July 8, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Science is back!
The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) opened its doors for the first time in nearly 16 months today after being closed due to health risks stemming from COVID-19.
The science museum has fully reopened and features a new interactive exhibit called The Happiness Experiment. The new exhibit kicks off a series of free events, activities and workshops over the coming days to mark the reopening.
The NYSCI, located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, has been closed since March 14, 2020.
“NYSCI is back and we are better than ever!” said Margaret Honey, President, and CEO of NYSCI in a statement.
“I am thrilled that we are able to re-open and re-engage in person with families, teachers, students and the community.”
Staff at the museum have worked hard during the closure to help improve the visitor experience, Honey said. They have created a brand new exhibit, revamped old favorites and upgraded facilities.
For example, The Happiness Experiment was put together to bring some much-needed optimism back into the world following the hardships people suffered during the pandemic, organizers said.
The new exhibit explores the meaning of happiness and how it shapes our lives. It aims to help people identify and embrace positive habits that they can then use to improve their mental well-being.
The Happiness Experiment consists of a series of playful and immersive areas where visitors can test ways in which environmental, social, attitudinal and behavioral factors can affect emotions.
There are also dozens of other exhibits and experiences on offer at the museum including Small Discoveries, which invites visitors to explore the power of microbes. Small Discoveries is a redesign of a previous exhibit known as Hidden Kingdoms.
PreSchool Place, a fun play area for children, has also been revamped. It now features a new shadow and light area, a new train, new tinkering and building activities, as well as a new space for infants.
A number of design engineering activities and free workshops in the Maker Space – where kids can learn how to make their own inventions using real tools- are also being held at the museum this week.
Additionally, visitors can enjoy the ever-popular Rocket Park mini-golf too.
Meanwhile, Rob Anderson, a Queens-based muralist, will paint three murals at the museum on Saturday and Sunday – between noon and 4 p.m. – and visitors can take part in the creations.
The murals, which will be 6 feet high and 6 feet wide, will be hung up on a fence outside the museum along 111th Street when completed.
All staff and visitors are required to wear masks inside the museum and there are hand sanitizer stations located throughout the building.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards welcomed the opening of the museum.
“The New York Hall of Science is a crown jewel among our borough’s cultural institutions, cultivating a strong interest in science, technology, engineering and math in youth,” Richards said in a statement.
“Its reopening will once again bring the joy and wonder of science through a hands-on approach within easy reach of all Queens residents and visitors to design, make and play.”