New York Hall of Science
Unless you know all about the atom, biology, color, light, heat and have seen your “aura” projected, don’t dismiss this museum as kids’ stuff. New York City’s only hands-on science and technology center features more than 400 exhibits, including a room that gives you perspective on perspective, the nation’s largest outdoor science playground, and special events like the World Maker Faire.
The exhibits not only explain, but actively engage the visitor in the phenomena of science and technology. Guides are available to lead children and adults through exhibits, or visitors may explore, enjoy and learn on their own.
The Science Playground is the largest of its kind in the Western hemisphere, providing visitors with an outdoor science experience that invites whole-body participation. There’s also a 5,000-square-foot rocket park.
Some events have bilingual materials (usually Spanish/English), but this varies from year to year. The membership brochure and some some education program flyers are available in Spanish.
The museum offers many programs and workshops that make science fun and interesting for children and parents. The Saturday Science Kids Club is designed for children ages 10 to 15. The Young Explorers Club for younger children meets every Sunday. Storytelling sessions are regularly scheduled at the Preschool Discovery Place. Call ahead for workshops and demonstrations related to special exhibitions.
Group visits to the Hall of Science are enhanced by participation in curriculum-coordinated, 45-minute Student Workshops, such as Decaying Science (learn about decomposition), Journey into Microspace (use microscopes to view protozoa and algae) and The Eyes Have It (make 3-D glasses. These workshops are appropriate for gifted and talented classes, school science clubs and special education audiences.
Also available are Big Science Days for whole school or district booking, in which a group of up to 2,000 students have exclusive use of the museum with continuous interactive demonstrations and activities. Science Plus Days are also available for single class trips and small groups in which students are placed in a group of 100 or fewer and personally escorted from one exhibition area to another by a Senior Explainer. Teachers are sent pre-visit materials and a schedule for the day.