games,” entertainment media, and science journalism provide a rich and varied set of resources for learning science. Through such technologies as radio, television, print, the Internet, and personal digital devices, science information is increasingly available to people in their daily lives. Although television is still the most widely referenced source of scientific information for most people, it is rapidly be losing ground to the Web. New media, such as podcasts, webinars, and blogs, can support learning by expanding the reach of science content to larger and more varied audiences. They can also be used in combination with designed spaces or particular educational programs to enhance learners’ access to natural and scientific phenomena, scientific practices (e.g., data visualization, communication, systematic observation), and scientific norms (e.g., through media-based depictions of scientific practice). What’s more, interactive media have the potential to customize portrayals of science by allowing learners to select developmentally appropriate material and culturally familiar portrayals (e.g., choosing the language of a narrative or the setting of a virtual investigation) on their own cell phone or other handheld devices.
Many museums, too, are experimenting with ways to make use of cell phones as personalized interpretation devices. For example, the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), has developed a program called “Science Now, Science Everywhere,” which allows visitors to dial a phone number to receive additional information about an exhibit. Visitors can go online and find the number in advance of their visit so that they are ready to call in as soon as they arrive at the Science Center. Information comes directly to each participating visitor’s cell phone in the form of a voicemail message or as a text.
Currently, the Liberty Science Center is working on expanding the reach of cell phones. Soon visitors will be able to sign up for a weekly photo challenge. While at the center, they can take a photo of an exhibit highlight and post it online. The photos will be reviewed and judged, with a new winner selected each