Playable Fashion


Computer hackers and fashion designers don’t usually have a lot in common. But this weekend at NYSCI, teenagers at the Playable Fashion workshop will be a little bit of both.

Twenty teens at the free, two-day workshop will learn how to hack a digital game and will design and create their own wearable, game controller glove. In the process, they’ll learn about sewing, circuits, switches, sensors and the digital tools needed to produce a video game. 

The program, a partnership between NYSCI, Eyebeam and the HIVE NYC Network, encourages a multidisciplinary approach to learning, covering skills in technology, fashion and video game design.


In accompaniment to the interview video, the vivacious explainer Saijah Williams tells us a few things about the relatively new field of molecular gastronomy or “modern cooking”, her love for baking and where she sees herself with NYSCI in the future. 

MW: So can you explain molecular gastronomy to those of us who have never heard of it?

SW: Molecular gastronomy studies the physical aspects as well as the chemical aspects of ingredients during cooking. It also studies how the ingredients interact and affect each other under different temperatures.

MW: How did this interest start?

SW: I love food and I love science; [molecular gastronomy] is a combination of the two, so it’s perfect. It turns cooking into a form of scientific experimentation.

You know how we use liquid nitrogen in the Chem demo? Some molecular gastronomical meals use liquid nitrogen to prepare.

MW: That sounds like a science experiment! Do you need any special a degree or PhD. to prepare a molecular gastronomy meal [laughs]?

SW: Yeah there are courses at certain colleges for molecular gastronomy and also special culinary schools.There are recipes that one can follow also. They even sell kits [in bookstores] to get you started.

There is a show on Netflix, called “Quantum Kitchen” it’s all about molecular gastronomy. The chef [Marcel Vigneron] in it goes all out for his meals. He puts a lot of time and thoughts and uses all sorts of techniques to prepare his meals.

MW: A meal like that can’t come cheap. Speaking of expensive meals, I heard there are restaurants [such as Corton located in Tribeca] that use special molecular gastronomical techniques to prepare their meals. The waiting lists for the restaurants are unbelievably long.

SW: I would love to dine at one but they are so expensive and the waiting lists are for months.

MW: Do you cook a lot?

SW: I am more of a baker than a cook. I usually bake extravagant cakes for the holidays. Last year for Halloween, I baked a graveyard themed cake with cookies for tombstones and worms, the gummy type of course.

MW: So we can anticipate an extravagant cake this Halloween [laughs]?

SW:  Possibly. I haven’t baked in a while and Halloween, which is my favorite holiday, gives me the perfect opportunity to make a really great cake. I’m thinking of ideas right now, so we will see!

MW: You’ve been with the Hall for 2 years, now. So where do you see yourself in the future with the Hall? 

SW: I want to move up the Science Career Ladder, try to go as far as I can, and reach the highest rung.

-       Interviewed by Margaret Wang

-       Interview edited for clarification purposes

Today’s Design Lab is on Energy. Where do you notice energy is being transferred? Here’s some tips to get ideas to harness energy in the world to power your own design projects. What can you design that uses the energy in mechanisms from your everyday life?

Music By JewelBeat

NYSCI Helps Corona Combat Learning Loss

Summer Learning at NYSCI: Maker Faire 2010

This summer NYSCI unveils NYSCI Neighbors, a new membership category available to residents of our 11368 zip code. NYSCI Neighbors combats summer learning loss by providing families with unlimited access to NYSCI, along with a suite of resources including a guided orientation to NYSCI’s exhibits and programs, a reading list for the Science Technology Library, and a Field Journal to guide and document summer learning experiences at NYSCI.  

In partnership with local schools, parent-teacher associations, and parent coordinators, NYSCI Neighbors deepens our connection with local families, excites parents and children about out-of-school learning, and positively influences how science—and NYSCI—are perceived in our community.

Josett Pacheco, Parent Coordinator at PS 19 in Corona says,

"Our parent community is very excited about the opportunity to participate in this program for the upcoming summer. Due to many budget cuts in our schools and community programs, something like this could not have come at a better time."

The multilingual orientation sessions and printed resources will address language and access barriers, and the field journals give students an opportunity to demonstrate their learning and encourage them to think of NYSCI as a fun destination within their community.

Local businesses are also offering prizes to students. Junior Scientists of the Week will be able to win free ices from the Lemon Ice King of Corona, get a behind-the-scenes lesson in tortilla making at Tortilleria Nixtamal, explore the Queens Museum of Art, and more.

For decades, parents and educators have recognized the challenge of “summer learning loss”, a phenomenon where students lose from one to three months of learning progress during summer months. NYSCI Neighbors will keep students and their families engaged with fun and learning during school vacation months and also introduce NYSCI to new audiences, who will hopefully become year-round visitors. At the end of the summer, participants will be able to apply their NYSCI Neighbor status to an upgraded annual membership


While focused on Corona in this inaugural year, NYSCI intends to expand the NYSCI Neighbors program beyond our immediate community next year.