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learnXdesign: New Website for Teachers, After-School Coordinators, Librarians and Others Launches

Friday, 12 June 2015

Author: Jaclyn Reynolds

Columbus, OH – A consortium of science centers, led by the New York Hall of Science and including COSI, launched learnXdesign, a website for the informal learning community, on June 12, 2015.

The website, learnxdesign.org, will contain more than 30 hands-on activities for use by educators in a variety of out-of-school settings, including after-school programs, libraries and youth clubs. Activities will focus on design-based learning, a model of learning where students are presented with a challenge that requires them to actively engage in the learning process by creating hypotheses, experimenting and drawing conclusions. Current activities available on the site include making paper circuits, Rube Goldberg-type challenges, and more.

“The Museum Design Collaborative was an incredible resource for COSI as we developed new design activities,” said Kate Storm, Director of Theaters at COSI. “The feedback and ideas shared by these talented partners led to better products and processes for us. We used the activities developed by COSI and the partners for a variety of audiences and settings – after school programs, adult-only nights at COSI, the Rube Goldberg College Nationals Competition, field trip groups, and with families. All the audiences found the activities engaging and informative, and our facilitators were constantly amazed at how long a group would stay to iterate on their design.”

The New York Hall of Science in Queens, N.Y. partnered with six science and technology museums to create learnXdesign – the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio; Explora in Albuquerque, N.M.; the Museum of Science in Boston, Mass.; the Science Museum of Minnesota in Minneapolis; The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif.; and TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Canada. Web development was provided by the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, Calif. Funding for the project was provided through a generous grant from the Noyce Foundation.

“The launch of the learnXdesign website is an exciting and meaningful step in the ongoing development of the design-based learning approach, and working with our learnXdesign partners has been and will continue to be a very enriching experience,” said Peggy Monahan, exhibit projects creative director at the New York Hall of Science. “Ultimately our goal is to provide engaging ways for students and the general public to access this new approach to learning about science, and the learnXdesign website is a terrific tool for providing that access in after-school settings.”

Although intended primarily for the after-school community, learnXdesign activities can be accessed by anyone and are available for free as pdf downloads at learnxdesign.org.

About learnXdesign – learnXdesign was founded by a consortium of science centers led by the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) to create and share resources to support design based learning in out of school settings. Through a generous grant from the Noyce Foundation, NYSCI partnered with six North American science and technology museums— The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California; the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts; the Science Museum of Minnesota in Minneapolis; TELUS Spark Science Centre in Calgary, Canada; Explora in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio. The learnXdesign partners are diverse in size and audience, and have extensive experience in design based learning in both formal and informal settings.

About the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) – The New York Hall of Science presents 450 exhibits, demonstrations and design spaces that explain science, technology, engineering and math. A visit to NYSCI is a hands-on, energetic educational experience where you can indulge your curiosity and nurture your creativity. NYSCI offers professional development for teachers, produces curricula and resources for classrooms, and studies how technology, gaming and play affect how we learn. NYSCI was founded at the 1964-65 World's Fair and has evolved into New York’s center for interactive science serving a half million students, teachers, and families each year. NYSCI is open Monday – Friday, 9:30 am – 5 pm and weekends, 10 am – 6 pm. General admission is $15 for adults and $12 for children (ages 2-17), college students with valid ID, and seniors (62+). For directions and other information, visit nysci.org or call 718-699-0005. Follow NYSCI on Twitter and Instagram: @nysci, and on Facebook at: facebook.com/nysci.

About COSI
COSI, the Center of Science and Industry located in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the most respected science centers in the nation — engaging more than 33 million people through both on-site and off-site programs since 1964. Parents Magazine named COSI the #1 Science Center in the Country. COSI’s programs and world-class experiences inspire an interest in science encouraging people to want to learn more about their world. Read more at cosi.org.

About the Author

Jaclyn Reynolds

Jaclyn Reynolds

Jaclyn Reynolds is the Director of Communications for COSI. She has worked in communications and PR for more than 16 years. She has worked as a TV news producer in cable news and as a public information officer and communications specialist in state government.