NEW YORK, May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sony Wonder Technology Lab (SWTL), Sony Corporation of America's 14,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art technology and entertainment museum at 550 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this weekend, having opened its doors to the public on May 25, 1994, as Manhattan's very first interactive science center.
Since that time, the Lab has welcomed over 3.9 million visitors, maintaining free admission for all guests in an effort to close the education gap and make engaging educational resources accessible to all.
"For two decades, the Lab has stood as a concrete expression of Sony's commitment to education in the fields of science, technology and entertainment," said Karen Kelso, Executive Director of SWTL. "We're delighted to utilize Sony's unprecedented range of entertainment assets and technologies to provide an engaging, educational and fun experience for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world."
The original SWTL was designed by Edwin Schlossberg of Edwin Schlossberg, Inc. and the highly acclaimed design team, Charles Gwathmey and Bob Siegel. The Lab subsequently underwent two significant renovations in 2003 and 2008, respectively, that were executed by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership/Big Show Construction Management Joint Venture and Unified Field. The first focused on the second floor, upgrading the exhibitry to include a new focus on entertainment in line with Sony's evolution as a Company, while the second represented a full-fledged transition of the facility from analog to digital.
During those renovations, Sony also took an environmental approach to construction and worked hard to incorporate content into its exhibits to help raise awareness of global environmental concerns while providing a glimpse of how technology is being used to help solve global challenges.
Today, the Lab's 19 permanent interactive exhibits are targeted primarily to visitors ages eight to 14 and cover a wide range of topics, from robotics to animation, to nanotechnology and TV production, and feature equipment almost exclusively developed and manufactured by Sony. SWTL has a long, proud history of accommodating those with special needs, offering sign language tours and wheelchair accessibility, and all of its exhibits are ADA compliant.
With more than a third of the Lab's visitors comprised of school children and camp groups, SWTL works both independently and collaboratively with a broad range of community-based non-profit partners, including the New York City Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers, to offer a wide range of free and low-cost movie screenings, workshops and educational events during the academic school year. Family Workshops developed for early learners combine a children's movie screening with a creative, hands-on activity that builds upon the themes and lessons from the film; Tech for Tots enable young children, ages 3-6, and their families to explore technology through interactive activities; and Sci-Tech Workshops let teens and "tweens" explore the science and applications of technology and electronics. SWTL's programs are specifically designed to support current New York Department of Education science and technology curriculums and are consistent with both City and State standards.
SWTL also offers educators throughout the New York metro area a wide variety of resource materials, including post-visit materials to supplement school visits, in-class curriculum materials, and reference materials such as journals, books and articles regarding emerging trends in technology and education.
For more information on the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, visit www.sonywondertechlab.com.
About the Sony Wonder Technology Lab
The Sony Wonder Technology Lab (SWTL) is a free, four-story, interactive technology and entertainment museum for all ages. Located in mid-town Manhattan, SWTL inspires creativity in a high-quality, engaging and family-friendly learning environment. By inviting visitors to experience the latest technologies in a hands-on setting, SWTL nurtures curiosity while awakening visitors to their own talent and potential. Through its permanent exhibits and innovative programs, including Sci-Tech workshops, ongoing screenings and associations with well-respected local non-profit and educational institutions, SWTL aims to educate and cultivate the next generation of leaders in media, science, technology and the arts. The Sony Wonder Technology Lab is open to the public Tuesdays-Saturdays, from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., with the last museum entrance at 5:00 p.m. each day. For more information, visit www.sonywondertechlab.com.
SOURCE Sony Corporation of America