The 21-Tech initiative has allowed me as a Discovery Guide to push myself further on how much information I can process and share with each visitor I encounter.- Odis Garrett, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a bridge between our museum guides and the visitors in that it creates connections between educational concepts and the real world.- Shawn Waxali, Children’s Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech has helped Discovery Guides engage visitors by extending their experience through the apps and applying it to the exhibits.- Ian Tibby, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech is a way of ‘hiding the vegetables in the fruit’ where the kids do not realize they are learning, but instead having fun and being fed knowledge that intrigues their minds.- Lauren Bell, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide
21-Tech provides a new outlet for our Discovery Guides to interact with the visitors in a way that further enhances their experience and makes the visit overall extra enjoyable.- Sylvia Garcia, Children's Museum of Houston Discovery Guide

App: Ball

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App Description: This is a very basic app in which a ball can bounce or ricochet off the sides of the screen. You can adjust the elasticity of the ball to make it bounce for a longer or shorter period of time. Touch the “ball” to grab it, then swipe your finger to “throw” it and watch it bounce. Note that this app does respond to gravity, so tilting the iPad will cause the ball to fall. This is a great way to demonstrate the idea of “angle in=angle out” provided no other forces act on it. The ball slows down after time, just like a ball in real life – it is a loss of momentum due to friction.

How We Use It: At the Children’s Museum of Houston, we use this app at two locations which focus on the concept of angle of incidence equals angle of reflection.” At our Ricochet table located in the How Does it Work exhibit, we use this app to interact with visitors and demonstrate angle in equals angle out by allowing the visitors to “throw” the ball on the iPad. The Ricochet table is similar to a mini-golf course with three holes and several obstacles. The object is to get a golf ball into a hole by using the angle in=angle out principle utilizing the sides of the table or obstacles on the table. In CyberChase: The Chase is On, visitors can explore this same concept by playing Penguin Hockey, using lasers to guide a puck to a target after bouncing off different obstacles.

Our facilitators ask questions about what happened to the ball on the iPad and what might happen if they tried rolling the ball on the Ricochet table the same way. The facilitators can then set up challenges for the visitors by moving or adding obstacles and by encouraging visitors to create their own challenges after the iPad experience.

Museum Recommending: Children’s Museum of Houston
Platform Used: iPad2
Cost: $1.99
Link: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ball/id295453989?mt=8

Bridging Documents:



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Project Brief

21-Tech partners study and share the effective use of Personal Mobile Technologies (PMTs) by gallery facilitators in their work with visitors. The initial three years (2011-2013) of 21-Tech are funded in large part by a 21st Century Museum Professionals award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project is led by the Children’s Museum of Houston in partnership with Lawrence Hall of Science, New York Hall of Science, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and Sciencenter. For more information, please visit the About page.

Major funding provided by:

Additional support provided by: