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March 3, 2015

Using field trips to promote critical thinking

Many thanks to Dr. Jodi Kearns, Digital Projects Manager at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology for this guest post.  The Cummings Center has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since 2002 and is located at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio.

CCHP_pic_4

The Cummings Center for the History of Psychology houses exhibition galleries and extensive archives at its site in Akron.

The mission of the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology (CCHP) is to promote the history of psychology and related human sciences to the broadest community possible. Integral to this mission is offering structured educational opportunities to empower critical thinking about primary source materials held in the CCHP archives. As such, CCHP staff set a goal to make field trips both effortless for local high school teachers and useful to their students in order to encourage teachers from any subject area to bring their classes to the CCHP Museum of Psychology, which exhibits artifacts and documents from the CCHP archives. Organized, well-planned field trips to museums and archives as structured, free-choice learning environments can foster learning experiences that are self-directed and hands-on (Kisiel, 2006). To gain a better understanding of teachers’ perspectives, CCHP staff sent a survey to all high school teachers in the Akron Public Schools in Akron, Ohio during Spring 2012. Results indicated that all of the responding teachers rated field trips as moderately to very important for student learning. When asked to rate the potential helpfulness of various field trip resources for teachers, they rated all the proposed resources—pre- and post-trip activities, onsite activities, learning objectives mapped to curriculum standards, and teacher’s guides to the exhibits—as very helpful.

Local teachers participate in a professional development workshop at CCHP.

Local teachers participate in a professional development workshop at CCHP.

In response to the local educational community’s need for focused field trips identified in the survey, CCHP staff held a free workshop in Fall 2013 for teachers interested in providing more in-depth perspectives of field trips and moderating CCHP staff lesson plan building. This collaborative partnership has resulted in robust three-part lesson plans adaptable to all high school grade levels and mapped to state and core academic content standards in mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts. Each lesson plan suggests activities and materials in which teachers can engage students before, during, and after the field trip. Upon lesson completion, students will have had hands-on engagement with archival materials spanning CCHP collections, including artifacts, photographs, films, rare books, and historical tests. The lesson plans are part of the complete Teachers Resource Package that also includes gallery maps, behavioral guidelines for visits within archives and museums, guides to gallery content, and chaperone guides with instructions for facilitating on-site dialogue around the student-guided gallery guides. Further, archival materials not on display in the public gallery have been placed in the CCHP’s online repository (OCLC’s CONTENTdm) where teachers can access supporting materials from their classrooms for before and after activities.

CCHP's new Measuring the Mind exhibition, funded in part by IMLS.

CCHP’s new Measuring the Mind exhibition, funded in part by IMLS.

This project is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Museums for America grant, which enabled the installation of a new interactive museum exhibit called Measuring the Mind to capture interest of high school (and other) visitors. Measuring the Mind features artifacts, tests, photographs, and film from CCHP collections and takes museum visitors through some history of testing aptitude, personality, intelligence, and interest.

If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate materials from the history of psychology into your lesson plans or professional development for teachers, or if you know a teacher who might be interested in using our resources, please contact ahap@uakron.edu for more information.

High school students on a field trip to CCHP marvel at the artifacts on view.

High school students on a field trip to CCHP marvel at the artifacts on view.

Kisiel, J. (2006). An examination of fieldtrip strategies and their implementation within a natural history museum. Science Education, 90 (3), 434-452.

 

An example of one of the project's new lesson plans.

An example of one of the project’s new lesson plans.

February 25, 2015

Brand New Exhibitions from SITES

Special thanks to our friends at SITES for this update.

SITES has been busy planning several new exhibits to meet the needs of our diverse host venues. Whether you are looking for a unique and affordable photography exhibit or an epic blockbuster, we’ve got the show for you. Here’s what’s new:

Apart_BikeV2_7x9Things Come Apart
Through extraordinary photographs, disassembled objects and fascinating videos, Things Come Apart reveals the inner workings of common, everyday possessions.  Images of dozens of objects explore how things are made and how technology has evolved over time.  For example, the exhibition juxtaposes the components of a record player, Walkman, and an iPod.  As a visual investigation of design and engineering, Things Come Apart celebrates classic examples of industrial design, technological innovation and more recent ideas about re-use.  The exhibition explores STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts and provides an ideal environment for hands-on investigation.

Contents:  ~40 framed photographs, 4 disassembled objects, video content, and educational component
Fee:  $9,900 per 12-week slot plus outgoing shipping
Size:  200-250 running feet
Security:  Moderate

Tour begins: fall 2016

Contact:  Ed Liskey, liskeye@si.edu, 202.633.3142SWcostumeSITES

Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen: Star Warsand the Power of Costume
Presenting 60 of the finest hand-crafted costumes from the first six blockbuster Star Wars films, the exhibition uncovers the challenges, the intricate processes and the remarkable artistry of George Lucas, the concept artists and costume designers. Featured costumes include the robes of Jedi masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker; the yak hair and mohair costume of the Wookiee Chewbacca; the elaborately detailed gowns of Queen Amidala, and many more of your favorite Star Wars characters. Learn more about Rebel, Jedi, Princess, Queen  here.

NARA-cars Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project
Modeled after the Farm Security Administration’s photography project of the 1930s and 40s, DOCUMERICA was launched in 1971 by the newly established U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to document the environmental troubles and triumphs across the country.  What emerged was a moving and textured portrait of America in a rapidly changing society. Includes  90 framed, color photographs and a video. Learn more about Searching for the Seventies here.

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard
From the beauty of postwar garden design to the history of the rise of the suburbs and the environmental movement, Patios & Pools is a groovy look back at how the mid-century backyard became an extension of the house: a “room” designed for relaxing, recreation, cooking, and entertaining. Featuring period photographs, retro advertisements, pop culture references, and influential landscape designs. Learn more Patios & Pools  here.5-farnham2

Looking to fill an opening in your calendar? These exhibitions are available for immediate booking:

IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas
Available: 7/25/15-10/4/15 (reduced fee:  $2,000) and 10/24/15-1/3/16

The Evolving Universe
Available: 10/3/15-1/31/16 and 2/20/16 to 5/15/16

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Backyard
Available: 12/19/15-2/28/16

I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story
Available: 12/19/15 – 2/28/16 and 3/19/16 – 5/29/16

Contact us at sites_schedule@si.edu or 202-633-3140.

February 24, 2015

Affiliates in the news!

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines. If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, South Carolina)
Upcountry History Museum named Smithsonian Affiliate
On Monday, Greenville became the only city in South Carolina to have two Smithsonian affiliate museums, as the Upcountry History Museum joined the Children’s Museum of the Upstate as a partner of the iconic American institution.

Editorial: Smithsonian comes to local History Museum
Greenville’s ability to better connect the present with the past took a giant leap forward this week with the announcement that the Upcountry History Museum — Furman University has become a Smithsonian Affiliate. This is exciting news for what it means in terms of new opportunities for people who want to better understand our lives today by more fully understanding the experiences and people who shaped our shared history.

Greenville museum becomes SC’s newest Smithsonian affiliate
Earlier this week, Greenville became the only city in South Carolina to have two Smithsonian affiliate museums, as the Upcountry History Museum joined the Children’s Museum of the Upstate as a partner of the iconic American institution.

Greenville now home to two Smithsonian affiliate museums
The Smithsonian Institution is hundreds of miles from Greenville, but you don’t have to travel that far to enjoy some of its treasures. On Monday, Greenville became the only city in South Carolina to have two Smithsonian affiliate museums, as the Upcountry History Museum joined the Children’s Museum of the Upstate as a partner of the iconic American institution.

UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, Texas)
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures hosts 28th Annual Asian Festival Feb. 21
A special feature of the 2015 festival is the opening of “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab,” a new exhibit which will remain at the museum into the fall. Originating at the Smithsonian, the exhibit follows the history of the Sikh culture and the religion which unites them across borders and around the world, including Texas and San Antonio. Members of the Sikh community will serve as gallery hosts and tour guides during the festival. 

San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures hosting exhibit on Sikhs
Developed by Smithsonian Institution and sponsored by the Sikh Heritage Foundation, it “features a collection of traditional Sikh art, information on the culture’s history and beliefs, artifacts such as ceremonial weapons and armor, and a model of the Golden Temple”.

Institute of Texan Cultures hosts new exhibit “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab” Feb. 21
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) and San Antonio’s Sikh community will celebrate the opening of a new exhibit “Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab” from Feb. 21 to Jan. 3. The exhibit originated at the Smithsonian and has been supplemented with additional material on Sikhs in Texas.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Volunteers survey mammals in East Tennessee
Volunteers have conducted a survey of mammals in East Tennessee state parks by using technology…The volunteers were recruited by a research project called eMammal, which provided the cameras, software and instructions…The eMammal project is a collaboration between the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution.

Caught on camera: Volunteers use technology to survey mammals
The eMammal project is a collaboration between the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution. So far, surveys have been conducted in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and most recently, Tennessee.

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (Fort Worth, Texas)
Love Jones
His legacy will be spotlighted at Fort Worth Museum of Science and History when it welcomes in What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution.

History Colorado (Denver, Colorado)
Chicano history is Colorado history
“I was really happy to see that History Colorado was doing the show,” Eduardo Diaz said. “If you want to know a little bit more, if you want to go deeper, if you want to have more context about the place that you now call home, I think you need to see this show.”

Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)
Heard Museum hosts panel to discuss Native American stereotypes in sports mascots
The panel, “Indigenous Stereotypes in Sports,” explored the Native American stereotypes present in many of the logos and names of American sports teams…began with a keynote speech by Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institution.

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana)
Conner Prairie overhauls balloon exhibit with eye on history
To get the historical context right, museum staff has consulted with Tom Crouch, a senior aviation curator at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA)
Tellus Science Museum Receives Multiple Awards
The Moon Rock display at Tellus received a best museum exhibition award. The exhibit combines Apollo artifacts from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with an impressive lunar sample from NASA

US Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL)
History comes alive during Smithsonian talk, book signing at Rocket Center in Huntsville
Kurin, who will also speak at 6 p.m. Thursday during the USSRC’s “Inventors’ Ball,” will sign copies of his book following his talk. Christina DiMeglio Lopez, external affairs and membership manager for Smithsonian Affiliations, will welcome Center members and Smithsonian magazine subscribers.

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO)
UCAR Announced as a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which provides unique exhibits on weather and climate, has been accepted to join a leading group of national museum and cultural organizations as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Old Governor’s Mansion (Milledgeville, GA)
Old Governor’s Mansion Announcement
VIDEO- http://vimeo.com/116551421

Old Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville named Smithsonian affiliate
The affiliation makes the mansion the ninth in the state and the first in Middle Georgia to receive this recognition, according to a news release

Old Governor’s Mansion becomes first Smithsonian affiliate in central Georgia
“The opportunity to be an affiliate of the Smithsonian is a great honor for the Old Governor’s Mansion and Georgia College,” said Director Matt Davis. “We look forward to building partnerships for exhibitions, loans and the development of programming. This partnership will be a huge benefit to the Mansion as we continue to build our national profile within the museum field.”

Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA)
Museum of Africa Disapora celebrates $1.3M makeover
“We’re delighted to begin this new affiliate partnership between MoAD and the Smithsonian Institution, one that builds on shared missions, a commitment to education and prior collaborations,” said Harold A. Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations. “Since its founding in 2005, MoAD has been a beacon to the museum community by applying innovative exhibition ideas to the study of living communities and their cultures. We welcome the opportunity to work together through the sharing of our knowledge base, collections and traveling exhibits to place the story of human migration in local, national and global contexts.”

Telluride Historical Museum and The Pinhead Institute (Telluride, CO)
Place of invention
“We are thrilled that Telluride was selected to participate in the Places of Invention program,” Kinias said in a press release. “Having Telluride recognized as an innovative community by our Smithsonian partners is an incredible honor and is testimony to Telluride’s strong history of innovative residents.”

kudos Affiliates! for March 2015

Congrats to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments.

FUNDING
The Army Heritage Center Foundation recently received two grants from The Donald B. & Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation and the G.B. Stuart Charitable Foundation to support the expansion of the Visitor Center at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (Carlisle, PA.)  The grants are in addition to a $2 million Economic Growth Initiative Grant awarded to the Foundation by the State commonwealth earlier this year.

The iconic helium balloon that has flown high in the central Indiana sky since 2009 has a new sponsor. Reynolds Farm Equipment is now the presenting sponsor of the 1859 Balloon Voyage experience at Conner Prairie, an interactive history park (Fishers, IN).  Through 2019, the company will provide up to $375,000 to support the balloon and its new exhibit space.

The Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation will donate $250,000 toward building a “space portal” that will connect Science City, the Gottlieb Planetarium and the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre at Union Station (Kansas City, MO).   The portal will be designed to resemble a futuristic space station.  The project is part of a planned $10 million renovation.

A $1 million donation will enable the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History  (Ft. Worth, TX) to focus on new technology for its digital learning programs. Museum officials said they hope to raise another $1 million to match the donation from the Kleinheinz Family Foundation.  The money will go toward upgrading technology for the institution’s science, math and language literacy programs, which run from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, along with its public programs for families and adults.

Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT) announces a gift of $1 million from the Thompson Family Foundation honoring the late Wade Thompson, a Museum trustee for 27 years. This gift will be directed to a new 14,000 square-foot exhibition building to include a state-of-the-art, 5,000 square-foot exhibit hall. This will be the largest among Mystic Seaport’s seven galleries and will provide the caliber of conditions required to curate not only exhibits from the Museum’s collection, but also permit the borrowing of outstanding art and artifacts from other museums around the world.

Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY) has met its campaign goal of raising $35,000 to match equal funding from an anonymous donor, ahead of its February 28 deadline.   The “35” in the campaign goal represents this year’s 35th anniversary of the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, a member of New York City’s 33-member Cultural Institutions Group.

ACHIEVEMENTS & RECOGNITION
Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA) was recognized with awards during the recent Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries annual conference.  Tellus was honored with three distinguished awards:

  • The Moon Rock display received a Best Museum Exhibition award. The exhibit combines Apollo artifacts from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with an impressive lunar sample from NASA.
  • Tellus volunteer Bob Gossman was recognized as Museum Volunteer of the Year for his outstanding contribution to Tellus. Working full-time in a career that takes him all over the world, Gossman has still volunteered more than 1500 hours in less than 6 years.
  • Tellus was also voted Best Kid-friendly Museum by readers of Atlanta Magazine for 2014.

LEADERSHIP
Julie Johnson recently started her tenure as President of the International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX).  Julie came from leadership positions at the Michigan Science Center and Detroit Children’s Museum.

February 23, 2015

coming up in Affiliateland in March 2015

Filed under: General — Jennifer Brundage @ 2:55 pm

Enjoy spring at our Affiliates!

FLORIDA
Hirshhorn Museum director Melissa Chiu will give a keynote talk at the Frost Art Museum  in Miami, 3.4.

National Museum of African Art Museum director Dr. Johnnetta Cole will give remarks at an exhibition opening as well as a talk on the importance of diversity in museums at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, 3.19-20.

ALASKA
The Anchorage Museum, in collaboration with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, will open a Spark!Lab Invention Interactive Exhibit in Anchorage, 3.5.

Young visitors to the Anchorage Museum will soon experience the "ah ha!" moments of Spark!Lab.

Young visitors to the Anchorage Museum will soon experience the “ah ha!” moments of Spark!Lab.

CALIFORNIA
The Riverside Metropolitan Museum will open SITES exhibition I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story in Riverside, 3.5.

COLORADO
El Pueblo History Museum, one of the sites of History Colorado, will open the Smithsonian’s Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963 exhibition in Pueblo, 3.6.

TENNESSEE
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum will open SITES exhibition New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music in Bristol, 3.21.

 

January 7, 2015

coming up in Affiliateland in winter 2015

A roundup of events throughout the Affiliate network from December 2014 – February 2015.

U.S. mail box, plated with 24-karat gold and studded with 137 sapphires, 100 rubies, 25 diamonds, and 10 emeralds, on view at the Tellus Science Museum.

U.S. mail box, plated with 24-karat gold and studded with 137 sapphires, 100 rubies, 25 diamonds, and 10 emeralds, on view at the Tellus Science Museum.

GEORGIA
The Tellus Science Museum opened Jeweled Objects of Desire with 47 objects on loan from the National Museum of Natural History in Cartersville, 12.6.14

WASHINGTON
The Museum of Flight opened SITES’ Suited for Space in Seattle, 12.13.14.

National Museum of the American Indian curator Cecile Ganteaume will present a keynote talk at a three-day program on American Indian basketry, hosted by the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane, 2.26.15.

SOUTH DAKOTA
The South Dakota State Historical Society presented Native Sports with Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills – a rebroadcast of an online seminar by the National Museum of the American Indian on Native Olympians, and a discussion with a South Dakotan Olympic athlete in Pierre, 12.14.14

MARYLAND
National Air and Space Museum curator Andrew Johnston served on a jury panel for an upcoming exhibition on the cosmos at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Art Center in Solomons, 12.16.14.

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum for Maryland African American History and Culture will host a screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary The Legend of Leadbelly with a talk by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings producer Jeff Place in Baltimore, 2.5.15.

NEW YORK
The Museum of American Finance presented Smithsonian Board of Regents member David Rubenstein with the Whitehead Award for Distinguished Public Service and Financial Leadership at its annual gala in Manhattan, 1.13.15.

The Smithsonian National Board enjoyed a private tour of the Museum of American Finance, as well as a performance by a jazz ensemble organized by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in Manhattan, 1.22.15.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will talk about Women of the West at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will talk about Women of the West at the Heard Museum in Phoenix.

ARIZONA
The Heard Museum  opened Beautiful Games: American Indians in Sports including two paintings on loan from the American Art Museum, 12.18.14.  The Heard Museum also hosted a public program entitled What It Means to be American: The Women of the West, co-created by the National Museum of American History, 1.14.15.  Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian, will deliver a keynote lecture as part of the Indigenous Stereotypes in Sports symposium at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, 1.30.15.

NORTH CAROLINA
The Schiele Museum of Natural History opens The Solar System: A Journey of Exploration exhibition featuring object loans from the National Air and Space Museum in Gastonia, 1.17.15

CALIFORNIA
The Riverside Metropolitan Museum opened SITES’ I Want the Wide American Earth in Riverside, 12.20.14.

The Sonoma County Museum will open SITES’ Indivisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas exhibition in Santa Rosa, 1.24.15.

The Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts will announce their Smithsonian affiliation with a lecture by Nora Atkinson of the American Art Museum in Alta Loma, 1.24.15.

FLORIDA
The Mennello Museum of American Art will open the Real Lives: Observations and Reflections by Dale Kenington exhibition which includes one painting on loan from the American Art Museum in Orlando, 1.23.15.

INDIANA
Conner Prairie will host a lecture by National Air and Space Museum curator Tom Crouch on ballooning in the antebellum Midwest in Fishers, 1.28.15.

ALABAMA
Smithsonian Undersecretary for History, Art and Culture Richard Kurin will give a public lecture on his book The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, 1.29.15.

UCAR in Boulder, Colorado.

UCAR in Boulder, Colorado.

COLORADO
The Telluride Historical Museum will host a film screening and viewing of student projects in relation to their Places of Invention project with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, in Telluride, 1.13.15.

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research will announce its Smithsonian affiliation with comments from Affiliations program director Harold Closter in Boulder, 1.29.15.

History Colorado will open the exhibition 1968: The Year that Rocked America with loans from the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History.  The Museum will open a complementary exhibition, El Movimiento, to include comments from Eduardo Díaz, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center, in Denver, 2.6-7.15.
The Museum will also host a screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary The Legend of Leadbelly with a talk by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings producer Jeff Place in Denver, 2.19.15.

PENNSYLVANIA
The African American Museum in Philadelphia will host a screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s new documentary The Legend of Leadbelly with a talk by Smithsonian Folkways Recordings producer Jeff Place in Philadelphia, 2.12.15.

The Heinz History Center will also host The Legend of Leadbelly screening in Pittsburgh, 2.18.15.

One of Chuck Jones' drawings, soon to be on view in Fort Worth.

One of Chuck Jones’ drawings, soon to be on view in San Antonio.

TEXAS
The Forth Worth Museum of Science and History  opens SITES’ What’s Up Doc? The Animation of Chuck Jones exhibition in Fort Worth, 2.14.15.

The Institute of Texan Cultures opens the Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab exhibition organized by the Smithsonian, in San Antonio, 2.21.15.

NEW MEXICO
The Las Cruces Museum System will host the outreach and professional development program Let’s Do History in collaboration with the National Museum of American History, in Las Cruces, 2.19-20.15.

January 6, 2015

Affiliates in the news!

Congrats to these Affiliates making news!  Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines.  This is a compilation of clippings from mid-November until early-January. If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Henry Woodward tries his hand at "Snap Circuits" Photo by Jim Levulis WAMC

Henry Woodward tries his hand at “Snap Circuits” Photo by Jim Levulis WAMC

Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) RADIO SPOT
An Educational “Spark” At Berkshire Museum
“Hands-on engagement is a really great way to foster creativity and innovative thinking,” says Maria Mingalone, the director of interpretation at the Berkshire Museum. “So that’s really the aim and the goal of our Spark!Lab.” Developed at the Smithsonian Institution, the program features 10 hands-on laboratories for kids 5 or younger…but if you’re older, they’ll let you in.

Springfield Art Museum (Springfield, Ohio)
Springfield Art Museum shows student artists’ work
We were thrilled to take advantage of this exciting educational opportunity and to show that our Smithsonian affiliation is a tremendous boon, not only for the Springfield Museum of Art but for the Springfield community as a whole,” Housh said.

Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, Georgia)
Tellus Museum adds space artifacts, new exhibits in 2014
Tellus also received for display from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum a real lunar module engine which was test fired by the space agency in Mississippi in 1972. The lunar module was used to taxi two astronauts to the Moon’s surface and back from the command ship soaring in lunar orbit.

In Tellus exhibit, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling
But the idea behind it — and the other 46 pieces in the touring exhibit drawn from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s collection — was to show how simple materials can be transformed into remarkable treasures with artistic skill and ingenuity (oh, and bling — can’t forget the bling).

Tellus presents ‘Jeweled Objects of Desire’ exhibit
“Sidney Mobell honored the life of his wonderful wife Ronni Grant Mobell with the donation of 19 of his famous jeweled art creations to the Smithsonian. Since that time in addition to the installation of a Mobell jeweled art collection display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C., Mr. Mobell’s exhibit has traveled to Smithsonian affiliate museums in Florida, [Louisiana and] Kentucky.

San Francisco jewelry artist Sidney Mobell created this U.S. mail box, plated with 24-karat gold and studded with 137 sapphires weighing 48.20 carats, 100 rubies weighing 24.50 carats, 25 diamonds weighing 2.25 carats, and 10 emeralds weighing 1.75 carats. It’s on view in the exhibit “Jeweled Objects of Desire” at Cartersville’s Tellus Science Museum.

San Francisco jewelry artist Sidney Mobell created this U.S. mail box, plated with 24-karat gold and studded with 137 sapphires weighing 48.20 carats, 100 rubies weighing 24.50 carats, 25 diamonds weighing 2.25 carats, and 10 emeralds weighing 1.75 carats. It’s on view in the exhibit “Jeweled Objects of Desire” at Cartersville’s Tellus Science Museum.

Renowned Jewelry Designer Sidney Mobell Opens Gem Exhibit At Tellus Science Museum
Mobell’s pieces on exhibit were donated by him to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and are on loan to Tellus as part of the Jeweled Objects of Desire exhibit. The exhibition features gems and jewelry from other artists represented in the Smithsonian’s collection such as Aldo Cipullo and John Sinkankas. Tellus has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since opening in 2009.

Smithsonian Curator To Discuss Reportedly Cursed Diamond In Cartersville
Dr. Post’s lecture precedes the opening of Jeweled Objects of Desire, one of the first of many Smithsonian exhibits to be on display at Tellus Science Museum. Tellus Science Museum has been a Smithsonian-affiliate institution since it opened in 2009. 

Tellus highlights Hope Diamond tonight
We’ve been affiliates of the Smithsonian for over five years now,” Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria said. “We’ve developed a good relationship, not just with the Smithsonian in general, but with Jeff. Our former curator, Julian Gray, and I have visited him a couple of times to review items to put on display here at Tellus. We actually have a pretty large, significant exhibit opening up in a couple of weeks because of collaborating with him.

Smithsonian Curator To Discuss Hope Diamond At Tellus Science Museum
Dr. Post’s lecture precedes the opening of Jeweled Objects of Desire, one of the first of many Smithsonian exhibits to be on display at Tellus Science Museum. Tellus has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since opening in 2009

Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, Maine)
Abbe Museum helps bring together Wabanaki youth and astronomy
The full exhibition will include students from other Wabanaki communities and promote increased interest, awareness and knowledge of astronomy content and Wabanaki oral histories.

Students from the Indian Township School will combine their own stories and images of the cosmos as part of the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program. The Abbe Museum and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are helping to provide this opportunity. IMAGE COURTESY OF ABBE MUSEUM

Students from the Indian Township School will combine their own stories and images of the cosmos as part of the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program. The Abbe Museum and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are helping to provide this opportunity. IMAGE COURTESY OF ABBE MUSEUM

Abbe Museum Partners with Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and Smithsonian Affiliations
The Abbe is partnering with the Indian Township School to offer the opportunity for students to research, learn, and photograph the cosmos using telescopes owned and maintained by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, California)
Museum of the African Diaspora’s Rebirth: Q&A with MoAD Director Linda Harrison
The museum is also now officially a Smithsonian Affiliate, allowing it access to the Smithsonian Institute’s vast array of resources, including its unmatched artifact collection, which houses 136-million cultural and historical artifacts.

Renovated MoAD bigger, better
A recently acquired affiliation with the Smithsonian also boosts MoAD’s draw. This association with the venerated national museum center will allow MoAD to present significant traveling shows and to access the Smithsonian collection for exhibits and research.

MoAD cuts the ribbon and welcomes art lovers to reimagined space
As to MoAD’s recent affiliation with the Smithsonian, “I am delighted after all these years, MoAD has arrived at the point where it is associated with the premier museum in America.”

Celebrate the culture, history and art of people of African descent

MoAD reopens with big changes and big plans
Central to that initiative is the museum’s new status as a Smithsonian Affiliate. Partnering with the powerful Washington, D.C., institution will give MoAD access to the Smithsonian’s enormous resources and expertise. Benefits include touring exhibitions, object loans, and visiting scholars and speakers. The advantages are mutual. “We’re very interested in having a presence with this museum in San Francisco,” said Laura Hansen, national outreach manager for Smithsonian Affiliations.

(From left) Wade Rose, Linda Harrison, Alejandro de la Fuente, Lava Thomas, Naomi Kelley, Willie Brown cutting the ribbon at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD).

(From left) Wade Rose, Linda Harrison, Alejandro de la Fuente, Lava Thomas, Naomi Kelley, Willie Brown cutting the ribbon at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD).

Museum of American Finance (New York, New York)
David Rubenstein to Receive 2015 Whitehead Award for Public Service and Financial Leadership From Museum of American Finance
“There is no more deserving recipient of the 2015 Whitehead Award than David Rubinstein,” said David Cowen, President and CEO of the Museum of American Finance. “His outstanding achievements in the financial world are only surpassed by his deep commitment and dedication to preserving the nation’s history.”

Anchorage Museum (Anchorage, Alaska)
ArtBeat: Three gutsy women at the Anchorage Museum
Three Alaska women have been laying their guts out at the Anchorage Museum this week. Literally. Mary Tunuchuk, Elaine Kingeekuk and Sonya Kelliher-Combs have been working with animal intestines to make traditional items and contemporary art in a weeklong residency in the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center that winds up today.

The Command Module, Apollo 9 (Gumdrop) is on loan to the San Diego Air and Space Museum from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The Command Module, Apollo 9 (Gumdrop) is on loan to the San Diego Air and Space Museum from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

San Diego Air and Space Museum (San Diego, California) (NASM loan)
New Space Vehicle Orion Launching December 4th; Apollo 9 On Exhibit at San Diego Air & Space Museum
Just as this Orion launch is a precursor to returning people to deep space, so the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s Apollo 9 spacecraft was a vital stepping-stone for astronauts to land on the moon in the summer of 1969.

Museum of Appalachia (Norris, Tennessee)
Tennessee’s Museum of Appalachia is a colourful side trip off I-75
Now operated as a non-profit corporation overseen by a board which includes the founder’s daughter, Elaine Meyer, the Museum of Appalachia recently was accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliation program, an acknowledgement of its importance to preserving the history of mountain pioneers.

Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)
EDDIE VAN HALEN TO Help Launch Smithsonian/Zocalo Initiative
The kick-off event January 14 will feature former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of the Girl Scouts Of The USA, at the Heard Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate in Phoenix. Music icon Eddie Van Halen will headline the next event at the National Museum Of American History in February.

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana)
The Scientist Behind “Jurassic World”, Jack Horner, Breaks Down the Movie’s Thrilling Trailer
As fantastical as the Jurassic Park movies are, there’s a real scientist behind the franchise – Jack Horner, a paleontologist at Museum of the Rockies, who not only served as scientific adviser on all four films, but also helped inspire the character of Dr. Alan Grant, played by actor Sam Neill. We spoke with Horner, 68, about making dinosaurs from mosquitoes and what to expect from Jurassic World.

Jack Horner, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, poses near the Wankel T. rex, in Fort Peck, Mont., in June 1990. COURTESY MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES/SMITHSONIAN

Jack Horner, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, poses near the Wankel T. rex, in Fort Peck, Mont., in June 1990. COURTESY MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES/SMITHSONIAN

America’s T. Rex Gets A Makeover
(Affiliate mentioned in caption of one of the images.)

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Denver, Colorado)
New Volume Documents the Science at the Legendary Snowmastodon Fossil Site in Colorado
Project co-leader and former DMNS chief curator, Dr. Kirk Johnson, and several scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and academic institutions around the world contributed articles to the journal.  “Nothing beats pulling fossils out of the ground,” said project scientist Dr. Jeff Pigati of the U.S. Geological Survey, “but the site also lets us see what the Colorado Rockies were like during a period of time that we simply couldn’t reach before the discovery.” 

Mid-America Science Museum (Hot Springs, Arkansas)
Mid-America Science Museum Renovation on Schedule, Re-opening Set for March
The museum, which opened in 1979 and has been a Smithsonian Institution affiliate since 2001, is undergoing its first renovation and expansion. New features include new classroom space, a maker space, updated exhibits for school groups, activities for adults and opportunities for teacher professional development in hands-on science education.

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle, Washington)
Wing Luke Museum spotlights Asian-Pacific impact on Northwest history VIDEO
The first affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute is right here in Seattle. The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience offers a unique perspective into the historic and cultural impact of the Asian Pacific community in the Northwest. The museum opened in 1967, named in tribute to Wing Luke, the first person of color elected to the city council, and the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest.

North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh, North Carolina)
NC Museum of History salutes state’s celluloid past
They set to work, researching to identify as many made-in-North-Carolina films as they could. The oldest one they found was “The Heart of Esmeralda,” a silent film from 1912. Then they started borrowing artifacts such as the coonskin cap worn by Fess Parker in 1955’s “Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier,” which is on loan from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

From left, objects conservator Jennifer French and registrar Camille Hunt carefully move the coonskin cap worn by actor Fess Parker in the beloved 1950s TV series “Davy Crockett” into a display case. The cap is on loan from the National Museum of American History. JULI LEONARD

From left, objects conservator Jennifer French and registrar Camille Hunt carefully move the coonskin cap worn by actor Fess Parker in the beloved 1950s TV series “Davy Crockett” into a display case. The cap is on loan from the National Museum of American History. JULI LEONARD

Museum exhibit shines spotlight on NC film history
Loaners include the Smithsonian and film companies, but also a stuntman and a make-up artist. “One of the great things about this exhibit — our own collection was small, and we didn’t have a whole lot of really good things,” said exhibit team leader Camille Hunt. “But everyone was so eager to help out and came forward with all these amazing artifacts.”

The saga of Davy Crockett’s coonskin cap
Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers shares the story of Davy Crockett’s coonskin cap, now on view in Starring North Carolina! at the North Carolina Museum of History, a Smithsonian Affiliate museum.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, South Carolina)
Museum explores space through past, future artists
The space exhibit is just the first project in the Smithsonian affiliation, but its impact so far is exceeding even Halverson’s expectations. “Now the Space and Rocket Center is interested in hosting this exhibit, so the momentum that gets created when these collaborations occur, that is just so powerful,” she said.

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