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An Evening of PLAY at NYSCI

March 5, 2019 @ 6:30 pm EST

Join CMA at New York Hall of Science to create, play and network with colleagues from NYSCI and NAME. Design Lab and Connected Worlds interactive spaces will be open for grown-ups to enjoy as they learn about how play influences STEM learning.

Presented in the collaborative problem-solving spaces Design Lab, a design and making space and Connected Worlds, NYSCI’s groundbreaking 2500 sq ft digital immersive, interactive exhibition, this event engages guests in the science of play. The sessions will be followed by discussion of how play influences STEM learning and education. And food and drink!

Margaret Honey, President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), will open the evening. Committed to nurturing creative and collaborative problem solvers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, Honey has built the foundation of NYSCI’s Design-Make-Play approach to STEM learning and engagement.

Museum staff will engage guests in facilitated sessions in the exhibitions. Afterwards they will share their experiences in designing exhibitions and digital tools that incorporate open-ended play.

We will be closing registration on February 25th so make sure to sign up before then to reserve your spot.

Price: Free for members, $25 for non-members


About our Speakers

As President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), Dr. Margaret Honey is committed to using the museum as a platform through which it can nurture a generation of creative and collaborative problem solvers in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. Under her leadership NYSCI has developed its Design-Make-Play approach to STEM learning and engagement. A graduate of Hampshire College, with a doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University, Dr. Honey has shared what she’s learned before Congress, state legislatures, and federal panels, and through numerous articles, chapters, and books. She currently serves as a member of the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Advisory Committee, National Geographic’s Committee for Research and Exploration, and the National Academies Division of Behavioral, Social Sciences and Education Advisory Committee. She also serves on the boards of Bank Street College of Education, the Scratch Foundation, and the Concord Consortium.
Ms. Dorothy Bennett currently serves as Director of Creative Pedagogy at the New York Hall of Science, responsible for developing and implementing new initiatives that reflect NYSCI’s core pedagogical approach known as DESIGN, MAKE, PLAY —a child-centered approach to STEM learning that inspires curiosity and playful exploration, builds confidence with new skills and tools, and fosters creative problem solving and divergent thinking. Drawing on 30 years of experience in informal and formal education, she helps translate this approach into practice by providing professional development for our young museum facilitators and K-12 educators, developing apps to stimulate STEM learning beyond the walls, and designing exhibit and program experiences to inspire and support our diverse audience of English Language Learners. Prior to NYSCI, she worked with IBM, the Australian Children’s Television Foundation, Engineering schools, and k-12 educators nationwide to research and develop design experiences and digital media that invite diverse learners into STEM.
Dr. Leilah Lyons specializes in designing, building, and studying how technology can be used to facilitate playful collaborative interactions between learners in informal spaces like museums, zoos, and urban planning stakeholder meetings. Through positions as Director of Digital Learning Research at the New York Hall of Science, Associate Professor of Computer Science and the Learning Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and as a consultant for museums and educational software development firms, Dr. Lyons has led or advised over 20 grant-funded research projects, and has deployed seven different digital exhibit experiences in informal settings. Her particular interest is in getting visitors to playfully engage with complex systems simulations, using technology to help learners perceive the deeper meaning in what might otherwise seem like a game-like experience.
Priya Mohabir has been with New York Hall of Science for 18 years, starting as an Explainer – a floor facilitator – and working her to up to lead NYSCI’s youth development initiatives. Priya’s experience as an Explainer shaped her outlook on the countless possibilities of making STEM education exciting for children as she was climbing NYSCI’s Science Career Ladder With this experience as a foundation, Priya has grown into a leader at NYSCI, contributing in numerous capacities. In July 2014, Priya became the Director of the Alan J. Friedman Center for the Development of Young Scientists where she develops and leads youth development initiatives, crafts strategy to ensure the Center’s sustainability, and oversees all aspects of the Career Ladder. As the current Vice President of Youth Development, Priya continues to lead the development and research of programs and activities that allow youth across NYC to see STEM as a potential career pathway.
Satbir Multani started working at NY Hall of Science as an Explainer in 2008 through a teacher certification partnership with CCNY and NYSCI. Since then she has transitioned through the Science Career Ladder and is currently the Design Lab Manager. As the manager, Satbir works with her team to prototype and iterate on design-based programming that allows visitors to solve personally motivating problems. Satbir has a B.A. in philosophy from The City College of New York with concentrations in biology, chemistry and education and an M.P.S. through the Interactive Technology Program (ITP) from NYU Tisch.
Dana Schloss is a prototyper and exhibit developer in science and children's museums. They spend a lot of time designing, developing and testing experiences to help visitors take creative risks, build confidence and competence, question assumptions and explore new ways of understanding the world. They can build anything out of cardboard or scraps and they love helping people learn how to use real tools to build big things. Dana has an MFA in Museum Exhibition Design from UARTS ('06) and has spent time at museums all over North America; they helped develop exhibits to build a new science centre at Telus Spark in Calgary; they were a tour guide and maintainer at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens; they ran the Making and Tinkering workshops and was the Manager of Museum Experience at ScienceWorks, a tiny rural museum in Oregon. Currently, Dana is the Director of Exhibit Experience at the New York Hall of Science in Queens where they are working to update the museum's exhibition offerings to better serve its diverse audience.

About our Partners

The New York Hall of Science is excited to host guests at An Evening of Play to explore the power of play as a learning tool, with both CMA and NAME.  NYSCI is the industry leader in using play to captivate and engage young people in STEM topics. NYSCI’s core philosophy – Design, Make, Play – is grounded in scientific research that demonstrates people learn by playing and when they feel personally connected to the subject matter. Connected Worlds and Design Lab are two examples of this philosophy in action, and An Evening of Play encourages guests to play, learn, and takeaway knowledge from interacting with the exhibitions.

The National Association for Museum Exhibition (NAME) is one of the Professional Networks of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).  NAME seeks to enhance the cultural landscape by advancing the value and relevance of exhibitions through dialogue among individuals, museum leaders and the public. We promote excellence and best practices, identify trends and recent innovations, provide access to resources, promote professional development and cultivate leadership.


March 5, 2019
6:30 pm EST
Event Category:


New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th Street
Queens, NY 11368