ReMake the Holidays! - Day two features a paper building challenge, a skraptacular city, a gingerbread house workshop, recycled snowflakes, ice sculpting and more. Full schedule here.   

ReMake the Holidays! - Day two features a paper building challenge, a skraptacular city, a gingerbread house workshop, recycled snowflakes, ice sculpting and more. Full schedule here.   

Sparking Curiosity

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Glass vials, a row of chemicals, and an alcohol lamp. Perhaps nothing symbolized the excitement of science in the early to mid-20th century better than a chemistry set. The classic kits got kids tinkering, experimenting and thinking about science. In the process, they inspired a generation of inventors and scientists, some of whom became Nobel Prize-winners. But somewhere along the way, spurred by safety concerns and legal changes, chemistry sets faded in popularity.

A new competition, launched this week, aims to find the 21st century version of the classic chemistry set. A collaboration between the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public, the Science, Play and Research Kit competition (SPARK) challenges participants to generate a new set of experiences and activities that encourage imagination and interest in science, bringing the spirit of the classic chemistry set to today’s children.

Margaret Honey, NYSCI’s president and CEO, is an advisor to the competition, which will offer tangible ways to get more kids experimenting with science.

The competition’s top award is for the best science kit prototype with a prize of $50,000. Additional prizes ranging from $1,000 – $25,000 will be awarded for runners-up and idea submissions.

No more Rice Krispies at school? From the above video… (please excuse the opening advertisement!)

Recently, the USDA has developed new rules on what kinds of snack foods can be sold in public schools in the US, created as an extension of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 signed by President Obama.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the first ingredient of snacks purchased on school grounds now must be a vegetable, fruit, dairy product, whole grain, or protein. If an item doesn’t meet that standard, it could still be sold if it contains 10% of the Daily Value for calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or fiber - if it is naturally occurring, not as part of a fortification or supplementation package.

If these rules hold, school cafeterias around the country could be looking very different very soon. However, there is already backlash from food industry giants crying foul over lost profits and marketing and the standards are not yet finalized.

What do you think - is it the government’s responsibility to restrict harmful foods from reaching kids’ hands while they are in school? Should good nutrition practices start at home? Or should parents, teachers, and the government work together to start changing the food kids eat?

library-nysci:

Thank you Bruce Goldstone!

Author Bruce Goldstone visited the Science Technology Library and read from his book GREAT ESTIMATIONS on Saturday December 29th.  The crowd enjoyed learning about strategies for estimating huge numbers of cherries, paper clips, rubber duckies and more.  Bruce had them thinking about numbers and having fun. 

Fans were able to purchase signed copies of the book.  Thanks to our gift shop for setting up operations in our library.  Of course it SOLD OUT.

His next book is on PROBABILITY and he is currently working on one about VISUAL PATTERNS.  We hope that Bruce comes back to teach and read to us about those fascinating subjects.

More info about Bruce at his website.

Many thanks to our Library volunteers, Betty, Ava and Kristin for making both sessions run smoothly.

Remake the Holidays - Sound -, a set on Flickr.Some more ReMake to bring in the New Year! May you ReMake 2013 from NYSCI!
Remake The Holidays - Day 2 - SoundRemake The Holidays - Day 2 - SoundRemake The Holidays - Day 2 - SoundRemake The Holidays - Day 2 - Sound

Remake the Holidays - Sound -, a set on Flickr.

Some more ReMake to bring in the New Year! May you ReMake 2013 from NYSCI!

Throughout December, NYSCI’s Maker Space will be bustling with “Cardboard Creations.” Using cardboard and tape, design, make and build your own arcade games. This program was inspired by 9-year-old Caine Monroy, who built an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s used auto parts store. Free with NYSCI admission.

(Source: explainers-nysci)

A look back at our Dead or Alive Party, featuring projections and animations by Glowing Pictures. Thanks to all who brought out a little spooky at NYSCI last week.

A three-minute lookback at just a few of this year’s World Maker Faire highlights. See more in our photo pool here.

LOOK WHAT’S COMING TO WORLD MAKER FAIRE - Courtesy of NYSCI’s Playworks blog, we encountered Deren at last week’s Mini Maker Faire in Pittsburgh. She’ll be with us in NYC this weekend

playworks-nysci:

Check out Deren Guler this weekend at World Maker Faire.  I got to speak with Deren at Pittsburgh’s Mini Maker Faire (9/22) about FLOAT, a participatory art/design project that co-builds air quality sensing kites.  Deren just returned from Beijing where she partnered with master kite builders to lead three workshops for local residents to build their own air quality sensors and kites to fly together.  She is interested to see how this project can be applied in different contexts.  We are hoping Deren will make a guest appearance in an upcoming Little Makers to help us build air quality sensing kites here at NYSCI.