Hey Shutterbugs – Freeze Frame’s for you!

summer-campThe start of Xploration Summer Camps here at the museum are fast approaching. Campers can take week long classes in archaeology, creepy crawlies, the science behind Harry Potter, dinosaurs, robots, crime scene investigation and much more.

In years past we’ve had a camp class called “Photo Safari” that was always really popular. This year we have decided to take one of the kids’ favorite aspects of “Photo Safari” and added new activities and topics — thus, a new camp is born! This year, it’s “Freeze Frame”!

Andrea G., one of our fabulous Summer Camp teachers and a former ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs program intern for me in Education Collections, is a huge photography buff and she is using her wealth of darkroom knowledge to put together some new projects for the “Freeze Frame” campers this summer!

freeze-frameWe’ll be traveling back in time to experiment with some of the earliest photographic processes, including learning about albumen prints – which originally used eggs!  Using our own darkroom, we’ll build pinhole cameras and shoot black-and-white images and hand-made blueprints. 

Campers will get crafty with Polaroids and image transfers while exploring the artsy side of photography.  Then they’ll turn into scientists, playing with mirrors and light while building their own kaleidoscopes, periscopes, and much more.  Come join us for a bright adventure in “Freeze Frame” this summer!

Just because school is out for the summer doesn’t mean your kids have to stop learning. Check out our Xploration Summer Camps, a fun and educational adventure for your children! These week-long science classes are available for children ages 5 to 12 from June 1 through August 14. For more information, visit our web site at hmns.org.

Teachers Cutting Up in the Classroom?

Life is beginning to get “back to normal” in the basement of the Museum post-Ike.   I’ve missed listening to the constant hum of children in our hallways – it really seemed like a different place without them.  I’m enjoying listening to the school groups right now, buzzing outside my door as I peruse the great photographs we took at our Exxon Mobil Teacher Workshop last night and write my blog.

The teacher training we had last night was awesome!  We were lucky to have a super-fun group of teachers.  They discovered how dissection is not just for “big kids” anymore.  We had teachers that teach pre-k and teachers that teach high school, and everyone left with great hands-on experiences and ideas for their classrooms.

The fun began by learning the anatomical terms you need to know for dissection.  Check out how teachers learned these tiresome terms in an amazingly fun way!  What a better way to excite your students than letting them bring a stuffed animal from home to label with fancy science terms?  Do you know where your posterior is?  I’ll give you a hint, I bet your sitting on it right now!

Then came the pickles.  Say what?  Yes, pickles.  Teachers practiced using dissection tools such as scissors, scalpels, tweezers, and probes, as they dissected a jumbo pickle.  Look at what a rockin’ job this teacher is doing with this pickle.  Don’t laugh, I bet you can’t find the dorsal side of a pickle!   

Did you know you can dissect a flower?  All you need is a flower and your bare hands.  Check out the flower parts this teacher is finding.  Do you know a petal from a pistil? 

Then things really got juicy, no, really, they did.  Squids for everyone!  Teachers got their own squid to dissect as Nicole Temple (Director of Youth Education) dissected a larger fresh squid from the Asian Market.  The teachers in this picture look very engaged.  Hey, check out the size of the chromatophores on this squid!

The teachers finished up the night by quickly dissecting an egg.  These smart teachers now know their albumen from their chalazae.  Can you say the same for yourself?