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 Post Category – Content Explanations

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In order to provide Children’s Museum of Houston’s visitors with content about the phenomena they are exploring, we created two different tabs. First, the “Big Questions” tab is a sort of “FAQ” for visitors to quickly get explanations about what is occurring at the exhibit (often posted as “What’s Going On?” or “Why Does This Happen?”) as well as concepts/definitions that are used in the explanations. The questions and the responses correlate to age-appropriate curriculum and language to help parents provide explanations they can use with different ages of kids at the exhibit. We also encourage visitors to submit their own questions which we can add to the app along with the appropriate answer.  An example of a Big Question from the Launch Cage in Invention Convention is: “How does a rocket work?” The question has two versions, for two different age groups, and provides an age appropriate text answer with a video demonstration explaining how a rocket works.

The Dig Deeper! tab provides opportunities for visitors to get more information about a topic related to what they experience at an exhibit. Websites, projects, and videos are some of the different resources we provide to visitors to extend their learning experience. Dig Deeper! Is great for kids and adults who want to learn more about the science behind a component or to learn how it can connect to the real world. To see more of how we use these posts, download the free More CMH app at iTunes and Google Play.

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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: