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

Little Patterns Shapes

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App Description: This app teaches about patterns using different colors and simple shapes such as squares, circles and triangles. The patterns in the app can be customized from simple, solid colored shapes to complex, patterned shapes. The difficulty level and number of patterns can also be customized based on the age level of the child. This app helps develop reasoning and critical thinking skills through pattern puzzles where the child has to identify and complete the patterns. A cool feature of the app is that you can record your own voice to say the question prompts or success sounds such as “Awesome” or “Good job”. You can also record the prompts in any language that the child understands.

How We Use It: At the Children’s Museum of Houston, we use this app in Cyberchase Poddeville Family Patterns exhibit which has patterns in the form of shapes, colors and numbers. The kids have to identify the sequence and place a beanbag with the correct pattern in the slot. This app comes in handy to identify and practice pattern sequences. Till you get the pattern correct, the app does not move on to the next sequence. After getting a better understanding of how patterns work, the kids are able to understand the exhibit better and complete the patterns on the wall correctly.

Museum RecommendingChildren’s Museum of Houston
Platform Used: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Cost: $ 0.99
Link: Little Patterns Shapes


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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: