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Create, Invent, and Imagine in Design Zone

February 7, 2013

Boston— What does it take to create the next great video game, line up rhythms like the best DJs, or design a roller coaster that produces big thrills? On Sunday, February 10, 2013, visitors to the Museum of Science, Boston will go behind the scenes and see how video game developers, music producers, roller coaster designers, and other creative problem solvers use math and science to do amazing things at the Museum’s latest exhibit, Design Zone.

Created by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and made possible by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, Design Zone is a highly-interactive, hands-on exhibit where visitors can explore a variety of creative concepts to learn the processes and tools needed to create a successful design.

“We are excited to offer our visitors engaging, hands-on design experiences that connect math concepts to real-life situations,” said Paul Fontaine, Museum of Science vice president of education. “Design Zone immerses visitors in fun challenges that reveal the importance of math and science in the creative process of our everyday lives. Visitors shape their own experiences as they discover that math and science are fundamental tools to create everything from art, to music, to roller coasters, and anything in between.”

Design Zone is organized into three thematic areas – art, music, and engineering – highlighting the significance of the relationship between science and mathematical thinking and the creative thinking process.

Creative inspiration may come from anywhere, but whether it’s digital design, architecture, or video games, visual designers use mathematical thinking to turn ideas into reality. In this area, visitors design their own 2-D and 3-D art, while exploring the math and science behind visual creativity. In the Video Game Design Lab, the Architecture Studio, and the Digital Design area, visitors find out how visual designers use scale, pattern, coordinate grids, equality, and slope to turn ideas into reality. Exhibit interactives test 3-D building skills by creating a wall, tower, or plaza, and other structures, and illustrate how video game designers use algebra to create games with the right feel and level of challenge and adjust the variables to design a game that gives the highest score.

In the DJ Recording Studio, visitors play drums, mix music, and practice their DJ skills on simulated turntables, while exploring the relationships between length and pitch in musical instruments, ratios and rhythms, and visual representations of sound. At the Dance Party, visitors learn how the right ratios and timing can create a mesmerizing laser light show of swirling patterns that gets everyone out on the dance floor.

In this area, visitors explore the math and science behind movement and speed through interactive stations that feature roller coaster and skate park design, as well as race-winning bikes. In the Theme Park, visitors will discover what it takes to design the heart-pumping thrills you expect from a great roller coaster, as they test the relationships between height and speed. In the Action Sports Arena, visitors can test bike gear combinations and wheel designs and compete in a full-body virtual bike race. They can also design a virtual skate park by manipulating slope to create ramps and other essential skate park features, and then test their design with a virtual skater.

Design Zone will be presented at the Museum of Science from February 10, 2013 through April 7, 2013. The exhibit is included with regular Exhibit Halls admission: $22 for adults, $20 for seniors (60+), and $19 for children (3-11). For more information, the public can call 617/723-2500, (TTY) 617/589-0417, or visit Visitors may join conversation about the exhibit on Twitter using #DesignZone.

About the Museum of Science
One of the world's largest science centers and Boston's most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces about 1.5 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 3-D Digital Cinema and Butterfly Garden. Reaching 25,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. The Museum’s "Science Is an Activity" exhibit plan has been awarded many NSF grants and influenced science centers worldwide. Its National Center for Technological Literacy®'s engineering curricula have reached more than 47,000 teachers and 4 million students nationwide. The Museum has also: been recognized by Boston and Cambridge for its energy and sustainability efforts; named an Employer of Choice by Work Without Limits, a Massachusetts disability employment initiative; is Yankee Magazine's "Best of New England Readers' Choice" for Cultural Attraction in Science; is El Planeta's Best Tourist Attraction for the Massachusetts Latino population; and Undiscovered Worlds: The Search Beyond Our Sun was recognized as the "Best Immersive—Fulldome Program" by the Jackson Hole Science Media Awards. Visit Follow the Museum of Science on Twitter at @MuseumOfScience or Facebook at

Press Contact

Erin Shannon: 617-589-0250 or

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