Monthly Archives: April 2013

Experience 47 of 52: The Walter’s Art Museum

The Walter’s Art Museum is one of our favorite local places to visit. Although we’d visited many times, this was the first during our 52 week journey. As it was near Easter, we made our way to visit the icons and religious symbols exhibit.

We learned that a “miter” is a headdress worn by bishops during the liturgy. An example one we say was made in 1724 and depicts the story of Jesus’ resurrection.

We also reviewed the “Icon with the Crucifixion” and discussed the meaning of Easter in Christianity.

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Experience 46 of 52: Geppi’s Entertainment Museum

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum displays a timeline of popular culture artifacts. From comics to collectibles, the museum introduced the gals to the history of pop culture.

The favorite exhibits were the Star Wars characters, the “old fashioned” telephone and the “I Love Lucy” episodes that were playing on the antique television. Kate was very disappointed in Princess Leia and her skimpy dress and couldn’t understand why someone would dress that way. I hope that thought continues.

Not surprisingly, our favorite activity was hands-on creating masterpieces using Colorforms. We learned that Colorforms were the first plastic-based creative toy that was advertised on television.

The museum provided a trivia-based scavenger hunt that led the girls through the museum and, after completion, the girls were rewarded with a comic book of their own. This was a nice touch and added some purpose the museum tour.

Although interesting, in my opinion, the museum was a bit overpriced. If there was something we learned it was that commercialism has reigned supreme for centuries.

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Experience 45 of 52: Exploring the Universe Beyond Our Eyes

Rather than try my amateur hand at writing up this event, it’s best described as written in the Carroll County Times coverage of the event (and notice the pictures of Grace and Kate in the article :))

“At the Eldersburg library, guest presenter Bonnie Meinke, an astronomer with the Space Telescope Science Institute on the campus of Johns Hopkins University, said the program seeks to interest young girls in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and math.

“We incorporate the whole family into our program. It’s a proven practice that involving kids in a collaborative environment with hands-on activities encourages learning,” Meinke said.

While topics in space science can seem as vast as the universe itself, Meinke and fellow institute employee Holly Ryer narrowed down the subject matter to the use of color and light as a method of space exploration, in order to fit the lesson into the 90-minute time frame. Hands-on experiences were provided that allowed the children to use the same processes astronomers use when studying outer space.

A simple experiment with flashlights using red, green and blue lights introduced the children to the concept that by combining and filtering various color combinations from each flashlight, new colors can be created — including white, the color of stars as seen by the naked eye. Similarly, Meinke explained, scientists use various color filters on telescopes to identify the chemical makeup and composition of a star, planet or nebula, as different chemicals are different colors.

Each participant was given a pair of red and blue color-filtering glasses, which look similar to glasses used for 3-D movies, as well as a pair of radial-refracting glasses that give a kaleidoscope effect to light. Through several hands-on exercises, the youths used their special glasses to filter colors to see hidden messages and pictures around the room, on a light board and on transparencies. Then they created a group project by layering transparency film and using different colored markers. The end product showed varying images, depending on which color-blocking glasses were worn.”

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