21-Tech

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

Color Uncovered

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App Description: Color Uncovered is an elegantly designed ebook about all things color from the Exploratorium. The app is super easy to navigate and makes for an excellent reference tool. There are all kinds of cool exercises and optical illusions that explore the spectrum of colors, along with great explanations to understand what is going on.  Color Uncovered includes articles and videos to supplement the activities and complete the app.

How We Use It: At the Sciencenter, our facilitators use this app as a hook to invite visitors to further explore color with us at the Colored Shadows exhibit. One page of the book directly connects to the content at the exhibit, Colors Add Up, and facilitators have found that it works well to come to that activity (watch out, you’ll need a clear plastic CD case to make it work!) and then lead naturally into the hands-on exhibit.

Our facilitators also use this app in our Discovery Space. The Sciencenter Discovery Space is a library of self guided “exhibits-in-a-box” that can be checked out by visitor groups. This is just one of many apps that help to facilitate different boxes. While the science isn’t too advanced for most audiences, some of the activities are more appropriate for slightly older kids. We’ve found that this is a nice way to keep older siblings engaged. Also, some very young children may not be able to see or “get” the optical illusions.

Museum RecommendingSciencenter
Platform Used: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.
Cost: FREE
Link: Color Uncovered

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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: