Dust off your soldering tools and gather up your Arduino-based dreams, because World Maker Faire is happening this weekend at NYSCI. With more than 650 makers, plus demonstrations, workshops and performances, there will be plenty of things to try out, contribute to, or simply marvel at.
And we wouldn’t miss this chance to show off some uniquely NYSCI-created projects like giant-bugs made from sheet metal and lights, work stations where you can make walk-along gliders or underwater robots, and a workshop where your littlest fairegoers can make their own superhero gadgets. And if you’ve forgotten how to solder or how to program with Arduino, don’t worry, there’s workshops for that too!
It’s clear we all need to do our part to deal with this issue. Here at NYSCI, we’ve been focusing on education. In partnership with Deutsche Bank, we developed climate change curriculums for use in middle schools and high schools. The curriculums can be downloaded for free on the My Carbon Footprint blog.
And now, we’re offering a free workshop about climate change communications on Thursday, October 10 from 10 am – 3:30 pm. Part of our work with the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership (CUSP), the workshop is designed for organizations and institutions that want to introduce climate change messaging into their existing programs. The workshop is open not only to groups with a primary focus of climate change education, but also to organizations interested in city systems, such as transportation or public health, that will be affected by climate change. Registration for this workshop is open through September 30. Do your part and register!
These resources, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates, have a carbon footprint of 3.3 billions tons of carbon dioxide every year.
How can we help? Solutions in developed nations include decreasing portion sizes, developing organic waste alternatives like composting, and giving leftover food from restaurants to charities. For the developing world, better storage and distribution techniques are necessary.
Besides being a heavy contributor to greenhouse gases, food waste puts pressure on a system already struggling to feed the world’s population. To be more careful with our food supply today means not only helping the planet, but helping its inhabitants as well.
Rover Camille is a robotic replica of a Mars rover that helps our visitors learn about the Red Planet. Named after Camille Beatty, one of the rover’s creators, the robot is made from 750 parts, many of which were built from scratch. But perhaps the most extraordinary part of this story is the creators themselves; two young girls from North Carolina built the rover with their father in their garage.
Camille, age 13, and sister Genevieve, age 11, worked together on soldering, machining, designing and assembling the rover. Just last month, the rover was unveiled to an appreciative crowd at NYSCI.
The two girls are currently working on a second rover for NYSCI, to be named Genevieve. As for rover Camille – will she be given a chance to roam free like Curiosity? Not likely. But word on the street is she’s been eyeing the two rockets located just outside her exhibit.
The Last Reef Receives Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Nominations
The 3D movie The Last Reef, which explores the planet’s vanishing coral reefs, has been nominated in two categories of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Competition: Best Immersive 3D/Large Format and Best Original Musical Score. The Film Competition is part of the prestigious Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and is considered to be the Oscars of nature filmmaking. Winners will be announced on September 26. The Last Reef is showing in our 3D theater daily through September 9.
Two sisters, 11 and 13, have built a Mars rover in a workshop in their family’s garage. The girls also worked with their dad to build software to control the rover.
"The rover will roam around a mini-Martian landscape and analyze rocks with hidden heat lamps embedded inside. Its innards contain more than 700 components, including electrical and mechanical apparati."
By: Miriam Kramer, Staff WriterPublished: 08/09/2013 03:07 PM EDT on SPACE.com A sister act in North Carolina has proven that age is no obstacle when it comes to building a Mars rover. Working out of their home garage, 13-year-old Camille Beatty and her sister Genevieve, 11, built a functioning robot modeled after NASA’s now-deceased Mars rover Spirit.
Two girls in North Carolina have proven that age is no obstacle to building a Mars rover. From their garage at home, Camille Beatty, 13, and her sister Genevieve, 11, built a functioning robot modeled after NASA’s now-deceased Spirit rover.
Move over iPhone, the Motorola Dyna TAC brick cellular phone is back in town. At least for the weekend, anyway. The Motorola, along with the Pong video game, the IBM Selectric typewriter, and other devices from bygone days will be available for hands-on exploration on Saturday and Sunday at NYSCI as part of the ChronoLeap: Technolution event.
The event complements ChronoLeap: The Great World’s Fair Adventure project that partnered the University of Central Florida with NYSCI and the Queens Museum of Art. The project created a free, downloadable game that transports users to a virtual version of the 1964/65 World’s Fair, along with educational programs and activities that accompany the game.
So put down that smartphone, rev up your time machine, and get to NYSCI this weekend!
We are super excited to welcome our (end of) summer collaborators from BioBus
BioBus is the world’s only mobile microscope lab powered by the sun and wind and it is docking in Rocket Park to run bio labs with NYSCI Explainers for our visitors. Using daphnia and a variety of other specimens, BioBus staff will lead hands-on activities with their high powered microscopes to help visitors explore micro-organisms and learn about cell division, development, etc.
The staff and bus arrived at NYSCI on Monday, July 28th, and will be with us through Maker Faire, running their labs for groups and sharing their work and equipment with the general public: Tuesdays through Fridays (9:30am-3:30pm).
From time to time, BioBus will be closed for installation as they commence with their install of 9 polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic solar panels with maximum power point tracking charge controllers.
By Maker Faire 2013, the BioBus roof will be covered in solar cells! At a maximum energy output of 2.25 kilowatts (kW), this system will allow for sun-run science any day and anywhere!
The new Fruit and Vegetable Prescription program launched at two NYC hospitals this week. Under this new initiative, overweight or obese patients can be prescribed Health Bucks along with nutritional counseling. These Health Bucks, which accrue at $1 per day per family member over a four month period, are redeemable only at NYC farmers markets.
The use of Health Bucks allows for increased access to locally grown fresh food, leading to improved health outcomes for individuals while bringing lasting changes to the local economy.
Patients from the pilot program have already seen dramatic weight loss and other positive changes for themselves and their children. Could this be the default nutritional therapy of the future?
This summer, five college students will interact with NYSCI visitors as part of the Maker Education Initiative’s Maker Corps program. The students will collaborate in NYSCI’s Maker Space, assisting visitors with new activities that will be prototyped and refined for use in this year’s summer camps. They will also work on their own individual maker projects. By providing maker-oriented jobs, the Maker Corps program aims to expand the network of maker mentors, expose more people to making, and provide career skills to college students interested in making.
NYSCI is one of only 34 organizations throughout the country participating in the program, which was highlighted by the White House as a program that increases opportunities for STEM participation. To date, NYSCI’s Maker Corps members have prototyped mold making activities and worked on sonic mosquito repellent kits.
Stop by NYSCI’s Maker Space to see what they’ll be working on next!
Everything in the built world has been designed and crafted by someone. This is not news to most of us, but I’m amazed that even as engineering and design have taken more visible roles in shaping how we experience the world, there are still so many who see themselves as consumers, not makers. We Are Makers is a new short film that explores the workshops and institutions shaping a new generation of makers and designers. It’s the first documentary
Earlier this month, NYSCI, in collaboration with the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia, opened a new exhibition focusing on the life and work of the man who brought us bladeless turbines, remote controls and the Maker Faire-favorite, the Tesla coil. Nikola Tesla’s most significant invention was the alternating current induction motor, still used today in home appliances, as well as in machines in many industrial plants and factories.
Tesla’s Wonderful World of Electricity, on view at NYSCI through October 20, includes working replicas of Nikola Tesla’s inventions, models of his scientific laboratories, photographic reproductions, and a narrative about his life and work.
This Saturday night at NYSCI, visitors can collaborate on a story with digital artist and performer, Haeyoung Kim. Part performance, part workshop, Kim’s Moori will use audience members to help create a dynamic narrative. Users will download the Moori app, and use the app to pose questions and answers, and to generate algorithmic sounds and visuals. The result will be an interactive performance featuring collaboration among audience members. Part of Harvestworks’ 2013 New York Electronic Arts Festival, the event begins at 4 pm with Night Games, an interactive dance game, followed by cocktails at 6 pm, and EXPOSED – Sound featuring Moori at 6:30 pm.
Haeyoung Kim is based in New York City and explores the texture of sounds in electronic music. Her work has been presented in various museums and galleries including the American Museum of the Moving Image, PS1, Nam June Paik Center in Korea, and Kunsthalle in Austria.
This Saturday, dance the afternoon away on a science-inspired dance floor at Night Games. Using 3D surround sound and Playstation move technology, dancer’s movements are analyzed by software and used to modify the dance experience. The movements and instrument choices of the dancers create the music, and costumed creatures encourage revelry and participation in this collaborative performance. Throughout the dance, Night Games brings a conscious awareness to participants that their individual actions impact the collective ecosystem. So bring your enthusiasm, good vibes and your best moves to NYSCI this Saturday!
Last week, ten thousand miles from New York, students learned about microorganisms from one of our educators. Anthony Negron, manager of our Virtual Visit program, employed videoconferencing technologies to connect with St. Kevin’s Primary School in Sydney, Australia. Using microscopes, NYSCI exhibits, and a live feed of various microorganisms, the students learned where the tiny creatures are found, and how to classify them. The program helped to launch a new technology room at the Australian school and was attended by students, parents and educators.
Brett Salakas of St. Kevin’s Primary School and coordinator of the event called the program a “wonderful experience” that “greatly enhanced our science unit on microorganisms. The well-balanced program gave the students an insight in the topic which we could not provide here in a regular classroom.”
Last weekend, elementary students from P.S. 139 in Rego Park, Queens brought their families to visit us as part of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs CASA – Cultural After School Adventures program. Prior to the visit, NYSCI staff traveled to P.S. 139 to provide a series of three after-school science workshops, where they taught the students about convex and concave lenses, the properties of light, and how electricity is produced. Last weekend’s visit reinforced some of what the kids learned during the after-school workshops, while also exposing them to other science topics as they explored our exhibits. Thanks to the grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs, now in its third year, we’ve been able to offer the CASA program to three Queens schools this year. Tomorrow, I.S. 72 will visit us to cap off their cultural after-school adventure!
The idea of medicine as food has existed for centuries. But throughout those centuries, the human race has been altering ancient, wild plants for our food consumption. As we have selected for sweeter and larger crops, we have dramatically reduced the cancer-fighting phytonutrients in them. For example, native Peruvian purple potatoes have 28 times more phytonutrients than the common potatoes we consume. The wild ancestors of apples have “a staggering 100 times more phytonutrients than the Golden Delicious” variety.
What does this mean for our food supply and our health? As companies such as Monsanto as well as the US Department of Agriculture develop disease-resistant and quick-growing varieties of our crops, does this mean even more nutrient loss will occur? Time can only tell. In the mean time, be sure to use food as medicine by including more herbs, greens, and colorful vegetables in a varied diet.
Teaching STEM the fun way: by tinkering. TASC’s ExpandEd is calling all teacher-tinkerers: make your science-technology-engineering-math curriculum stand out. Workshops will be held at NYSCI this August. Happy tinkering!
Last Saturday, 30 high school students turned into museum educators, helping our visitors understand microbiology, camouflage, skull anatomy, genetic diversity, matter, cellular structure and UV radiation. They provided info, instructions and encouragement to approximately 200 visitors who were trying out various hands-on activities.
The program is part of a partnership between NYSCI and ExpandEd, which is designed to provide high school students with experiences beyond traditional school classrooms. Throughout the Spring, the students participated in a 10-week program at NYSCI where they learned about the scientific method, astronomy, genetics, ecology, evolution, microbiology and other science topics. Saturday’s hands-on activities represented the conclusion of the 10-week program. But you may interact with some of them at our exhibits this summer: Twelve of the students will continue on with summer internships at NYSCI as Junior Explainers.
More than 60 of our Corona neighbors visited us today as part of a special museum initiative called NYSCI Neighbors. Parents of students from P.S. 14, P.S. 16 and P.S. 307, along with school faculty, were treated to a special bilingual (English/Spanish) chemistry demonstration and 3-D movie showing. In addition, Jessica Castillo, an Explainer at NYSCI, led the group on a bilingual tour of various exhibitions, including the Science Playground, the Search for Life Beyond Earth, and Sports Challenge.
Families and faculty of participating NYSCI Neighbor schools are eligible for a NYSCI Neighbors membership that offers borrowing privileges for NYSCI’s library and access to multilingual tours. The program began in 2011 to connect residents of neighboring Queens communities with our science resources and programs.
Photo: NYSCI Explainer Jessica Castillo tours a NYSCI Neighbors group through the Search for Life Beyond Earth exhibition.