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The Tech Museum Takes a New Look at High-Tech Play in Imagination Playground

Press Release Date 
Thursday, May 16, 2002
Exhibit challenges visitors to play creatively with technology To inspire innovation, we must first spark creativity and imagination. The seeds of high tech innovation are sown in high-tech play. San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif. -- The Tech Museum of Innovation presents a new way of thinking about playing with technology, beyond video games and handheld devices, in its new exhibition, Imagination Playground. The exhibit challenges visitors to play with technology and consider that high-tech play is a tool to inspiring creativity and preparing children to become tomorrow's innovators. Imagination Playground, the first full exhibition developed solely by The Tech since its opening in 1998, will be on display May 24, 2002 through January 5, 2003. As children and adults, we've all engaged in playful activities like tinkering with toys, laughing with friends and telling stories. Studies have shown that these forms of play help us to develop physically, emotionally and socially – and also help us to think creatively to solve problems. What about technology though? Is it changing the way kids play? It's certainly changing the toys kids play with. Sensors and microchips allow the toys to do more, and some experts think that means a child imagines less. Imagination Playground posits that technology doesn't have to limit creative play – and sometimes it can add to the imaginative fun. Heightened by a playful visual and audio environment, Imagination Playground offers high-tech play experiences that will get families and visitors of all ages moving, talking, laughing and imagining together. Follow an interactive play path modeled after board games and garden trails that's full of surprises. Play "spy" in our high-tech hideouts with high-tech audio and visual surveillance equipment. Catch sand with your shadow and make up your own shadow games. Tell stories in our bug theater with a virtual puppet. Build changing patterns of light with high-tech blocks. Dance your way to a high score with a maraca-shaking video game. "We think The Tech is the perfect place to have conversations on how technology impacts our families, especially in the area of play," said Peter Giles, The Tech's President and CEO. "Parents will learn a lot from playing with their children and technology in ways they haven't before. It will be impossible for parents to sit and watch their kids play; they'll be so excited, they'll have to play too!" Imagination Playground is sponsored by NVIDIA, the worldwide leader in graphics processors and media and communications devices. Additional supporters include Helen and Peter Bing, Joan and Mike Hackworth, Deedee and Burton McMurtry, Ann Bowers Noyce and Compaq Computer Corporation. Local media sponsors include the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times. Make up your own rules! at Imagination Playground, May 24, 2002 through January 5, 2003. The Tech Museum of Innovation is a non-profit educational institution that engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the innovator in everyone. Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, at 201 S. Market Street, The Tech is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer, and Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the school year. For more information, visit our website at or call (408) 294-TECH.