SEE is closed….what? That’s disappointing I know. But why is SEE closed every year around the same time? Well it’s time to clean things up, fix anything that may be broken or sometimes even add something new.
With thousands of families and hundreds of school groups visiting SEE every year things can get a little dirty. So from September 3rd through September 13th the staff here is working very hard to spruce things up.
We are winding down week 1 of our annual shutdown now and I must say things are looking great. We here at SEE greatly appreciate your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you on September 14th when we will reopen all shiny and clean.
We are looking forward to another year of hands-on fun and learning together!
By Peter Gustafson, Development Coordinator
During our annual Camp Summer Science, Reverse Engineering module, our campers disassembled VCRs, printers, walkie-talkies, fax machines, drills and radios with the goal of gaining an understanding of how and why these items work and what kind of materials and parts make up these devices. (All of these items were brought from the homes of each camper and had been approved as “non-returnable” items by the guardians of these campers, we trust…) The campers learn about and are instructed in the proper use of different tools during this module, discussing what they find along the way.
Many of our campers up-cycled (converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products) these parts and pieces into fun sculptures, jewelry and creatures or were incorporated into their hands-on exhibit prototypes (another module at camp).
There was an impressive amount of left over material generated from the reverse engineering process and while many of our campers would have liked to bring it home, most of the parents prefer to leave this material at SEE. That is when we call our friends at Yesterday’s Electronics Solutions. This organization breaks down electronic devices and materials, separating them into recyclable commodities. They are a great partner and resource and our neighbors at FIRST use them too!
Over the next year, the SEE Science Center will be producing numerous new exhibits that will serve to engage and educate our visitors on topics related to recycling, energy use and resource management . Look for The Green Revolution, coming soon!
Guest Blog by Eric Kingsley, Owner & Founder Brickapalooza
Last week at the SEE Science Center a group of students learned how to make
Stop Motion videos with LEGO. The theme was invention and discovery. We
had two teams making films and their subjects were Nikola Tesla and the
Apollo space missions. The teams had to research their subject matter and
condense the information into 3-4 minute videos that contain as much
important information as possible. Check out the finished videos:
Apollo Space Mission Movie Link:
Tesla Movie Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGHUgnUFNik
By Tim Forte Social Media Intern
Because of the SEE Science Center’s relationship with the Manchester Monarchs, SEE was able to create an exhibit about the relationship between hockey and science. The exhibit goes over common occurrences in hockey such as slap shots, body checks, and skating and relates them all to science in a fun, interesting way that catches the attention of kids much like all the other exhibits at SEE. The Science of Hockey Exhibit at SEE has science facts relating to hockey such as “Newton’s law” (an object in motion tends to stay in motion), but also has fast facts like how hard can a slap shot be and other various topics. The exhibit also takes the information a step further by pointing out dates that were important to the history of hockey in New Hampshire. An example of one date listed is that of the first American hockey game played in New Hampshire at the St. Paul’s School in Concord. Hobby Baker participated in this game that now has an award named after him given to the best NCAA hockey player in the country every year. The exhibit bridges the commonly related gap of sports and science and is an interesting site for all ages.
By Adele Maurier Operations & Design Assistant
Recently I had to make a few repairs to the LEGO® Millyard Project. I put back together a train car with a crane. This piece is often handled by the public because it is in an area that has a space in the plexi-glass barrier where our staff can work to change out train motors. Why is it so important for this train car to be there? The crane is carrying a turbine and it is located near the building that is cut open for people to see inside. Just adjacent to the train car is a ‘hole’ in the basement of the building where the turbine would be.
The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company (which our project represents) did not use the old vertical water wheels to power its machinery (pictured below): they used a more sophisticated system for generating water power. The dam sent water into two canals; from the canals, large penstocks brought the water to each building where a water turbine was located in the basement. The turbines were horizontal instead of vertical and they operated underwater so floods could not stop them from turning. The speed would be regulated and the energy would be transmitted to machinery throughout the building by shafts and then belts. The water would continue to flow through penstocks back into the canals and then back to the river. Water supplied an average of more than 16,000 horse power a day to Amoskeag between 1880 and 1912. In later years newer buildings were built to use steam power and then electricity. In 1923 the dam was reconstructed and a hydro-electric plant was built.
I conduct a field trip program for school groups based on our LEGO® Millyard Project . During the program students build models, look for various details in our project and learn about how technology was used and how scientists and engineers have continued to improve upon technology from the days of Amoskeag ‘till now.
Learn more about the Millyard by visiting SEE and taking a look at the LEGO® Millyard Project (there are always more details to see) and by visiting our neighbor on the first floor: Manchester Historic Association’s Millyard Museum. SEE members receive free admission there and vice versa. You can even see a penstock here in our building!
By Becky Mayhew Education & Program Manager
Another busy, hands-on, exhausting, science filled camp week has come to an end. Last week was filled with great activities – dismantling a variety of electronic items, exploring flight and air pressure, creating toys that demonstrated scientific principles – and even more great memories. One camper came to me at the end of every activity block to give me a high five to show me his appreciation. One camper’s creative mind came up with an exhibit prototype that combined history and science creating a science time traveling device. Another camper came to me each day insisting on showing me a new exhibit he discovered in the science center during free explore time (even though I have worked here over twenty years). Our campers were engaged, inventive, sometimes a little loud and crazy, but always fun. I will miss this batch of campers and our week together. Luckily, Camp Summer Science Week 2 starts today!