On Friday, team Killer Snails spent the day with four extraordinary Explainers from the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) as we launched our Designer in Residence program. Together we walked the halls of NYSCI, moving from exhibits such as Search for Life to Wild Minds and everywhere in between! We spent our time together documenting all of the interactive experiences and rich science on display at NYSCI while looking for opportunities to make the exhibits even more engaging to visitors.
The Designers-in-Residence (DiR) program has been created to infuse innovation and current design principles, thinking and insight into NYSCI’s Science Career Ladder. During their residency, DiRs will participate in public programs and be paired with a small group of two or three Explainers. DiRs come to NYSCI to engage with museum culture, explore our resources, and work with their Explainer partners. The goal of the program is for the DiR and Explainer teams to test ideas with the public, develop new work or new components of existing projects, and introduce different perspectives into the way NYSCI presents information and engages with our multiple publics.The four stellar Explainers who will be working with Killer Snails include: Yuliya who is a Physics major at City College, Kumari who is studying both biochemistry and psychology at Hunter College, Leah who is double majoring in Law and English at John Jay College, and Samantha who is studying biology and art at Hunter College.
After several years working as Explainers at NYSCI, each of these bright young women brings a unique perspective to the interdisciplinary exhibits on display. While reflecting on our first day together Samantha noted that, “It was refreshing to be among my peers, discussing problems with a new spin! It felt great to dive deeper into museum content and take different perspectives.”
The friendly folks at NYSCI were all so warm and welcoming. During the day we met many new faces including Wren, a science researcher at the museum who taught us about bird tubes used by scientists studying migratory birds.
Our peek into the 3D theater introduced us to Monte Melnick (above), who supervises all the audio visual needs for NYSCI, and who is a a celebrity in his own right as former tour manager for 22 years for the Ramones as well as the generous donor behind the World’s Fair exhibit which displays his own tickets and paraphernalia from the historic event. Monte even invited our crew on a behind the scenes tour of the theater complete with a visit to the studio to see how 3D films are shared with NYSCI audiences.
We ended our day with a thoughtful analysis of the exhibits we had visited as seen above. We can't wait until next Friday when we continue our work alongside NYSCI Explainers and together build new ways of engaging visitors through play.