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Saturdays, October 7, 14, 21, 28

10 AM to 4 PM

What target size supports the best performance?

Research shows that you can perform better either with large targets as you are more confident or with small targets as you are more focused. However, past studies were limited to using small number of targets. Our goal is to determine how accurately children throw on a wide range of target sizes.

In this study, participants will try to hit targets of various sizes as they throw a ball 3 times towards each of the different targets. Our previous studies with adults showed equal results: half of those who participated performed better as targets got smaller, while the other half performed better as targets got larger. We hypothesize that the young population will demonstrate a better performance with increased target size, as confidence will play a greater role than attentiveness. The results of the study will help us better understand what psychological state affects performance and what target size may be best for improving performance during practice. 

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


 

Saturday, October28

1 to 4 P.M.

Can a robotic hand shake your hand without crushing it?

One big problem with robots is that they crush things. They don't mean to destroy things, but they are not so good at knowing when to stop squeezing! Because they are metallic, hard, and strong, robots literally crush objects that they pick up.

In this study we make a robotic hand with soft silicon fingers containing some small air channels. As these channels inflate, the robot’s fingers slowly bend and grab an object. You can participate in making the soft robotics, too. When the entire process is complete, the robot will be ready to grab any delicate object.

A robot equipped with these simple hands can pick up an impressive range of objects. It can lift a plush toy without dropping it and even pick up an egg and place it in an egg cup. That’s right. You should be able to shake this robot by the hand, without suffering the crushing grip of a middle manager desperate for promotion!

 This study is a collaboration between Dr. Kyung Suk Yum's Nanobiotechnology Lab in the Materials Science and Engineering department, University of Texas at Arlington, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.


Saturday, October 21 and 28

If the milk is NOT hot, does that mean that it is cold?

Investigating children's development of language skills

How well do young children understand the word “NOT”? While they quickly learn experiential opposites such as “hot-cold” and “soft-hard”, the word “not” appears to be harder to understand when it is used in a sentence such as “the cup is not facing up”. Learning to understand the meaning of “not” in such sentences, or negation, is an important step in language development.

 For this study, children will complete a short sentence-picture matching task on a laptop and then decide if twelve pictures are correct or incorrect. Through investigating negation, researchers will learn more about children’s language processing. Results could increase understanding of children’s negation skils and language development.

This study is a collaboration between Tasneem Alqahtani, University of Texas at Arlington and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.


 

Saturday, October 28

1 to 4 P.M.


 

One big problem with robots is that they crush things. This is not just in the “crushing all human civilization” sense, though. They literally crush things that they pick up, because they are metallic and hard. Also, they are not so good at knowing when to stop squeezing.

Fun Fact
A typical large format (aka IMAX) 45-minute film costs about 6 million dollars to make.

Charlie Noble callout

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