NOTE: Only general ideas are given for this theme. Be sure to explore ideas online or at your local library.
To use technology, you need to start with your visitor’s experience and work backwards. As you do this, ask yourself where you can incorporate technology. This helps by keeping the limitations of current technology out of your way as you plan your exhibits. Now that we’re concentrating on the experience, let’s see what technology can be incorporated.
2. The Internet.
You can view videos, see experiments and even watch things happen in real time. Before deciding to add computers to the mix, make sure your equipment can handle it. For example, instead of going out to YouTube to watch a video, download it and loop it so the kids can watch it over and over. You may want to make your own videos instead so it covers exactly what you want it to show.
NOTE: You’ll want to connect with the creator of any items you intend to use that you do not own to obtain permission to share them with others. You may need to add a disclaimer or acknowledgement in the loop.
3. Museum of Science + Industry.
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has online games, activities, videos and even a podcast. Check out what is available to see. Can you incorporate any of these into your exhibits?
4. TED Talks.
TED covers everything from education to technology. Look through the talks to find things specific to the theme you are thinking of using for your Science Center. You’ll find a lot of forward thinking here that will make your offerings seem more relevant.
NOTE: TED Talks can be either audio or video. Check out the Enrichment Project badge program of the same name for more information.
Online labs can be either remotely-operated real labs or virtual labs that simulate real equipment. Check out this site for various online labs. Experiment and see what you can use or duplicate in your own exhibits.
Experiments and information on YouTube can be exhausting to go through, but if you spend enough time, you’ll find what you’re looking for. As you go through science channels, note those which will help support your Science Center theme.
There are some amazing science podcasts available for you to enjoy. You might use these for research or ideas. Check out a few different podcasts to see what you might be able to incorporate into your exhibit.
While this might not be using a lab, interactive science websites can help ease kids into new branches of science. Explore interactive web sites. Might you be able to create a display to allow visitors to interact with the site live?
9. Government apps.
Government applications are only one type that might be available for you to use in your Science Center. From air quality (AIRNow) to a better healthcare experience (ZocDoc), there are many you may find support your theme. Check these out!
10. Other apps.
It is crazy to point to one or two apps that might be beneficial. New apps come out all the time. A couple links are in the “Sites to Explore” below. Be sure to do a search for your platform and science area you’re hoping to supplement. You may not be able to use the app for your Science Center, but the data might be able to give you supporting evidence to make your exhibit more interesting.
11. Explore more!
Technology changes every day. Explore and experiment to come up with even more ways to incorporate technology into your Science Center.
- List of science podcasts to get started
- Scramble: Online Science
- Word Find: Online
- Word Find: TED Topics
- Exhibit Planner — Pre-planning and testing questions
- Scientific Inquiry — Printables for use with any exhibit theme
Sites to Explore
To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_SCX_Technology