Global Kids at World Maker Faire

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photo credit: H. Jack Martin

Over the weekend, Global Kids was at the World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science! We were part of the New Youth City Learning Network (NYCLN), which includes many of our partner organizations, including The American Museum of Natural History and the Wildlife Conservation Society of the Bronx Zoo. As part of the Urban Biodiversity Network (UBN), Global Kids was involved with an innovative mobile learning project that uses an Android phone application to engage students in exploring their neighborhoods and becoming citizen scientists. Youth at AMNH and the Bronx Zoo walked around with their phones and completed tasks, such as identifying organisms and photographing species, and then uploaded all their content onto a social media site where they could blog and see each other’s data. They earned digital badges that we created for a wide range of skills and literacies, including ecoliteracy, geoliteracy, and digital media literacy.

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Biodiversity and Interactions badges

It was great to be a part of such a family-friendly, fun event that was packed with interesting activities. There was no shortage of remote-controlled robots, futuristic-looking bikes, people in strange costumes, and do-it-yourself crafts. In one area, there was a man giving people “electric chaircuts”, and in another area there were kids creating marshmallow shooters. In the Young Maker’s tent, there were Lego builders, 3D portraits, robotics, and of course, the NYCLN mobile projects (we stood out thanks to our popular collectible buttons and cool T-shirts with a QR code)! A lot of kids came over to our table to collect the buttons.

In addition to spending time with folks and seeing people playing and having the time of their lives, there was also the smell of fresh paella being cooked in huge vats, which was the perfect accompaniment to everything that was happening around us. A big shout-out to the Maker Faire crew for making all the geeky fun happen!