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USA Science and Engineering Festival Features Museum of Science

April 17, 2016

Invited by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the American Psychological Association (APA), the Museum of Science, Boston brought elements from two of its most engaging and successful educational projects to the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. April 15-17: The Science Behind Pixar exhibition developed by the Museum and Pixar Animation Studios and the Living Laboratory® program which engages child development scientists with young children in research studies and educates caregivers about the science of kids.

Visitors learned about the science, math and creativity behind Pixar Animation Studio's technical pipeline at three exhibits from The Science Behind Pixar exhibition. They used a touch-screen to build a set for the movie Brave, heard a Pixar scientist talk about the mathematics of set design, and procedurally generated a set with blocks and dice. The touchscreen computer interactive and video were part of an NSF-funded study which helped the Museum inform the design of select exhibits that build computational thinking skills, especially for diverse middle and high school learners. The full exhibition, now at the Franklin Institute through September 5, features more than 40 interactive exhibit elements and hands-on activities empowering visitors to imagine the STEM concepts behind Pixar's films.

The Living Laboratory® teamed up with the APA on "The Science of Kids: Ask, Play, Learn!" The exciting, interactive exhibit featured demonstrations of activities scientists used in recent experiments exploring the learning and development of young children. Members of the NSF-funded National Living Laboratory project from the Museum of Science and the Maryland Science Center, with graduate students from Washington, D.C., area universities, engaged visitors in hands-on activities and answered questions about child development research. This exhibit was one of the few at the Expo that aimed to communicate to the public that it's possible to study young children's thought and behavior scientifically.

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The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500