Ideas Under $1000: Synthetic Biology Activities

The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE), is currently leading a project to engage public audiences in conversations and hands-on activities about the field of synthetic biology. Museum across the United States are receiving kits which include activities and information on synthetic biology. You can download a digital kit filled with awesome biology activities by clicking on the diagram above, or by visiting: www.buildingwithbiology.org/digital-kit-contents Try out the VirEx delivery activity to lead conversations with visitors on the potential for engineered viruses to deliver beneficial, targeted genetic information to sites throughout the body. What disease would you cure using engineered genetic material?

Trends: Museum Mapping

How is your museum space mapped out for visitors? Step foot into most museums – large or small – and you will likely find some of the following: way finding signage, a large map of the facility, paper maps, and helpful staff. Though these tried and true methods are unlikely to go away, more museums are also relying on technology platforms to enhance visitor way finding. Below is a survey on how digital solutions are reinventing the museum map experience. Aiding the Public with Wayfinding at the Met The Met recently launched an entire initiative focused on mapping their museum in a new way. Though the majority of museum spaces are small compared to the massive Met complex, some of the strategies employed can aid any museum […]

New Journal on Informal Science Education

Does your museum work closely with schools to provide STEM education? Are you looking for inspiration to begin a school partnership program? A new journal from Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) and the National Science Teachers Association might be just what you’re looking for! ASTC and NSTA have partnered together to create a new online journal highlighting STEM education experiences that bridge the gap between formal and informal science education. Titled Connected Science Learning, the first issue of the journal focused on successful in-school and out-of-school science education collaborations. Click here to subscribe to Connected Science Learning. Connected Science Learning is currently accepting submissions for articles for the Fall 2016 edition through June 30, 2016. Click here for more information on how to submit an article.  

Ideas Under $1000: NASA Engineering Activity

Are you looking for a program to teach some of the basic principles of engineering? NASA’s Space Launch Systems “Education and Outreach” section includes education activities that utilize real-life examples from NASA’s missions to explore engineering in action. The program “Light but Strong” considers how NASA engineers must find the perfect balance between light but strong materials to build working rockets.                                         Click the image to download the entire activity file.

Summer of Science

The Discovery Center of Springfield provides a Summer of Science for local kids Everyone looks forward to summer. Barbecues, pool parties, popsicles, trips, adventures…and science? Learning science might not sound like the way most kids would choose to spend their summer, but learning isn’t only reading text books and taking tests. At the Discovery Center of Springfield it means dropping watermelons from the second floor to the first to learn about gravity, dissecting sharks, snakes, and pigeons, and learning how to use a soldering iron. The Discovery Center’s Summer of Science program provides hands-on learning with science activities that engage students, allows them to have fun, and of course, offer many educational opportunities. “Each workshop is specifically designed to target a certain age group. Children […]

The Sound of Learning

At the Mississippi Children’s Museum (MCM), fun is not only seen on a daily basis, but it is heard in the loudly ringing bell of a shrimp boat or, in this case, the shrill buzz of a homemade kazoo. Every third Tuesday of the month, Assistant Director of Programs Lydia Rowland lays out a myriad of objects for Tinker with Tuesday. This time, she places recycled paper towel rolls, wax paper, rubber bands and a pair of scissors on a blank imagination space in Inspirations Studios. “Today, we’re making kazoos!” she announces. Three children show up immediately and beam at the table full of items, barely able to contain their curiosity. Less than seven minutes later, they disperse to separate corners of the museum for […]

Earth Day Activities

Spring is in the air throughout the Northern hemisphere. Vibrant flowers are bursting out of the ground after another long winter, birds are singing, and the sun is warm and inviting. What better time to celebrate the Earth and think about ways to protect the Earth and its natural resources than this time of year? On April 22, people in 192 countries will celebrate Earth Day, completing environmental protection projects throughout the world. Though Earth Day is a big concept, even the smallest of Earth’s citizens can take part in Earth Day events. Science World British Columbia has provided the following Green Month activities for children aged 3–5 years old to introduce them to ideas about the importance of protecting the earth. What does your […]

Discovery Room renovation – Saint Louis Science Center

Along with a new entrance and separate exit to help traffic flow, the interior of the Discovery Room is largely divided into three main learning areas – water, nature and sky – all creating unique and fun exploration and building opportunities. With the exception of the new aquarium, everything new was conceptualized, designed, built and painted by the Saint Louis Science Center’s own Production, Electronics and Design teams in collaboration with Science Center Educators. The new activities incorporate best practices in early childhood education. “We are so happy to bring all these new immersive environments to our Members and visitors,” said Melissa Thomas, Senior Educator for the Discovery Room. “Children and their families will really be able to let their minds and spirts grow and […]