Getting Pedagogical with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Magic Table

Last month, at the annual ASTC conference in Raleigh, I had the chance to visit the North Carolina’s Museum of Natural Sciences’ Naturalist Center. The room is a science exploration room for children with a really fascinating space, notable for its “Magic Table.”

The table is surrounded by a wide range of scientific specimens but the table itself is empty, blank, with nothing but a white top… that is, until you place a specimen on top. Then it comes alive.

I filmed the following video of my supervisor, Preeti Gupta, analyzing for us while checking it out, exploring when and how it aligns with what she’d call either transmissionist or initiative/response/feedback styles of interaction.

This will be the first of three posts exploring the role digital media plays in a number of their innovative hands-on labs and exploration spaces.

About Barry

The Associate Director For Digital Learning, Youth Initiatives at the American Museum of Natural History.
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3 Responses to Getting Pedagogical with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Magic Table

  1. Lynn Baum says:

    I so appreciate this great video. Ever since I returned from ASTC I have been trying to explain the fantastic resources of the Naturalist Center. I think its a wonderful example of how technology can put the “stuff” of museums into the spotlight for some very dynamic learning.

  2. lyndakelly61 says:

    This looks very cool – thanks for posting. I’ve also been doing research into multi-touch tables, with a summary here: Be keen to hear more of what you find out!

  3. Katie O says:

    This is so cool! It reminds me of the ‘wizards book’ in the poison exhibit or the cooking module in the food exhibit. What’s even better is there is a physical object involved, not just a projection.

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