A state-of-the-art learning facility in midtown Manhattan, The Sony Wonder Technology Lab opened in 1994 primarily to teach the history of communications technology, but has since expanded to integrate entertainment, gaming, and sci-tech into its programming.
Kids ages 3 and older can get hands-on experience with all the latest technology. SONY Wonder Technology Lab educates and inspires the future generation of science, technology, media, and arts leaders. Exhibits, workshops, and screenings offer educational activities for the whole family to enjoy.
| Kids learn about the art of robotics at Robot Zone by programming 1 of 6 robots to determine how it acts.
There are 20 permanent exhibits to explore at SWTL, such as the Robot Zone, a dynamic and interactive activity that introduces visitors to robotics, or practice Virtual Surgery with tactile technology that allows visitors to feel what it is like to perform open-heart surgery.
See the inner components of your electronic gadgets and cellphones with 3-D X-rays in How Devices Work; learn how real-world information is digitalized, pixelated, transmitted, and received at the Signal Station; follow data traffic as it navigates and connects through the many digital pathways on the Internet Map; discover the history of media and communications technology with the Anytime/Anywhere Timeline, which ends with current and future applications of nanotechnology.
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Visitors explore color and light as they interact with each other on the Interactive Floor by Snibble Interactive Inc., and watch their own movements performed by Sony-animated characters in the Motion Capture Dance Experience. Test new PlayStation3 games in immersive high definition displays with vibrating floors and audio in In The Game. The multi-sensory experience in Shadow Garden and Sand Interactive showcases the merger of art and technology in the digital world with translucent projections and interactive videos.
Explore computer-generated storytelling in the Animation Ramp and Studio, where kids learn basic animation principles and techniques; design and style your own computer game in the GameBuilder lab; create your own hit single in the MusicMixer lab; complete your own film trailer in Moviemaker.
Children make their own robots in the Bot Building Workshop.
Each spring SWTL collaborates with the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network for NanoDays, which offers a variety of exciting activities, engaging presentations, and hands-on workshops all about nanoscience and nanotechnology. SWTL celebrates Halloween with Wonderween, a special holiday event every October where guests attend in costume, participate in crafts, win goodies and prizes, and screen spooky films.
Address: 550 Madison Ave., Midtown, Manhattan
Hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 9:30am-5:30pm. Directions: Approximately a 55-minute drive from New City, or take NJ Transit to Port Authority and transfer to the E/M subway line to 5 Ave/53rd St. station.
Admission: Free, but RSVP is required and begins two weeks in advance. Fees for workshops vary, check website for details.
For more information: 212-833-8100 or sonywondertechlab.com
Main photo: Kids can master the art of DJing at the Music Mixer exhibit. Courtesy of SONY Wonder Technology Lab
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