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Press Release

Eric C. Sloss

For immediate release:
July 1, 2004

Explanatoids® Announces "Dishing Out Science"
A Mosaic Project Designed to Teach Children About Science

PITTSBURGH — Explanatoids®, a collaboration between the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design, the University of Pittsburgh's Learning and Research Development Center, Family Communications, Inc. and the Girls, Math & Science Partnership (GMSP), is announcing its newest project, "Dishing Out Science." This project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, will give children from the Parental Stress Center the opportunity to work with a community artist to create a mosaic on the outside wall of Whole Foods. Explanatoids is asking the community to donate colorful old, even broken, plates and dishes in addition to unwanted mirrors, glasses or vases.

A workshop will begin on July 12 for children to create the mosaic. So far, Explanatoids® has come up with two themes for the mosaic: conservation of matter (where does your food come from?) and nutrition/health. Although the mosaic will start with these two themes, the children will have the opportunity to add their own ideas. Kristin Hughes, a faculty member of the Carnegie Mellon School of Design, said, "The goal of this workshop is twofold: first, to teach the kids about learning from their environment in ways they have not yet explored, and, second, to give a legitimate voice to the community through the mosaic. The kids will interact directly with the community, listening to issues, topics, and questions, and then learn how to visualize this information through the mosaic. This project provides an opportunity to reevaluate the process of cross-disciplinary collaboration and the role of design in creating culturally sensitive educational vehicles." The completed mosaic will be officially revealed in September, when schools are back in session.

Explanatoids® is a new media project created with the goal of encouraging young people to explore science in everyday life. Since its establishment in 2001, Explanatoids® has placed informal learning media in public places to stimulate dialog about the importance of education in math and science and also to encourage young people, especially girls, to seek careers in math and science-related fields.

Dish donations should be brought to the Whole Foods at 5880 Centre Avenue in Pittsburgh between July 6 and July 21, 2004. For more information about Explanatoids®, visit For more information about the Carnegie Mellon School of Design, visit


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