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!

Future Museum Educators

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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.

As meat consumption around the world increases, so do the concerns over the sustainability and efficiency of meat production. Raising livestock is extremely inefficient - think 100 grams of vegetable protein in order to raise 15 grams of meat on average - and uses up valuable agricultural land and water resources while contributing to climate change.
Dutch scientist Mark Post has been working on a new way to grow meat - in a laboratory. He has successfully grown the world’s first “test tube burger" from billions of cow stem cells. While time-consuming and expensive, Post believes the production could eventually be expedited, allowing artificial meat products to become more common.
The test tube burger will be revealed and tasted in the upcoming weeks in London. Could this be the sustainable meat of the future?

As meat consumption around the world increases, so do the concerns over the sustainability and efficiency of meat production. Raising livestock is extremely inefficient - think 100 grams of vegetable protein in order to raise 15 grams of meat on average - and uses up valuable agricultural land and water resources while contributing to climate change.

Dutch scientist Mark Post has been working on a new way to grow meat - in a laboratory. He has successfully grown the world’s first “test tube burger" from billions of cow stem cells. While time-consuming and expensive, Post believes the production could eventually be expedited, allowing artificial meat products to become more common.

The test tube burger will be revealed and tasted in the upcoming weeks in London. Could this be the sustainable meat of the future?

Howdy Neighbor!

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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.

neoteotihuacan:

A few months back, a small twitter hashtag got kind of crazy - #overlyhonestmethods

Its a hashtag full of scientists admitting shortcuts in research, along with the daily face palms and annoyances of a scientific lifestyle. Science is hard, yo. 

I decided to steal some of the more popular tweets from the trending hashtag along with some random images of scientists from Google image search and combine them. This is the result. it works, I think. 

The full album can be found here: http://imgur.com/a/x77kL

Mosquito, 10x - Dr. David Maitland/Nikon Small World

Click pic to see more images…

physicsphysics:

IBM Team makes world’s smallest movie with ATOMS: ‘A Boy and His Atom’
This video holds the Guinness World Records™ record for the World’s Smallest Stop-Motion Film (see how it was made). The ability to move single atoms — the smallest particles of any element in the universe — is crucial to IBM’s research in the field of atomic memory. But even nanophysicists need to have a little fun. In that spirit, IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules (two atoms stacked on top of each other), all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times.

Design, Make, Play

Last month, NYSCI entered the publishing world with our new book: Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators. Published by Routledge, the book includes case studies of innovative programs throughout the country that get young people interested in science and technology. Programs like the Tinkering Studio at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, the MAKESHOP at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and Design Lab here at NYSCI.

With a shortage of Americans in science and technology fields, this is a book everyone should read. As Ursula Burns, Chairperson and CEO of Xerox Corporation, said,

“If you care about the future of our country, you should read this book and then put its lessons to work.”

Next Generation Science

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Last week, new guidelines for K–12 science education were released. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were developed by 26 states, along with the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve. The standards emphasize critical thinking over content memorization and identify science and engineering practices that students should master to be fully prepared for college and careers.

NGSS also recommends that students learn about climate change. For the last two years, we have partnered with Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management on a program called My Carbon Footprint, an educational initiative designed to build awareness about climate change science. As a result of this project, we have developed two climate change curriculums – one for middle schools and one for high schools – that include hands-on activities that give students the foundation they need to understand climate change. Both curriculums align to the seven crosscutting scientific and engineering concepts identified in the NGSS framework: patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter: flows, cycles and conservation; structure and function; stability and change. The curriculums can be downloaded for free and can help guide teachers who implement climate change science lessons into their classrooms.

The NGSS guidelines are voluntary, but many educators are applauding the move away from rote memorization. Our president and CEO, Margaret Honey, said in a recent USA Today article that children should be taught

“how to learn and how to be discerning…When I was a kid, education was memorizing and learning lots of facts — that methodology of teaching absolutely no longer makes sense. That’s not the world we live in anymore.”