Last month, a dozen young children showed off their museum exhibits to NYSCI visitors. A five-year-old designed a sound exhibit with an important purpose: “It makes fun at the first try.” And an 8-year-old created a dinosaur dig with a sign instructing people to “1. Get a shovel. 2. Dig bones. 3. Have fun!“

The exhibit show-and-tell was the culmination of a six-week workshop where kids collected data, uncovered patterns, and then used what they learned to create their own exhibits. The workshop is part of a two-year project called Big Data for Little Kids: Data Modeling with Young Learners and Their Families. The project aims to deepen the understanding of how young children define, collect, represent and interpret data, as well as identify supports needed for families to engage with their children in data inquiry activities.

The kids, though, got right to the crux of the matter: Big data can be fun, even for our youngest learners!

The Museum Makers: Designing with Data workshop was held weekly from May 11 – June 15, 2017. The workshop culminated on June 15 with a special show-and-tell where participating children presented the exhibits they created to museum visitors and staff. Photos from the event can be viewed here.

The Museum Makers workshop is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1614663.