We believe that anyone can be a maker. Making doesn't just mean coding or working with electronics. It can be building or cooking, fixing a broken salad spinner or re-sewing a button on a teddy bear. Making is about looking at the world around you and creating - or, you guessed it, making - ways to improve it.
Science is also fundamentally about improving the world around you. It’s not just memorizing facts, wearing a lab coat or listening to a lecture. It’s observing the world around us to figure out how it works and how we can make things better through experimentation and discovery.
To bring out that inner scientist in all of us, today we’re introducing Science Journal: a digital science notebook that helps kids (and adults!) measure and explore the world around them. With this app, you can record data from sensors on your Android phone (or connected via an Arduino), take notes, observe, interpret and predict. Fundamentally, we think this application will help you learn how to think like a scientist!
Since we know that hands-on projects increase engagement, cultivate curiosity and spark a lifelong interest in learning, we also teamed up with the Exploratorium - a leader in science education - to develop and assemble creative hands-on learning activity kits to accompany the Science Journal app. These Science Journal kits include inexpensive sensors, microcontrollers and craft supplies that bring science to life in new ways. The kits are available for purchase in the US or can even be assembled yourself.
See science in action as Imagination Foundation chapters around the world put these activities to use.
We’re excited to nurture an open ecosystem where people everywhere can use Science Journal to create their own activities, integrate their own sensors and even build kits of their own. To that end, we have released the microcontroller firmware code on GitHub and will be open sourcing the Android app later this summer. We’re eager to work with hardware vendors, science educators and the open source community to continue improving Science Journal.
But our goal to inspire budding scientists and makers goes beyond Science Journal. We’ve sent over 120,000 kids to their local science museum as part of Google Field Trip Days, encouraged and supported future changemakers through Google Science Fair and sponsored organizations such as NOVA, FIRST Robotics and Lick Observatory who are pushing science forward for all of us. And to help keep our young scientists safe, we’ve also distributed over 350,000 pairs of safety glasses at schools, makerspaces and Maker Faires around the world.
Many of the Google products used today by billions of people wouldn’t exist if not for the makers, scientists and engineers who wanted to create projects that could help improve our world. If you want to join in, come meet us today through Sunday at the Bay Area Maker Faire 2016, check out the Making & Science initiative and go subscribe to our YouTube channel. Let’s all make science, together.