The Free-Choice Learning Laboratory at HMSC

Informal science education research

The Free-Choice Learning Laboratory at HMSC

Tag archives for wave tank

In the eyes of a graphic designer (By Zack Starker)

      My name is Zach and I’m a graphic designer working at the Hatfield Science Center.  I handle all kinds of work that needs to be done for exhibits, posters and signage for the center.  Its a new field for graphic designers and I’m very excited to be a part of it.   [...]

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At the speed of a jetliner!

Did you know? …In the deep open ocean, tsunami waves can travel at speeds approaching a jetliner (500 mph)? …The States in the U.S at greatest risks for tsunamis are Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California These are some of the interesting information pieces we have been working with in our signage work for the [...]

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Summer, when a young researcher’s fancy turns to …

Having more time to do research, of course! With the pressures and schedules of classes over, students everywhere are turning to a dedicated stretch of research work, either on their own theses and dissertations, or for paid research jobs, or internships. That means, with Laura and I graduating, there should be a new student taking [...]

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“Make it work” in the FCL Lab

If you’re a fan of “Project Runway,” you’re no doubt familiar with Tim Gunn’s signature phrase. He employs this particularly around the point in each week’s process, where the designers have chosen their fabrics and made at least their first efforts at turning their design into reality. It’s at about this time in the process [...]

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More prototyping at the wave tanks…it’s lego-tastic!

This past week at HMSC, we have been getting back to my old favorite – exhibit design and prototyping. Katie and I have been planning the prototype of the video booth that will go in to the new wave tank area, which is intended to capture visitor reflections when they test out their wave-resilient lego [...]

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Camera Housekeeping

With all the new wave exhibit work, visitor center maintenance, server changes and audio testing that has been going on in the last few months, Mark, Katie and I realized that the Milestone system that runs the cameras and stores the video data is in need of a little TLC. Next week we will be [...]

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Prompting Reflection

As the lab considers how to encourage STEM reflection around the tsunami tank, this recent post from Nina Simon at Museum 2.0 reminds us what a difference the choice of a single word can make in visitor reflection: “While the lists look the same on the surface (and bear in mind that the one on [...]

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Encouraging Visitor Reflection around STEM

Do visitors use STEM reasoning when describing their work in a build-and-test exhibit? This is one of the first research questions we’re investigating as part of the Cyberlab grant, besides whether or not we can make this technology integration work. As with many other parts of this grant, we’re designing the exhibit around the ability [...]

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Back in the saddle

We’re ready for round 2 of camera placement, having met with Lab advisor Sigrid Norris on Monday. We’ll go back to focusing on the wave- and touch-tank areas and getting full coverage of interactions. Basically, our first test left us spread too thin to really capture what’s going on, and our programmer said face detection [...]

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Making Waves: Bringing Tsunamis to Washington DC – Part 1

OSU ran three outreach activities at the 46th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and we took the chance to evaluate the Wave Lab’s Mini-Flume wave tank activity, a related but different activity to the wave tanks in the HMSC Visitor Center. Three activities were selected by the Smithsonian Folklife committee to best represent the diversity of [...]

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