SCI Blog

At the Science Center of Iowa, our goal is to be a quality community resource for informal science learning where children, families, school groups and individuals of all ages come to explore science and technology.

To continue the learning outside our building, we bring you the SCI blog! Our knowledgeable staff, along with special guests and local scientists, will give you a behind-the-scenes look at SCI activities, in-depth information about science events and STEM connections in the Des Moines area.

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  • Sustainability is part of the innovation process for Makers, museums

    We explored sustainability solutions in museums, art and more at Tuesday’s Iowa Maker Tweet-Up, featuring all things green and eco-friendly in the innovation business. Here are a few highlights from the conversation:

    First, we discussed nature’s important role as inspiration for Makers.

    How do you incorporate nature/natural elements in your work as a Maker? #iamakerchat -@SCIOWA

    The weather is a big influence on my work. Especially clouds. Also lots of plants and wildlife. Imagery. -@amandambarr, Amanda Barr, ceramics artist

    We geeked out over unexpected eco-friendly features.

    What’s the coolest sustainable Making project you’ve ever seen? #iamakerchat -@SCIOWA

    Solar powered kilns! -@amandambarr

    Naturally, sustainability practices in museums entered the conversation.

    What are some ways you've seen museums work to build more sustainable infrastructures? #iamakerchat -SCIOWA

    Solar panels, roof gardens come to mind. And building w/ found/recycled materials, using eco-friendly paints/finishes. #iamakerchat -@AAMers, American Alliance of Museums

    Next #iamakerchat: Join us Tuesday, July 15, from 7:00-8:00 pm for a lively discussion on robotics and mechanics. Tweet #iamakerchat to join the conversation! 

  • Art informs Making process at every stage

    Making encompasses everything from color-changing chemistry experiments to woodcarving to comics, and at our June 30 #iamakerchat, we highlighted the “A” in STEAM. Artistry in Making is about more than eye-catching projects — it’s about creating a positive user experience through visual elements that are equally beautiful and functional.

    Educators, electronics enthusiasts, artists, gamers and more weighed in on the intersection of art and Making. Here are a few of our favorite tweets:

    First, we explored the myriad applications of art in Making.

    What does “STEAM” mean to you? -@SCIOWA

    STEAM = PC video games #iamakerchat -@Fatman22, Eric Menke

    So many interesting intersections of art/tech in making. Re-use of found/scrap materials into art, for example. #iamakerchat -@AAMers, American Alliance of Museums

    How do art and technology intersect in Making?

    Art comes up with the idea, technology makes it possible. So many things that were science fiction have become reality. #iamakerchat -@MichaelELandon

    Art informs the Making process at every stage.

    What role does art/artistic thinking play in your work as a Maker? #iamakerchat -@SCIOWA

    From experience – function is not enough. Taking time to look good is perceived as taking time to make it work right. #iamakerchat -@MichaelELandon

    When you’re starting a project, do you think about the technical functions before the aesthetic elements or simultaneously? #iamakerchat -@SCIOWA

    I start with the functionality and then tweak it to look the best that it can. Sometimes it means backtracking a bit! #iamakerchat -@MichaelELandon

    We learned that backtracking, problem-solving and laughter are important learning tools.

    Making is all about being curious and inquisitive! How do you communicate to students that it’s OK to #MakeMistakes? #iamakerchat

    As a teacher, I make and celebrate my mistakes with humor and humility and embrace students who show me they have different thinking -@tcgrn

    Next #iamakerchat: Join us on Tuesday, July 14, from 7:00-8:00 pm for a fun, fast-paced discussion pf the intersection of nature and Making. Tweet #iamakerchat to join the conversation!