Adventures in Innovation Experiential Education Events in NYC

NAA is delighted to be partnering with 19 cultural institutions across the five boroughs of New York City to host Adventures in Innovation, experiential educational events at New York’s premier museums, theatres, parks, and cultural landmarks. 

 Participants will explore innovative program models that promote inquiry-based learning, curiosity, exploration, and creativity–while exploring NYC. These interactive tours, hands-on activities, and discussions are sure to be fun–and will help you plan innovative programming for youth. 

The Adventures in Innovation site visits will take place Monday, March 3 from approximately 9:45am-12:00pm, please note that time varies for each activity. See below for the full details of each site visit. 

Adventures in Innovation is in addition to the National AfterSchool Convention and each event costs an additional $25. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the visit, though most are accessible via the subway.  

To register for an Adventures in Innovation site visit, please add the visit to your cart during registration. You will be asked to select your top site visit and your second choice, in the event that a visit is cancelled due to low attendance or unforeseen circumstances. 

After you register for an Adventure in Innovation, we will send you an email with the full details of your site visit, including location, time, and the key contact person at your selected cultural institution. 

Adventures in Innovation

Asia Society
Expanding Horizons

Maximum number of participants: 25

Address: 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street) New York, NY 10021

Art is an important tool for learning, and therefore it is important for educators to understand how to access information through art. Educators will participate in a workshop on object-based learning in order to understand how a museum exhibition can be the basis of a learning experience. We will model teaching techniques while viewing Asia Society’s museum exhibits Golden Visions of Densatil: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery and Tales of Wonder: Indian Art from the Asia Society Museum Collection. Participants will then take a tour of online tools that support their ability to create and infuse global learning activities in their programs. Visitors will leave with an educator guide and a copy of Expanding Horizons: Building Global Literacy in Afterschool Programs.

Cornell University Cooperative Extension, New York City, Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Aquaponics Teaching, Learning, and Demonstration Labs
Nutrition, Technology, and Environmental Stewardship

Maximum number of participants: 20

Address: 525 West 50th St. New York, NY 10019

The Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Aquaponics Teaching, Learning, and Demonstration Labs produce fresh, clean food using state of the art, cutting-edge technology that produces cleaner and safer food. Participants will visit and tour the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Hydroponics, Aquaculture, Aquaponics Applied Research Teaching and Demonstration Labs, and learn about technologies that can be applied as delivery vehicles for STEM programs. Learn how to create programs for youth and adults on topics related to nutrition, environmental stewardship, child and youth development, gardening, hydroponics, youth entrepreneurship, and community service.

The Electric Company at Sesame Workshop
Making Literacy Fun with Songs, Rhymes, and Rap 

Maximum number of participants: 25

Address: 1900 Broadway New York, NY10023

The Electric Company will introduce participants to out-of-school time resources for summer learning and afterschool. In this 90-minute hands-on experience, participants will learn about implementing the content, identifying opportunities to gauge learning, the role of family engagement, and exploration into the foundations of the literacy and curricular goals of The Electric Company. Participants will also preview video, online, small group, and individual activities and receive free resources for their sites.

Ellis Island
The Immigrant Experience and Immigration Policy

Maximum number of participants: 25

Address: Ellis Island, New York

Note: due to security requirements, registration for Ellis Island will close when we reach 25 participants, or by February 21, 2014. 

The Statue of Liberty National Monument and the Ellis Island Immigration Museum will recreate the immigration experience of a century ago for participants. The 90-minute program will help participants examine the varied themes of U.S. immigration policy and bring relatable examples to students. This workshop includes a tour of the historic Great Hall and its “stairs of separation,” retracing the footsteps of Ellis Island immigrants. Participants will explore the site’s resources, including primary documents, oral histories, and classroom materials that will help connect the story of immigration past and present. Participants will receive tools that will help foster a deeper understanding of immigration and relate it to their students’ lives in the classroom.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Engaging with History

Maximum number of participants: 15

Address: 103 Orchard Street New York, NY 10002

Explore the Tenement Museum and learn how it provides a place-based multimodal learning experience for students of all ages. This National Historic Landmark was built in 1863 and housed 7,000 people from 20 nations before it was condemned in 1935. This learning tour will explore the ways the museum uses a place-based experience to engage students in history. Participants will take a tour, explore primary sources related to the exhibit, and learn about the ways the museum can serve as a resource for their programs.   

Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met)
Connecting with Museums: Inquiry-Based Learning

Maximum number of participants: 15 

Address: 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street) New York, NY 10028

Participants will learn that the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met), like many museums, offers guided visits for camp and community groups. These interactive experiences use object- and inquiry-based learning to foster curiosity about great works of art. Thematic topics will introduce participants to a range of art from different cultures. Take part in one of these experiences firsthand and discuss best practices for planning a visit to the Met, or any other museum, for your program participants. Visitors will also explore ideas for incorporating innovative approaches into their work using the Met’s online resources.

National Museum of the American Indian
Native Cultures, Exhibits, and Cultural Objects

Maximum number of participants: 25

Address: One Bowling Green New York, NY 10004

The National Museum of the American Indian’s Cultural Interpreters hail from various indigenous cultures of the Western Hemisphere. Their knowledge and indigenous perspectives offer visitors a deeper understanding of the exhibitions and of contemporary Native culture. Participants will gain an understanding of the ways in which Native people have always created beautiful and functional objects using natural materials from their environments and obtained through trade with other Native peoples. This tour will focus on objects made from using indigenous resources and those that integrated traded materials.   


New York Hall of Science
Where Science Comes to Life!

Maximum number of participants: 25

Address: 47-01 111th St. Corona, NY 11368

The New York Hall of Science will guide participants through an exploration of a selection of exhibit spaces that promote inquiry-based learning as part of an interactive lesson and field trip experience. Participants will take part in a hands-on air pressure workshop centered around inquiry technique as well as a specially scheduled live demonstration on the museum floor. All hands-on activities can be easily duplicated using everyday, inexpensive materials. Participants will leave with strategies for designing a field trip for their students and ideas for bringing engaging, inquiry- based learning into their organizations.


New-York Historical Society
Engaging Older Youth and Families

Maximum number of participants: 25

Address: 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street) New York, NY 10024

The New-York Historical Society (N-YHS) and the DiMenna Children’s History Museum will introduce participants to out-of-school time programs (OST) offered to families and teens. 

Participants who work with teens will explore The Henry Luce III Center for the Study of American Culture where 40,000 objects from the New-York Historical Society's permanent collection are stored. Chelsea Frosini, Manager of Teen Programs, will model how OST programs use this space to develop research, writing, thinking, public speaking, and creative problem solving skills. 

Participants who work with families will be introduced to the children's galleries and family engagement strategies with Alice Stevenson, the director of the children's museum. Through touch panels, digital games, museum objects, and a children's library, participants will experience the interactive and hands-on galleries where 300 years of American history is explored, and learn strategies for engaging adults and children together in meaningful, challenging, and creative social studies activities. In addition, participants will learn about resources and possibilities for exchange and/or partnership with N-YHS.

New York Transit Museum
New York’s Transit System and Activities for Students with Special Needs

Maximum number of participants: 45

Address: 14-38 Boerum Pl Brooklyn, NY 1120

Located in a 1936 subway station in downtown Brooklyn, the New York Transit Museum brings to life the city's early days and the transit system that made the city grow. The museum offers a wide range of education programs for school and camp groups, including guided tours and activities for special needs classes. Participants will experience a hands-on collection of antique subway and elevated cars, explore the museum’s exhibits, and meet with the education staff to learn about the programs offered. Much of the visit will focus on how the museum serves audiences with special needs.  

NYC Center for Space Science Education
Aviation, Engineering, and Robotics Afterschool Programs at the NYC Center for Space Science Education  

Maximum number of participants:  15

Address: 220 Henry Street New York, NY 10002

At the NYC Center for Space Science Education, participants will be introduced to the programs offered for afterschool experiences such as Lego Robotics, model building, and flight simulation.

Paley Center for Media
Teaching with Media and the Common Core

Maximum number of participants: 40

Address: 25 West 52nd Street New York, NY 10019

Students today come into regular contact with moving images across several different platforms. As a result, they already interact with television, film, and other digital media in a very sophisticated way and are aware of narrative conventions and concepts such as genre, character development, story structure, and dramatic conflict. In this two-hour workshop, Paley Center's Educators will use their collection of television, radio, and internet programming to explore key themes and issues related to classroom teaching. Participants will learn about effective questioning and discussion strategies that develop and refine students’ and teachers’ critical thinking, viewing, and listening skills. Links to the Common Core State Standards will be made.

Pixel Academy
Alternative Education Methods with Creative Technologies

Maximum number of participants: 25

Address: 163 Pacific St. Brooklyn, NY 11201

Visitors to Pixel Academy will explore alternative education methods using creative technologies such as 3D printing, video game design, and coding. Conference participants will experience learning with tech firsthand and brainstorm ways to integrate cutting-edge tech into the teaching of typical academic skills. Through both hands-on creation stations and breakout discussion, participants will learn how the instructors at Pixel Academy use the technology of tomorrow to teach the STE(A)M and Common Core State Standards of today.

Randall's Island Waterfront Stewardship Program
Environmental Stewardship

Maximum number of participants: 20

Address: Icahn Stadium 20 Randall’s Island Park New York, NY 10035

The Randall’s Island Waterfront Stewardship Program teaches students about coastal and estuarine ecology and enables children to experience nature through hands-on learning. During the visit, participants will explore a restored salt marsh or freshwater wetland on Randall’s Island. Participants will gain a greater respect for the environment and a greater understanding of what it means to be an environmental steward.  

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square Odditorium
An Amazing, Unusual, and Bizarre Adventure!

Maximum number of participants: 50

Address: 234 West 42nd Street New York, NY  10036

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Times Square Odditorium is New York City’s most amazing museum attraction! Located in the heart of Times Square, Ripley's offers over 20 galleries of unbelievable artifacts and interactive exhibits where participants will rediscover wonder around every corner. Participants will view remarkable relics and rare treasures from around the world. With over 500 artifacts, 18,000 square feet of themed galleries, live sideshow performances, and New York's only Laser Race, the exhibits will delight visitors of all ages.

Salvadori Center
The Math and Science of Skateparks and Bridges

Maximum number of participants: 25

Address: 475 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10115-0031

The Salvadori Center is a New York City-based nonprofit that offers successful in-school and afterschool programs that bring STEM concepts to life for New York City’s students. All our programs use a collaborate approach that personalizes students’ understanding through hands-on project-based learning. By using the City’s buildings, bridges, parks, and communities as the catalyst for discovery, Salvadori students see the relevance of math and science to their lives.  Participants will explore engineering design, scientific inquiry, and model-making skills by engaging in inquiry-based activities from two Salvadori Afterschool programs: Skateparks and Bridges. Group discussion will focus on alignment between these activities and grade-specific learning standards for math and science, as well as on the key elements of our project-based approach. Sample lesson plans will be provided.

Staten Island Museum
Inquiry-Based Science Education Techniques

Maximum number of participants: 20

Address: 75 Stuyvesant Place Staten Island, New York 10301

Tour the Staten Island Museum, New York City’s oldest and only general interest museum with diverse art, science, and history exhibits. Participants will tour our interdisciplinary facility and learn inquiry-based science education techniques. Explore our innovative exhibitions based on our multi-disciplinary collections, intellectually stimulating programs, scholarly research, and enriching partnerships. Ride the Staten Farey and stop by the Statue of Liberty on your way back from the visit! 

Studio Museum in Harlem
Engaging Students with Visual Inquiry 

Maximum number of participants: 25

Address: 144 West 125th Street New York, New York 10027

Located in the heart of Harlem, The Studio Museum in Harlem is dedicated to artists of African descent. Conference participants will be engaged in an interactive gallery tour and workshop centered on two of the Studio Museum’s current exhibitions, The Shadows Took Shape and Radical Presence. The gallery tour will demonstrate innovative ways to engage students in visual inquiry and critical and creative thinking.  The workshop will include materials that invite participants to explore, experiment with, and make connections to ideas discussed in the galleries. Participants will take away strategies for engaging students in exploratory conversations around works of art, resources to access digital images, and information on opportunities available to afterschool programs, families, and educators. 


Queens County Farm Museum
Sustaining Agricultural and Horticultural Practices 

Maximum number of participants:  20

Address: 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, NY 11004-1129

Visit New York City's largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland. Participants will tour a working farm including the farmyard, planting fields, animal paddocks, and historical buildings. Participants will learn about the history of the land, its heritage breeds of livestock, and organic farming. Come feed the animals and enjoy a hayride!