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July 6, 2012

EdLab: Mission Possible

Special thanks to our Smithsonian Affiliations summer interns Lisa Hung (University of California, Irvine) and Neema Amadala (University of Calgary) for participating in the Smithsonian’s EdLab Teacher workshops in order to share their experiences with us. This is the final guest post in their “Teaching in a 21st Century Classroom” series.   

EdLab: Mission Possible
By Neema Amadala

We finished our workshop week surrounded by fellow teachers absorbing technology and harnessing creativity. Like in the classroom, it’s important to leave time for reflection after a project to debrief and process the information gained.  

Day Four was all about giving the teachers a chance for this reflection. A chance to put into practice the skills and tools we explored over the week through the creation of our own mission-based learning plan. The mission-based learning plan brings together real objects with technology; it takes the classroom beyond its four walls into the community, not chaining students’ creativity to their desks but giving them the freedom to explore their own neighborhoods and spark change driven by their own passion.  

The technology that was used all week was returned and the time came for the teachers to leave behind the EdLab. The mission isn’t over for these teachers though; these missions are an ongoing process with an EdLab alumni community for teachers to continue sharing their triumphs and tribulations. Maybe the tools and technologies are not as readily available to you, but teaching in a 21st-century classroom isn’t impossible, EdLab inspires you to teach differently, to experience a different way of learning, to just explore because the mission is possible.

In July we will welcome Susan Zwerling from the International Museum of Art and Science, a Smithsonian Affiliate in McAllen, Texas, as she begins her EdLab journey. We plan on following her progress during her two-week stay so stay tuned for more EdLab blogs! For more information, contact the EdLab team at npm.mobilelearning@si.edu .

Mixing work and play at mission possible! Photo courtesy Smithsonian EdLab.

 

 

August 2, 2010

August at an Affiliate near you!

It’s August! Here are a few things you can see at a Smithsonian Affiliate in your neighborhood this month:

Alabama
Let Your Motto Be Resistance, a Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) exhibition, opens at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham) on August 28.

Anacostia's (then Uniontown) Birney Public School children lined up with a teacher behind the Kennebec Ice horse-drawn wagon as the ice man shows them large chunk of ice suspended by tongs. Photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston, Courtesy of the Library of Congress, circa 1899

District of Columbia
The Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum’s exhibition East of the River is on view at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. until January 2011.

Georgia
You can see another SITES exhibition, The Working White House: Two Centuries of Traditions and Memories, at The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History (Kennesaw) until August 29.

Iowa
The new expansion at The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque) features artifacts from the National Museum of Natural History in its new immersive galleries.

Kentucky
Opening this month at the Headley-Whitney Museum (Lexington) is The Horse in Decorative Arts, including artifacts from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Museum of American History, on view through December 2010.

A visitor to the "Native Words, Native Warriors" exhibit at Montana Historical Society. Photo courtesy Montana Office of Governor Brian Schweitzer

Montana
Montana Historical Society (Helena)- Native Words, Native Warriors.  This exhibition organized in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian will travel to Native American reservations across Montana through December.

Nebraska
Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography is on view until September 2010 at the Durham Museum (Omaha), organized for travel by SITES.

Ohio
The Archives of the History of American Psychology (Akron) will celebrate the opening of their new building on August 28.

Toroweap overlook in morning light. Part of the exhibition "Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography" at the Durham Museum. Photo by Jack Dykinga

Pennsylvania
The Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh) welcomes Smithsonian conservator Don Williams for their Hidden Treasures event on August 29.

Texas
Twenty black and white photographs from the National Air and Space Museum are featured in the exhibition Dreams of Flight: A Journey through Air and Space at The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future (Dallas) through October 2010.

Wyoming
Last chance to see Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Warriors: Photographs by Gertrude Käsebier at Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody). On view until August 8, the exhibition includes photographs from the Photographic History Collection in the National Museum of American History.

Click here to find a Smithsonian Affiliate in your neighborhood!

July 27, 2010

Goodbye Texas…Hello New York! The 10,000 Springs Pavilion is on the move

Special thanks to Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute Conservator Don Williams for this guest post.

Two weeks ago found me in Irving, Texas, along with Groopsters Bob Klein and Bill Ferguson from the Professional Refinisher’s Group (aka “Groop”), dismantling the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion at Smithsonian Affiliate, Irving Arts Center.  We’re packing it for travel to its next temporary home in Flushing, NY, at Affiliate, Flushing Town Hall. Thus far Groop members have donated over 75 man-days toward the installation and de-installation of the exhibit, which could not be accomplished otherwise. Here’s a peek at the de-installation:

The setting for the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion in the lobby of the Irving Arts Center was truly spectacular, exposing the magnificent artifact to tens of thousands of patrons.

Bill (l) and Bob (r) were real troopers. This was Bill's second rodeo with me, and Bob's fifth(!).

We were joined in our endeavor by the skilled and burly crew for the Irving Arts Center when it came time to handle the really heavy and awkward stuff.

The building crew for the Irving Arts Center was an amazingly helpful and professional group. The gigantic roof portions had to be hand carried a few hundred feet through the building to get reunited with the crates.

Not too surprisingly, it comes apart much faster than it goes together.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Bill got the honors this time of removing the impossibly ornate carved finial.

All packed up with somewhere to go.

 The project went smoothly and quickly.  I had allotted three full days of work, but we were done by late  afternoon of day two. It was truly a delight to spend productive time with these two Groop brothers and the fellowship it entailed.

Next stop is Flushing, New York, where the local logistics will require a sunrise Sunday beginning.  The exhibit will open October 16, 2010.

About the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion
The structure is a 1 to 5 model of the celebrated and intricate classic Chinese pavilion that stands within the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing. The model of the pavilion was gifted to the Smithsonian by Dr. Chan Laiwa and the China Red Sandalwood Museum in Beijing. Dr. Chan founded the museum to preserve and perpetuate the ancient Chinese art of red sandalwood carving.

Made by Chinese artisans using traditional Chinese carving and fine furniture techniques, the model captures the beauty of the original pavilion, and is an outstanding example of traditional Chinese carving. Artisans at the China Red Sandalwood Museum constructed this model of red sandalwood, treasured for its dark glossy color and musty floral fragrance. No nails are used; the entire structure is put together with mortise-and-tenon joinery. Currently, nearly 60 percent of red sandalwood carvers are women. Red sandalwood was highly prized in imperial China, and was used to create intricately carved furniture and decorative objects. Because of the demand for this wood, the tree nearly disappeared in China – along with the art of carving it.

The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion is one of the 20 or so structures that are part of the private pleasure grounds for two dynasties of Chinese emperors. The Imperial Garden of the Forbidden City was a retreat for the emperor and his family allowing quiet contemplation of nature and communion with the spiritual world. 

July 23, 2010

affiliates in the news: week of July 19

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

During a previous trip to Pinilla del Valle, Spain, Dr. Robert Feranec, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the New York State Museum, picks through small animal bones from sediment recovered from fossil caves. Photo courtesy of NYS Museum.

New York State Museum(Albany, NY)
A New York State Museum paleontologist has become the only scientist in the U.S. selected to participate in an all-expense paid research program in Spain that will enable him to investigate the effects of climate change on mammals over the last 2 million yearsREAD MORE

The New York State Museum’s curator of vertebrate paleontology has been chosen to participate in a three-month research program at the University of Madrid, Spain. He’s the only American scientist chosen this year: most participants come from the European Union…READ MORE

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC)
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences introduced Margaret D. “Meg” Lowman as director of their new wing, the Nature Research Center…READ MORE

The Center for Jewish History (New York, NY)
The Center for Jewish History, the largest repository of the modern Jewish experience outside of Israel, has received a $225,000 grant from the Vivian G. Prins Foundation to support Post-Doctoral fellowships for Emigrating Scholars, who seek permanent teaching and research positions in North America…READ MORE

National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA)
Last month, New York media artist Ben Rubin got the go-ahead to produce an LED light sculpture to be placed atop the new National Museum of American Jewish History on Independence Mall, set to open in November…
READ MORE

WASP (photo courtesy of Texas Woman's University)

The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future (Dallas, TX)
The Women’s Museum’s Dreams of Flight Exhibit Opening Coincides with Legendary Pilot’s Birthday, Amelia Earhart…READ MORE

July 2, 2010

affiliates in the news!

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

Buffalo Bill Historical Center (Cody, WY)
As many as 38 Wyoming cultural and heritage projects and sponsoring organizations will benefit from $542,017 in grant awards from the Wyoming Cultural Trust FundMORE

Birthplace of Country Music Alliance (Bristol, TN)
… the Tennessee Arts Commission announced its grant recipients for fiscal 2010-11…MORE

Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ)
…there are a number of locations around the country that look to preserve these for future generations. One of these is the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art in Phoenix, Arizona…MORE

Louisiana State Exhibit Museum (Shreveport, LA)
State Rep. Wayne Waddell will take the helm as director of Louisiana State Exhibit Museum on Aug. 2… MORE
Director retires
Museum Director Retires

National Museum of Dentistry (Baltimore, MD)
…The annual celebration honors supporters and friends who help the Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, in its mission to celebrate the history the dentistry and to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health in a healthy life…MORE

 

Exterior of the new $40 million expansion of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium(Dubuque, IA)
…”Dubuque’s already on the map,” said Jerry Enzler, executive director of the facility, “but this really puts us on the global map”…MORE
River museum gets bigger, better

American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO)
Greg Carroll is CEO of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City. In collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City and the Mattie Rhodes Center, the museum is holding an exhibition of large-scale photographs and artifacts that reveals cultural connections between Africa and Latin AmericaMORE

The Center for Jewish History
(New York, NY)
The Center for Jewish History, dedicated to the preservation and presentation of Jewish history, culture and experience across countries and generations, has received an $860,092 grant from the Leon Levy Foundation…MORE

Ellen Noël Art Museum
(Odessa , TX)
The Ellen Noël Art Museum has been accepted as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution…MORE

Agua Caliente Cultural Museum (Palm Springs, CA)
Since the 1970s, the Agua Caliente Band and the city have been partners in the economic development of Palm Springs…also is the site of the future Agua Caliente Cultural Museum…MORE

 

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