Connected Worlds is a large scale immersive, interactive ecosystem developed for the New York Hall of Science. Local actions in one environment may have global consequences. The exhibit has been popular with family visitors and school groups.

To support the systems thinking aspect of Connected Worlds, we developed an interactive visualization as a visual recap that helps students narrate their experience to illuminate cause-and-effect and systems phenomena that played out during their session.

See example visualization


These are the resources we provided to teachers and students to engage in ESSIL's Connected Worlds experience.


Familiarize with the Connected Worlds ecosystem and the different ways to interact within it. Assign students to roles (waterer, guider, planter) and an environment. Plan ahead to work together to distribute the water, grow plants, and get all the animals to come out and play.


Review the Connected Worlds experience. Ask students, what stories can you tell? Use our data visualization of your Connected Worlds session data to help you think about what happened and how the events are connected.

Data Viz

Our data visualization provides a visual recap of the Connected Worlds session. It shows an abstracted video of the Connected Worlds space and the water flow and log placements during the session. The time-animated bar graphs show the amount of water and number of plants and animals of each level, and the line graph shows the amount of water in each environment over the entire duration of the session.

See an example

Here are the ESSIL data visualizations for the sessions we have conducted for our research.


Stay tuned to learn more about our research.

About Us

ESSIL is a research collaboration between TERC, New York Hall of Science, and Harvard University.

Andee Rubin

Andee Rubin is a mathematician and computer scientist who has been combining expertise in technology design, math education, and artificial intelligence to improve math and science education both in and out of school for over 30 years. She has led multiple projects over the years to support math and science learning from elementary to high school, through the development of math software, resources for creating data infographics, and support for learning math through visualizing data.

Barbara Grosz

Barbara Grosz is Higgins Research Professor of Natural Sciences in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University and a member of the External Faculty of Santa Fe Institute. She brings to this project expertise in the multi-agent systems area of Artificial Intelligence, particularly models of collaboration developed by her research group that can contribute to enhancing science education.

Leilah Lyons

Leilah Lyons is the Director of Digital Learning at New York Hall of Science. Her primary areas of interest are computer-based museum exhibit design, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, complex systems simulations in education, participatory simulations, mobile technology, learning in informal environments, and computer support of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics learning goals.

Kobi Gal

Kobi Gal leads the AI and Data Science Lab and is a proud member of the Artificial Intelligence Group (AIRG) at BGU. His research interests include on multi-agent decision-making, especially in teams that comprise both human and computer partipants.

Nick Hoernle

Nick is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, supervised by Prof. Kobi Gal. His work is focused on modeling, understanding and supporting collaborative work with a special focus on learning environments. He is interested in probabilistic models of group collaboration and the design of intelligent agents that use these models to support, incentivise and motivate groups of people in their endeavours.

Ada Ren-Mitchell

Ada is a Research & Development Specialist at TERC. Her work focuses on the visual communication of complex information and the quantification of qualitative data to support our research question. With depth of experience in graphic design, branding, web development, videography, quantitative research, and multiple making-related hobbies, she supports the project in many ways.