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.

Making Meaning [M2] conference.
October 1, 2012.
A Maker Education Initiative organized by the New York Hall of Science.

Making Meaning [M2] conference.

October 1, 2012.

A Maker Education Initiative organized by the New York Hall of Science.

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


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.  

Build a Better Summer Camp — Just Add Science

from NYSCI President and CEO, Margaret Honey:

Last week, Peter Orszag wrote an article linking summer learning loss with skyrocketing childhood obesity rates.. For decades, educational researchers have studied summer learning loss — sometimes called the “summer brain drain.” In short, summer vacation negates some of the learning achieved during the academic year. This is particularly so for children on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum.

We don’t expect kids to do algebra at the beach, but there’s any number of ways to incorporate science and math into their summer schedules. And summer learning is, you know, fun and active.

Read More

Puppet 3.0

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.

Setting up #PuppetParade at NYSCI


We’re super excited to announce that Puppet Parade will be at NYSCI April 8th - May 6th 2012. Here are some photos of us getting it setup and ready for the public. See a video of the project here.

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. 


Some small scale reactable inspired tests of managing and sharing resources between two worlds.
Using shape detection to detect wooden pieces and assign them as resources. Still early tests.

We are using a Sony IR Camera looking down on the screen from above. The IR filter means that you don’t see the image on the screen, just the backlight of the screen with the shapes silhouetted.

(Source: design-ionysci)

Ready, Set, Go!

The race is on to get our nation’s kids up to speed on science. With U.S. students getting low global rankings in science and math proficiency, the need for innovative ways to interest youth in the sciences has never been more urgent.

We’re leading the way with SciGames, a new project developed by SciPlay, The Sara Lee Schupf Family Center for Play, Science, and Technology Learning. SciGames uses technology to turn playground play into interactive games. For instance, by attaching speed sensors to a common playground slide, the slide transforms into a powerful educational tool. Instead of simply racing to the bottom of the slide, kids can experiment with different variables, such as what type of material to sit on as they glide down the slide. This turns the act of sliding down a slide into a fun game that explores science concepts such as friction, and kinetic and thermal energy.

SciGames will also include the development of a mobile app that teachers and students can use to aggregate the data collected during the games on the playground and to conduct analysis of that data back in the classroom. This bridge between formal and informal learning environments is a hallmark of our initiatives to improve and reform education in science, technology, engineering and math.

As a finalist for a $3.44 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the SciGames project is poised to reach approximately 8,000 New York students over the next five years. We are one of only 23 foundations, museums and schools that are finalists for an Investing in Innovation Fund, or i3, grant. The i3 program supports projects that will improve student achievement or student growth, decrease dropout rates, or close achievement gaps.

So get ready. If the kids get high marks in this race, we’ll all wind up winning.