Museum Makers: Designing With Data
This guide describes what took place during NYSCI’s Big Data for Little Kids workshop series, Museum Makers: Designing With Data. In addition to detailed outlines of the activities implemented during the program, this guide includes a glossary of recurrent terms and resources used throughout the workshops.
In 2017, as part of a National Science Foundation funded project, the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) set out to teach Big Data concepts to children ages 4 – 8 years old. NYSCI developed and piloted an after-school program for families to utilize the data cycle as a method of informed decision-making that embodied NYSCI’s Design, Make, Play approach to learning. Design emphasizes problem solving and intentionality, and helps you see the possibilities in the world; Make invites you to be hands-on with materials, tools and processes, and nurtures the development of skills and confidence; and Play promotes intrinsic motivation and deep engagement. All of these elements allow for open-ended exploration, innovation, imaginative learning and self-efficacy — elements that inspire passionate learners, critical thinkers and active citizens.
Using NYSCI’s own exhibit floor as a place of study, children and their families worked together to collect a variety of data on NYSCI’s exhibits, and then analyzed their collected data in order to answer the overarching question: “What is missing from NYSCI’s exhibit floor?” After identifying the problem, children designed a solution that was relevant to them, interacted with an assortment of materials and tools to make their exhibit, and ultimately engaged in a variety of playful activities that promoted data literacy.