Curiosity Corner

By the Sciencenter

sciencenter-ithaca-ny376First, a little about us…

Curious. Confident. Inspired. Sciencenter is a small regional children’s science museum located in Ithaca, NY. We welcome nearly 100,000 visitors annually, and primarily serve local and regional families with young children. Learn more at,




Our project goals

  • Share information with adults in the Curiosity Corner (our early childhood exhibiton space)
  • Guide use of the materials and exhibits
  • Provide resources about the research and pedagogy behind the exhibits


Curiosity Corner app prototype includes

  • Things to try with young learners
  • Early childhood learning research background information for caregivers and parents
  • Additional online resources


Exhibit component tested

  • Water table in the Curiosity Corner
  • Designed for caregivers, parents, and children ages 0-4 years
  • Hands-on, sensory, minimal signage


What we noticed

  • Adults were excited to try new things and play and liked the idea of a mobile app for the Sciencenter
  • Visitors are interested in the research supporting our exhibits
  • Visitor feedback suggests that the actual time at museum with a 0-4 year old is not the best time to use devices.

There seems to be a fine line between balancing the usefulness of a mobile app and caring for and playing with a young child.


In the future

  • Continue to explore ways to use mobile experiences with our visitors
  • Pre-visit information about what to do and things to try
  • Post-visit suggestions for ways to keep exploring at home
  • Quickly and flexibly share new information and make updates

App Action Photo Gallery

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: