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Press Release -- April 26th, 2023
Source: Verizon

New York Hall of Science, Verizon and Snap launch citywide augmented reality experience

Media contact(s)
Caroline Brooks

First-of-its-kind “Science City Explorers” Snapchat Lens reveals science and technology behind NYC’s infrastructure, ranging from fire hydrants to stop signs

NEW YORK – The New York Hall of Science has teamed up with Verizon and Snap to launch “Science City Explorers,” a citywide augmented reality experience that allows people to learn the science in common public objects across New York City, turning the Big Apple into an interactive learning lab.

Science City Explorers” launched today and is immediately available in the Snapchat app in select New York metro areas.

“NYSCI is committed to creating new ways of delivering equitable learning opportunities around STEM. The ‘Science City Explorers’ experience does exactly that – breaking down walls and unlocking science exploration across the city,” said Margaret Honey, President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science. “Not only will it encourage children to get outside and explore their neighborhoods, but it will open their eyes to the city’s unseen world of science and engineering. Both Verizon and Snap are amazing partners and we are honored to work with their talented teams to turn the entire city into a learning laboratory.”

Developed by Social Tech Agency GoSpooky, the 5G “Science City Explorers” Lens is available exclusively for Verizon customers with a 5G smartphone on a 5G Unlimited plan on Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network in the New York metro area. A 4G version of the Lens is also available for anyone on Snapchat, independent of carrier and coverage area.

“The massive bandwidth, low latency and fast speeds of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network takes learning to a whole new level allowing users to collect and learn in super high fidelity on the go,” said Srini Kalapala, Senior Vice President of Technology and Product Development at Verizon. “By combining the power of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network with Snap’s AR technology and NYSCI’s learning assets, you unlock unique, immersive experiences so children can interact and learn about science in new and engaging ways while they explore the city.”

“It’s inspiring to see the creativity around learning that NYSCI and Verizon are bringing to the Snapchat community with this new Lens,” said Sofia Andrianakou, Director of Carrier Partnerships at Snap. “At Snap, we believe in the potential that Augmented Reality has to enhance the real world around us, and this is a perfect example of how to do that via a unique Lens campaign. We can’t wait to see how NYC Snapchatters use the Lens to learn about their city.”

About Science Cities Explorers

This new educational Snapchat Lens uses machine learning to recognize common objects from New York City’s infrastructure. By unlocking the Lens and pointing the Snapchat camera at selected water, electricity and transportation infrastructure across the city, Science City Explorers reveal the behind-the-scenes technology powering NYC. For instance, Snapchatters can scan a stop sign; the Science City Explorers Lens will recognize the object using machine learning and reveal a hidden science component that powers it – in this case, the reflective sheeting that increases visibility and luminosity at night.

Explorers who use the Lens to learn about six or more city objects will receive a free ticket to NYSCI, New York City’s only hands-on science and technology museum, to continue the learning experience in-person.

Science City Explorers is built on and powered by Verizon’s 5G network, which gives Snapchatters the speed and capacity to explore more robust and complex AR experiences. To bring Science City Explorers to life, the Lens includes machine learning models that recognize a variety of everyday objects found throughout the city. Paired with the low latency and bandwidth of Verizon 5G, all objects can be collected in real-time with minimal lag.

NYSCI partners with companies in support for the creation of equitable and engaging STEM learning experiences. Verizon has been partnering with NYSCI for more than 35 years, supporting innovative exhibitions, research and programming, including the development of Design Lab, the largest design engineering space in any museum in the country, and NYSCI’s innovative digital Noticing Tools. NYSCI was also previously awarded a 5G Challenge Award to create showcase projects for how 5G can enhance K-12 education.


The mission of the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) is to nurture generations of passionate learners, critical thinkers and active citizens through an approach called Design, Make, Play. Design, Make, Play emphasizes open-ended exploration, imaginative learning and personal relevance, resulting in deep engagement and delight in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. NYSCI was founded at the 1964-65 World’s Fair and has evolved into a local, global and impactful center for interactive science:

  • 500,000 annual visitors.
  • 1 million learners worldwide use NYSCI’s digital products.
  • 3,000 local teachers participate in professional development each year.
  • 1,000 high-school and college students benefit from mentoring opportunities in STEM fields every year.
  • 95 percent of the more than 4,000 young people participating in NYSCI’s Science Career Ladder program over the last three decades have gone on to college.
  • 70 percent of the Science Career Ladder alumni work in STEM fields.

For more information, visit Follow NYSCI on Twitter and Instagram: @nysci, and on Facebook at:

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