Remake Your World

Make, Design & Engineer

Remake Your World

Make, Design & Engineer

Remake Your World

Make, Design & Engineer

Remake Your World

Make, Design & Engineer

Remake Your World

Make, Design & Engineer

Remake Your World

Make, Design & Engineer

Make, Design & Engineer

Our researchers and designers work together to create genuinely equitable opportunities for all learners to discover the impact we can have on the world around us.

Coaching Designers

This five-year project is a major investment in building NYSCI’s capacity to support Design-Make-Play across the museum. It has three primary goals:

    1. Reimagining Explainer training.

We are updating the training program for Explainers so they can be more deeply prepared to support Design-Make-Play experiences for visitors. This means giving Explainers opportunities to learn new strategies to provoke visitors’ own questions and ideas, to understand the learning process more deeply, and to be better prepared to be future leaders in science, engineering and STEM teaching.

    1. Investing in Design Lab as a hub for Explainer development.

We are making Design Lab, in close coordination with MakerSpace, the central environment in which Explainers will build and refine their skills. Explainers will serve as co-designers of activities that enhance both visitor experience and their own understanding of informal learning.

    1. Establishing a new Designers in Residence program.

NYSCI will host several individuals or teams of engineers or artists each year, who will work with small groups of Explainers on a variety of projects. This will enrich NYSCI’s own offerings while also allowing Explainers to co-design new activities with experts, learn more about career opportunities, and share their own expertise in communicating with visitors through the lens of DMP.

Technical Assistance Service to Thailand’s National Science Museum

In collaboration with the National Science Museum in Thailand, NYSCI’s Maker Space team shares their expertise and experience with informal educators in Thailand on how to infuse the process of designing and making into STEAM programs to reinforce science concepts and skills, expose students to materials literacy, and encourage experimentation that leads to divergent solutions. NYSCI plans and implements a series of educator workshops in Thailand that scaffolds learning experiences for educators through workshops, lesson modeling, observations, and reflections. NYSCI also provides maker space consultancy and technical assistance on maker activities as part of the National Science Fair in Bangkok.

  • CONTACT: David Wells
  • PARTNERS: Thailand National Science Museum.
  • FUNDERS: Kenan Asia Institute, Chevron.

Photo courtesy of Kenan Asia Institute.

Noticing Tools—Deeper Learning Coach

Deeper learning competencies—thinking critically, mastering academic content, solving complex problems, and learning how to learn—are essential for students to succeed in 21st-century jobs and fully engage as citizens, but far too few schools are adequately preparing students in these ways. The need for support is particularly acute for under-resourced schools in high-needs communities. By leveraging NYSCI’s creative digital learning tools and IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technologies, we seek to demonstrate ways in which deeper learning competencies can be coupled with diagnostic practices to support core concepts in elementary and middle grades mathematics. The teams are developing a Watson-powered conversational agent embedded in NYSCI’s Fraction Mash iPad app as a prototype for a Deeper Learning Coach.

Digital Design for English Language Learners

This project connects several of NYSCI’s major institutional priorities: to engage linguistically and culturally diverse students from underserved communities in STEM through design-based projects and innovative mobile technology. In partnership with IS 61 in Corona, Queens (District 24) and a Verizon Innovative Learning School in Harlem, New York (District 4), NYSCI is developing and testing instructional activities in after-school settings and providing coaching for their middle school mathematics and ELL teachers centered on the use of NYSCI’s mobile Noticing Tools. Leading research suggests that the best math instruction for English Language Learners encourages students to take risks, communicate ideas in multiple forms, and construct meaning through visual representations and mathematically rich problems that connect to students’ lives and cultures. This work will result in a set of instructional strategies, activities, and a gallery of student work that can help teachers, after school educators, and students learn how to use the tools to increase the level and quality of students’ mathematics and language communication; offer integrated learning experiences that include both content and literacy practices; and improve teachers’ ability to assess ELL students’ thinking around core mathematics content.

learn X design

learn X design offers projects and activities that focus on design and engineering skills to be used in informal learning environments. Led by NYSCI, this project is a collaboration of four science centers all creating new activities and accompanying videos that will live on, a website that was created as a resource for informal educators, especially those in afterschool programs. Each collaborating institution is also forming or deepening relationships with local libraries and community centers, and providing professional development experiences to their afterschool educators and librarians.

  • PARTNERS: Science Museum of Minnesota, Tech Museum of Innovation, COSI, Lifelong Learning Group, Queens Community House, Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library.
  • FUNDERS: Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Maker/STEM Education Support for 21st CCLC

In partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the US Department of Education, NYSCI will partner with six science centers to conduct a train the trainer model that will enable each science center to train after-school educators from 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) on the after-school maker curriculum. The curriculum will consist of six hours of activities for elementary to middle school age children to be conducted at the CCLC sites during the summer of 2017. Each science center will be assigned five CCLC sites and will be responsible for coordinating a training with the after-school educators as well as co-implementing the program at each of the CCLC sites during the summer. Throughout the year-long project, NYSCI will provide ongoing support and resources to science center partners and CCLC sites and oversee the evaluation with the Educational Development Center.

  • CONTACT: Sylvia Perez
  • TEAM: David Wells.
  • PARTNERS: US Department Of Education.
  • FUNDERS: Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Design 2 Learn

ExpandED Schools, the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), and NYSCI, is conducting a three-year study of a professional development program designed to support students’ interest, engagement and academic performance in science through designing and making activities during the middle school years, a period during which student performance in science sharply declines. The program also aims to strengthen collaboration and coordination between formal and informal science educators to help educators teach STEM subjects in an integrated and highly engaging manner. Through intensive professional development workshops, ongoing observation and coaching, three-person educator teams (one certified science teacher; two informal educators) will be introduced to the Next Generation Science and Engineering Practices, instructional techniques, and tools and resources which have proven to be powerful vehicles for teaching STEM. Students will participate in weekly, design-based science instruction during the after-school hours. NYSCI will assess the impact of the intervention on a cohort of 300 students per year for three years (6th – 8th grade), across 15 schools from the highest need districts in NYC.

IDEAS: Inventing, Designing, and Engineering on the Autism Spectrum

IDEAS: Inventing, Designing, and Engineering on the Autism Spectrum is a three-year Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) Strategies project. It will bring together a collaborative team of researchers, program developers, ASD educators, and students on the spectrum to create an inclusive design and engineering program for middle-school students with and without ASD to be implemented sustainably in New York City public schools by educators in those schools. The goal of this project is to help the ASD Nest Support Project at NYU Steinhardt’s Metrocenter, integrate, and sustain STEM programs in Nest middle schools that encourage Nest students to pursue their STEM interests. The New York Hall of Science will provide the program templates, training, and initial implementation support to Nest staff. EDC|CCT will design and facilitate the formative research and development process. ASD Nest team members, as well as educators in the Nest schools, will work with NYSCI developers to create STEM programming that has connections to formal math and science courses and therapeutic activities which will take place during school-based lunchtime and afterschool clubs.

Innovation Institute

Innovation Institute is a program that engages a diverse population of high school students in next-generation entrepreneurial activities through technologically rich experiences in making and engineering. Inspired by the Maker movement, which at its core is focused on design, engineering, and technology, Innovation Institute aims to create opportunities for student-driven exploration of a variety STEM content areas, while giving them hands-on exposure engaging with a range of tools that help them develop their projects. Participants use the iterative process that engineers employ to analyze problems and design solutions, a series of interrelated steps that involves identifying needs, coming up with ideas to meet those needs, understanding and considering design options and constraints, then planning, modeling, and testing solutions. Their designs and products are informed not only by the NYSCI program team but also a range of partners that provide additional training and share out on their own experiences in developing products. Through Innovation Institute, participants are also able to explore their own understandings of what it means to have a STEM-based career through a range of career development opportunities. Culminating with presentations at Maker STEM Night and Maker Faire in the Fall, participants have the opportunity to showcase their work and process to our local community and their peers. LEARN MORE

INCLUDES – Designing for Diversity

NYSCI, in partnership with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, have been supported by the National Science Foundation’s INCLUDES initiative to discover how Maker Spaces that already serve young people successfully can extend the reach and impact of their work by helping youth participants make connections between their success as Makers and their potential next steps STEM careers.

Designing for Diversity: A Networked Improvement Community for Broadening the Participation of African American and Latino Youth in Computational Careers is working with eight Maker Space sites from across the country that serves middle and high school aged students of color. Together, sites are working to identify and try out ways to leverage local resources that can help to create new programs and offerings – such as mentoring relationships, paid internship opportunities, worksite field trips, and college visits – that can introduce young people to the world of STEM professionals, and help them discover the steps they need to take to join those professional communities.

Together, the collaborative will establish a Networked Improvement Community (NIC). A NIC uses the activities of improvement science and the ways of working together as a network to pursue and accomplish a shared goal and track the group’s progress toward that goal. The partners will identify the most promising mechanisms for ensuring that participation in computational making programs has a significant impact on participants’ choices to pursue STEM-focused internships, post-secondary education, and career paths.

  • CONTACT: Andres Henriquez
  • TEAM: Margaret Honey, Katie Culp
  • PARTNERS: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Assemble, Bay Area Video Coalition, CAL State University Bakersfield, Digital Harbor Foundation, East Side Girls Club, Mouse, South End Technology Center.
  • FUNDERS: National Science Foundation.

Engaging Highly Diverse Communities of High School Students in Out-of-School Engineering Residencies

This participatory action research project has engaged eight high school-aged youth in an after-school engineering program at NYSCI. The goal of this research is to identify the specific activities and ways of working together that invite participants to draw on their diverse backgrounds to contribute to their shared work, and that encourage participants to engage with the perspectives and ways of thinking, working, teaching and learning that are distinctive to the engineering professions. Evaluations of many engineering programs targeting under-represented youth have shown that such programs can have a meaningful impact on outcomes and educational trajectories. But there is little research that investigates in any detail what particular programmatic structures, policies or practices contribute to creating an environment in which youth from diverse backgrounds choose to persist in and pursue their engagement with engineering and cultivation of an identity as an engineer. This study will use participatory action research to capture the perspectives and experiences of the program participants and draws on literature on the state of K-12 engineering education, and on the experiences of underrepresented youth in undergraduate engineering programs, to inform its design and focus.

How Narrative Elements Can Shape Girls’ Engagement in Museum-Based Engineering Design Tasks

In this design-based research project, researchers and activity developers across four institutions are investigating how narratives can influence girls’ participation and engagement in museum-based engineering design activities. Research in engineering education and policy has shown that girls remain underrepresented in engineering, in part because they perceive engineering to be focused on physical products rather than people and social contexts. Nevertheless, social and emotional skills like perspective-taking and empathy are integral parts of the design process, allowing engineers to understand the experiences of their clients and design solutions that meet their needs. Museum practitioners have found that adding narratives to otherwise abstract engineering activities is a promising strategy for engaging girls, but there is little systematic evidence that defines what kinds of narrative elements are most effective in evoking empathy and supporting engineering practices like ideation and iteration. By developing and testing activities that incorporate narratives in a variety of ways, this project aims to help museums create equitable and effective STEM learning experiences that engage all children in the core concepts and practices of engineering.

Design Squad Maker: Researching How to Support Upper Elementary School Children’s Sustained Engagement and Participation in Engineering

In this three-year project, WGBH and the New York Hall of Science are collaborating to develop new strategies for supporting children’s engineering learning outside of school. The project builds on the success of PBS KIDS Design Squad, a multimedia program that engages children in design challenges and provides opportunities for children to share their projects with one another. Using a design-based research approach, museum practitioners are working with research staff and media developers to integrate hands-on design and making at NYSCI with digital Design Squad resources to help children navigate the entire design process: identifying design problems, sketching potential solutions, testing prototypes, and creating finished products. The project team is designing and testing a toolkit of resources, including digital materials, facilitation strategies, and supports for parents. After developing these resources at NYSCI, the team will partner with other museums and maker spaces to further test and improve the toolkit. Data gathered throughout the project will provide evidence about what strategies are most important for sustaining children’s engagement in the design process, and what barriers and opportunities parents face in facilitating children’s learning outside of school. By combining the unique strengths of museums, maker spaces, and digital technology, the project aims to create motivating and accessible opportunities for children to pursue ambitious design projects over time and across settings.

Design Make Play

Learn to make the magnetic modified motors that go into DIY Battle Bots, and how to scale this activity for the classroom and for varying age groups.
In this weeks tutorial, learn the art of printmaking using everyday materials at home.
This week, the tool we’ve been focusing on is the incredible, edible, microorganism, yeast!