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January 17, 24, and 31, 2015 

10 AM - 1 PM

Family game play and problem solving: Does technology change our roles?

When solving problems collaboratively, children have traditionally listened more to their adults' suggestions, showing less power but more compliance. However, technology may be changing these family dynamics.  In today’s digital world, children are likely to be the technology “experts”, and are often both more literate and more confident in digital skills than adults. As technology becomes increasingly integrated into family life, are the dynamics of family decision making changing?

In this study, intergenerational participants will have the option of racing against each other or working as a team to master an online problem-solving game.  The study will look at the influence of technology on our family collaborations.

This study is a collaboration between Zhengsi Chang, University of Texas at Arlington, Dr. Lin Lin, University of North Texas, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

1 - 4 PM
Do our spatial skills affect our reasoning abilities?

When children play with blocks, they may be developing more than just creative structures.  Research suggests that developing the ability to understand and mentally manipulate spatial information is foundational to mathematical problem solving. This study will examine the role of spatial abilities in basic reasoning tasks. 

The purpose of this study is to explore spatial reasoning skills.  Participants will be asked to stack transparent cards in an order that aligns all circles and dots, and researchers will observe the use of spatial skills. This study can help educators better understand the spatial processing subskills that are needed in basic reasoning tasks.

This study is a collaboration between the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the MBE Lab at the University of Texas at Arlington.


 February 7 and 14, 2015

 Do our actions reflect what we perceive?

Which inner circle appears larger? The figure to the right is an Ebbinghaus illusion in which the inner circle surrounded by larger circles appears smaller than the inner circle surrounded by smaller circles.  What if we asked you to grab the inner circle?  Would your thumb and index fingers be the same distance apart as you reached for each circle?  Research indicates that, while an object may appear smaller or larger, this does not affect how we grasp the object because perception and action systems operate independently.

This study seeks to determine if a similar effect can be found when putting a golf ball to a target.  Participants will putt a golf ball either along a visible line or towards a target.  The results will shed insight on whether perception and action systems function separately as in grasping an object embedded in an Ebbinghaus illusion. 

This study is a collaboration between Dr. Joe Shim (, Baylor University and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.


Fun Fact
The Museum's Noble Planetarium was the first planetarium to be named after a female astronomer, Charlie Mary Noble, a Fort Worth educator of math and astronomy.

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