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Website: Museum of Ancient Inventions

ancientwheelsHelp students connect to the past by having them view the Virtual Museum of Ancient Inventions, which displays helpful information on remarkable innovations from the distant past, such as the Aztec calendar wheels, the loom, the steam engine, the catapulut — and even eyeliner!

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Exhibits: The Skyscraper Museum, NYC

skyscraper2

New York City’s Skyscraper Museum celebrates a rich architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped its successive skylines. Through exhibitions, programs and publications, the museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. Cost: $5, $2.50 for students and seniors.

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Online Exhibit: Why Design Now? Cooper-Hewitt, NYC

Solar WindowInspire the inventors, innovators, and designers in your class with a look at the Why Design Now exhibit at New York City’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum — online or in person. See what progressive designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and citizens are doing in diverse fields and at different scales around the world. Included are practical solutions, as well as experimental ideas. Each creation — from a soil-powered table lamp to a post-petroleum urban utopia — celebrates the transformative power of design.

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Summer Camp 2010: Think Engineering and Robotics

Museum of AviationSummer camp isn’t always about crafts, swimming, and mosquito bites anymore. In Warner Robins, Ga., the STARBASE Robins Engineering Academy allows middle school students to gain familiarity with basic engineering principles and hands-on prototyping on a 3D printer. No 2011 information provided.

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Museum: The Works, Minn.

The Works museumThe Works: A Hands-On Museum, located in Edina, Minnesota, has many initiatives to promote excellence in elementary engineering education by encouraging, inspiring, informing and supporting teachers. Its Excellence in Elementary Engineering Education conference, a professional development day in November, contains more than 20 breakout sessions on teaching elementary engineering.

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Database: Find a Science Center

Student at Hands-On MuseumThe Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) hosts a searchable database of more than 400 science and technology centers and museums in 43 countries worldwide. The search engine can narrow the search by country, state, and keywords.

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Resource: California Academy of Sciences

Californa Academy of Sciences logoThe California Academy of Sciences offers teacher workshops and class materials on different science subjects; hosts field trips and tours; and provides daily programs, lectures, special events, internships, and contests. The 155-year old museum in San Francisco has a living green roof, an aquarium, a planetarium, and an indoor rainforest.

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Publication: Research on Informal Learning

Informal ScienceThe National Academies Press has published a several hundred-page paper called “Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits” (2009). It explores the various facets of science learning outside the classroom and uses research to determine which approaches are most effective. The Committee on Learning Science in Informal Environments was established to examine the potential of non-school settings for science learning.

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Museum: Center of Science and Industry

COSI logoThe Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio offers summer camps, grade-specific theme days, live science shows, demonstrations, 300 interactive exhibits, and more. For teachers, COSI offers professional development workshops, an annual Teacher Resource Fair, class materials, and discounts on admission and membership.

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