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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.

May 16, 2013

Capturing the Cosmos in Huntsville

Special thanks to our guest blogger, Chris Myers, U.S. Space and Rocket Center®, Huntsville, AL for this post

Bringing the Cosmos to Space Camp®!

YCCC AyshamAt the U.S. Space and Rocket Center® and Space Camp, we are constantly looking for fun and innovative ways to teach our museum guests and trainees about space history and the science and math concepts that surround it. Naturally, we were excited to participate in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics series of instructional webinars in order to get some fresh ideas and content.  The creativity started to flow as we reviewed the background material, but the amount and quality of the lesson plans and information presented to us by Mary Dussault and Erin Braswell was impressive. By the end of the first hour of the webinar, we had solid ideas and lesson plans that could be implemented in every program from summer Day Camp for 5-year-olds to Advanced Space Academy® for high-school seniors. And they meet both state and national curriculum guidelines!  In this case, our target subject was astronomy.

For our younger trainees, we adapted the activities that dealt with colors and filters into a hands-on component for our astronomy briefing “Tenacious Telescopes.” We use PVC pipe, colored felt and theater lighting gel in the primary colors to teach the trainees about how real telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope use filters to look for specific information, and how scientists can put these single-color images together to make a full-color picture. In addition to making it look more like a real telescope, mounting the color filter inside a PVC pipe telescope has the added bonus of keeping our filters fingerprint and wrinkle free.

YCCC3For our Advanced Academy (junior high to high school) trainees, we added an image processing component into our existing astronomy curriculum which is made up of four components. At the beginning of the week, the trainees participate in a lecture called “Exploring the Night Sky” where they learn the basics of astronomy and focus on finding and naming the constellations and deep space objects. Our second astronomy block is the “Micro Observatory Lab,” where our trainees use the Mobs software to compile full-color images of deep space objects. Our third astronomy block is a “Night Telescope” activity, where the trainees use real telescopes to find the same objects in the sky of which they compiled images the day before. And for our final astronomy block, our Advanced Academy trainees learn the stories behind selected constellations in our inflatable Star Lab.

YCCC AkilHWe have been running the “Micro Observatory Lab” astronomy block since December, 2011, and have had more than 1,500 trainees from all over the world participate. We have so many students participating that we aren’t able to display all their artwork at once, so we have set up two small rotating exhibits of 12 featured photos each here at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, one located in the Main Museum and the other located in the Science Lab used for our summer Space Academy for Educators® camp, and we plan to add a third, larger display to our computer lab this summer.

These kinds of seminars and programs are what make it so awesome to be a part of the network of Smithsonian Affiliates. Imagine all the fun, innovative and educational activities you can dream up with the help of these services! So get out there and sign up for a class today! And spare a glance for the colorful cosmos while you’re at it!

April 26, 2011

affiliates collaborate to Spark! imaginations

Despite being the world’s largest museum complex, one of the challenges at the Smithsonian Institution remains taking the unique offerings away from the invisible walls of the National Mall and “encourage inventive creativity in young people” who may never visit Washington D.C.

The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation has met this opportunity head on by launching the Spark!Lab Outreach Kit Project, through a distribution of six organizations including five Affiliate museums. This collaboration is seen as an effort to extend the reach of Spark!Lab—the center’s hands-on invention activity center—beyond the boundaries of the National Museum of American History. The kits will be designed to replicate some of the most popular Spark!Lab activities and provide opportunities for partner museums to connect their collections and exhibitions to themes of invention and innovation.

The Spark!Lab kits will test and engage students in a variety of interactive stations including “Shaping Space,” a structure building activity; “Now What?,” a problem-solving game; “Snap Circuits,” which gives visitors the chance to use real circuit components to create and test their own electric inventions; and “Soundscapes,” which encourages children to use items, including musical ramps, xylophone staircases and bridges with bells, to create music and sound pathways for marbles. The “Spark!Lab Jr.” program helps learners under the age of 5 develop inventive thinking and problem-solving skills. 

“At the Lemelson Center we believe that a playful approach to problem solving can spark new ideas and lead to great inventions,” said Arthur Molella, director of the center. “This outreach project allows us to reach children outside of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and inspire a new generation of inventive Americans.”

During this pilot program, Spark!Lab kits will be featured at the following Smithsonian Affiliate museums-the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, Annmarie Garden in Solomons, Maryland, the Western Science Center in Hemet, California, the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

“Science Museum Oklahoma is excited to partner with the Smithsonian and offer a new challenge to our younger guests!” said Suzette Ellison, vice president of Programs and Interpretation at the museum.

An educator at Annmarie Garden inventing with a Spark!Lab kit

“We are very excited to introduce the Spark Lab kits in our classrooms,” said Jaimie Jeffrey, Education Director at Annmarie Garden. “As an arts center, teaching children to apply creative problem-solving skills and innovative thinking to everything they do is paramount for us. These kits are great reinforcements for these strategies in all of our kids’ and family programs.”

The Lemelson Center expects to develop an online Spark!Lab “tool kit” based on evaluations and ‘lessons learned’ from the in-museum activity kits. The on-line content will outline Spark!Lab’s educational philosophy, mission, and vision, and will include simple at-home activities and a list of additional resources for parents and kids.

The Spark!Lab Affiliate program is supported by a gift from the LEGO Children’s Fund.  And be sure to meet the Spark!Lab staff at the annual Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference in June.

 

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