those multi-talented, red-aproned exhibit interpreters, to script, produce and film short videos about science.
The program has trained more than 20 high school and college Explainers since 2010. At last count, 26 videos have been created, earning more than 13,000 views on YouTube. Video topics include oobleck, ferrofluid and nanotechnology, as well as coverage of our events and exhibits.
The resulting videos are humorous and charming, and show the fun of science to viewers around the world. No gray card is needed to know that this program gets it just right.
Calling all makers: Cognizant's Making the Future scholarship program is here!
If you’re a student pursuing a career in science, math, engineering and technology, you could earn $5,000 by submitting a video of your original “maker” project! NYSCI’s partner in STEM, Cognizant, is offering a new Making the Future scholarship program, with NYSCI’s President, Margaret Honey, chairing the selection committee. Spread the word: whether you’re still in high school and about to enroll in college, or already in college, this scholarship program is a great way to bring your projects to life.
We have been working intensively with Gigantic Mechanic, a NYC based game design firm to create a social game for our Great Hall exhibition on the theme of sustainability. We have spent a lot of time with dice and cards (my response was to make a game where you build a house out of the cards…
A quintessentially Canadian winter tradition – outdoor ice hockey – could be facing extinction within decades because of climate change, a new study says.
Pick-up games of ice hockey, also called shinny or pond hockey, are a way of life during the long winters. Many towns are studded with neighbourhood ice rinks, some families even freeze over their backyards. Ottawa has the Rideau Canal, the 5-mile skate run through the nation’s capital. But such pursuits are in peril as milder winters and earlier springs pare down the outdoor ice season.
It takes a long cold spell to be able to build a good foundation for ice sports – at least three days in a row at -5C, the researchers determined, from interviews with public rink officials.
But temperature records from 142 weather stations across the southern belt of Canada, where most of the population lives, showed a distinct warming trend from 1951-2005.
According to the criteria set by rink officials, many of those locations would have experienced later start dates for outdoor skating over the years. Most showed shorter seasons, as much as 20 to 30% shorter in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and parts of western Ontario. Only Atlantic Canada showed a longer season.
Ever wanted to connect your Legos and Tinkertoys together? Now you can — and much more. Announcing the Free Universal Construction Kit: a set of adapters for complete interoperability between 10 popular construction toys.
Cool that video games that attempt to tackle climate change. Of course, I have to bitch that they’re misguided in focusing on CO2 rather than adaptation. So, they seem a bit outdated to me. Still, quite interesting that the game industry is even bothering with such a strong environmental message.
Move over textbooks. Step aside complicated instruction sheets. On Monday, an unusual space opens that will teach kids and adults how to create and build circuits, metalworks, quilts, crafts, robots, and most importantly, that wacky, out-there project that you were told could never be built.
Maker Space is a new area at NYSCI that is made possible thanks to an investment by Cognizant’s Making the Future education initiative. The space, designed by the Brooklyn-based firm Situ Studio, will feature workshops on topics like sewing, soldering, and programming using open-source hardware. But the real skills being honed will be collaboration, risk-taking, creativity and innovation. These are skills that are necessary for careers in STEM. And skills that will help prepare the next generation of leaders.
"Curiosity, creativity and collaboration all come together in the activities we have planned for this space…" said Margaret Honey, president and CEO of NYSCI. "The network of collaborators that will work with us in this new venue represent an inspiring pool of talent to give our visitors – especially young children – the tools they need to nurture the innate human tendency to be creative and see the world differently."
Beginning in May, visitors to NYSCI can participate in workshops and drop-in sessions at the space. Topics will vary but will include sessions on the basics of soldering, sewing (using machines and equipment donated by SINGER® Sewing Company), and circuitry.
So forget your old notions of what you can and can’t accomplish. At Maker Space, there’s room for all your ideas, but there’s no space for limitations.
Testing sharing resources between two installations. The system can detect and identify boxes ( our cargo trucks ) and add resources from one installation and have the trucks transport the resources to another installation. Note: This is proof of concept and doesn’t represent a final installation. We’re using computer vision for the identification in this prototype but a more robust and flexible solution would probably involve rfid.
UPDATE 03/08/12 The leading edge of the March 6 coronal mass ejection (CME), reached NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) satellite at 5:42 AM ET. ACE sits just outside of Earth’s magnetic environment, the magnetosphere. As magnetic fields from the CMEs connected up to the magnetosphere, instruments on Earth began to measure changes in our planet’s magnetic fields – indicating the onset of a geomagnetic storm. At the time of writing this was still a minor storm, rated a G1 on a scale of G1 to G5. There will be updates as needed if the rating increases.
The Design Lab staff and Explainers have been prototyping 3 activities, Circuit City (with LED’s, batteries, foil, and various building materials); Dowels and Rubberbands; and Recycle City (with recycled materials and zoobs). In general, the buzz has been really beautiful to watch, the kind of…
1964 in NYSCI’s Great Hall, nearly 50 years ago…Frank Capra’s last movie, Rendezvous in Space is a 20 minute long quasi-documentary with Danny Thomas trying to explain what will happen in the Space Station that will eventually orbit the Earth (a question that still lingers with the International Space Station). At one point in the movie —which I have put on youtube, its a lousy print, but you can get the idea, —the footage cuts to the images that John Glenn took from his first Friendship 7 orbits of the Earth.
It is the first time most people every saw the Earth from outside the Earth. I remember it vaguely, but the rush of images, culminating in the image of the Earth from the moon and beyond, have diminished the shock. We are on one planet, not on separate continents. Political lines do not show up on the actual globe (I actually remember being kind of surprised, since the only globe I had at home was a political map). The ocean, the clouds, the atmosphere are vast and transnational.
For the new exhibition we are planning in NYSCI’s Great Hall, we are inspired by this sense of connectedness to consider the global systems that shape the future of the planet. Not just the natural systems, but the social, economic, transportation, and electronic networks that are deeply influential in peoples’ lives. The immediate impacts of these human global systems shape our lives more directly than the longer range impacts of changing natural systems.
Steve Uzzo, a network science PhD and polymath leading the Great Hall Project insists that climate change is a symptom of a world out of balance, and that making communities healthier and more sustainable (in a human sense…better education, health care, transportation, economic opportunity) is the best way to address climate change.
There is a wonderful set of TED talks by Hans Rosling that use clever visualization to show how data reveals transnational social change. Check it out. It is an image of a globally interconnected world that is more abstract than John Glenn’s orbital pictures of the earth, but equally compelling in showing how connected we are.
Is today’s music instruction a little hollow? Should science education be hit with a thunderbolt?
Don’t worry. The thunderbolt is in town and she has collaborated with NYSCI and the Creator’s Project on an education series for middle school students. Björk, the Icelandic music superstar, has made New York City the first U.S. stop on her Biophilia tour, with shows at NYSCI and Roseland Ballroom. Not content to just sing about nature and science, Björk has made education an integral part of her New York residency. Through the Biophilia Education Series, music and science instructors are educating 50 Queens students by using Björk songs to teach topics like dark matter, crystalline structures, and viruses. Students were recruited from middle schools in our neighboring communities of Corona and Flushing.
In the Biophilia after-school workshops and this week’s winter break camp, students explore the fundamentals of music composition and production using iPad apps created by Björk for her latest project, Biophilia. Students also participate in demonstrations and hands-on activities led by NYSCI instructors that explore the scientific themes of Biophilia. The result is a unique educational experience that will get kids feeling electrified about songs, nature and technology.
Think of it as a bolt of inventiveness for science and music learning.
Photo: Students learn about the phases of the moon at a Biophilia workshop. Photo by Andrew Kelly. View more photos.