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

Exploring with the Mobile Proscope

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Hi all, it has been about a year since we purchased our Mobile Proscope.

So how do we use it? See below for a few examples.

Event: NASA Rover Curiosity Landing:

We held a museum event for the Curiosity landing and I used this tool throughout the day and night as a way to talk about the various tools on Curiosity, one of which is a magnifier known as MAHLI. Visitors used the microscope to look at several rocks and minerals that are similar to the types Curiosity would be exploring. It worked very well at sparking interest and providing a comfortable way to explore and ask questions. We continue to bring out this demonstration from time to time.

Line Demonstration:

Large events can often mean large lines. Sometimes an educator will walk up and down to help answer questions, but also use the Mobile ProScope to help with the tedium and anxiousness of waiting in line. Even if the line goes outside, so does this microscope!


An intern created a scavenger hunt style activity with the Mobile Proscope by taking magnified pictures of the live animals in our Life Science Lab.  She laminated the pictures and set them out for visitors to try to match to the real animals. It’s a fun visitor led activity that our member families seem to enjoy working together to solve.

School reserved lab: Dissections:

The Proscope had brought our dissections to another level. Students take pictures of the organs and tissue with the Proscope, and we send it to the teachers after class.  A definite wow experience for all involved.



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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: