In an era when four-year olds are playing games on touch screens and use words like “iPad” and “USB” the way we used “ball” and “tea set” back in the day, children may be pretty hard to impress. Fortunately there are places and people who, instead of competing with the advances of technology and the attraction it generates from children, have designed ways to educate them about it. In the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, children will experience modern science and technology as never before: they will learn from them and about them in an age-appropriate dynamic manner.
Even though the SWTL is designed for children, it is a great place for teens and adults also: a four-story building full of interactive exhibitions with themes that range from nanotechnology to weather predictability. Even if your family is not the museum type, this place is a perfect compromise for a family activity that is both educational and entertaining.
In terms of format, their exhibitions are extremely diverse. They have a production studio in which children get to record their own news segment; dance motion stations where you can see characters perform your moves simultaneously; a presentation for you to experience through haptic technology what it feels like for a doctor to perform open-heart surgery; and a pretty impressive segment titled “How devices work” in which a 3D image of an electronic device is suspended in mid-air for you to cut through and see the inside structure, among others.
The tour through the lab usually starts on the fourth floor. As you work your way down, you will encounter stations in which children create a profile of themselves (usually containing a picture, name, favorite color and voice recognition) to be used in later demonstrations of abstract concepts like digitizing, data traveling, and information processing.
The best part of this amazing experience is the price: free. Reservations are extremely recommended given that the place can get crowded. It is also a wonderful place for groups and school trips. The SWTL is located in midtown and accessible by public transportation.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be delighted by man-made wonders: technology is progress in the making.WHAT: The Sony Wonder Technology Lab WHERE: 550 Madison Ave. at 56th St New York, New York 212.833.8100 TICKETS: FREE
By: Luna Garcia