Tag Archives: Making

Opening up Science Journal

Science Journal is an app that turns your Android phone into a mobile science tool, allowing you to use the sensors in your phone to explore the world around you. The Making & Science team launched Science Journal a few months ago at Bay Area Maker Faire 2016 and have been excited to see different projects people have done with it all over the world!

Today we are happy to announce that we are releasing Science Journal 1.1 on the Google Play Store and also publishing the core source for the app. Open source software and hardware has been hugely beneficial to the science education ecosystem. By open sourcing, we’ll be able to improve the app faster and also to provide the community with an example of a modern Android app built with Material Design principles.

One important feature in Science Journal is the ability to connect to external devices over Bluetooth LE. We have open source firmware which runs on several Arduino microcontrollers already. In the near future, we will provide alternate ways to get your sensor data into Science Journal: stay tuned (or follow along with our commits)!

We believe that anyone can be a scientist anywhere. Science doesn’t just happen in the classroom or lab. Tools like Science Journal let you see how the world works with just your phone and now you can explore how Science Journal itself works, too. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

By Justin Koh, Software Engineer

Making spaces: supporting makerspaces in education

Today marks the first day of the National Week of Making, a celebration of making and makers across the US. We like to think of ourselves as a company composed of makers, which is why we’re so committed to supporting making in our offices and in our communities. We’re taking this commitment even further today through a new collaboration with the Maker Education Initiative and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Together we will be working closely with 10 science museums and nonprofits across the country, providing each of them with tools and resources to support hands-on training for a fleet of new makerspaces in their community. Through this partnership we hope to help create 100 new makerspaces around the country in the next year.
Educators at a professional development session at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. Photo by Renee Rosensteel, 2015
As part of the program, schools, soon libraries, and community centers around the world will have access to the same fundraising toolkit, professional development resources, and support from other maker educators online through Maker Ed.

Our work with Maker Ed and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is part of a broader set of programs designed to support making and makerspaces in schools and community organizations. We’ve worked with Stanford University’s FabLearn program by funding pilot labs and research. We’ve supported research on making in education at Indiana University. And as part of the Maker Promise, we’ll be working with Digital Promise and Maker Ed to provide 1,000 sets of safety gear to schools around the country. You can learn more about our programs and technology for Making & Science at makingscience.withgoogle.com.

Inspiring future makers and scientists with Science Journal

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!
Use Science Journal and the light sensor in your Android phone to collect data and run experiments
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.
Build and measure your own wind spinners using Science Journal activities and kits 

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.
Science Journal lets you visualize and graph data from your phone's accelerometer, light sensor, microphone and more. You can record data and set up trials, experiments and projects in the app.

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.