By Adele Maurier Design Coordinator
I have really enjoyed working on the M.C. Escher exhibit these last few months. The intersection of the worlds of art and science is where I like to be. When it was time for me to apply for college, I did not know whether I wanted to study art or science. I ended up choosing a science major but also took art classes as electives. Then as graduation neared, I spent a lot of time in the career development office trying to figure out what to do next. There I got the inkling that the museum field might be a direction I’d like to head in. So they got me a volunteer opportunity to try it out at the SEE Science Center. And the rest is history. I am still at SEE and am so happy to be able to use creativity to help others learn about science.
The more I learned about Escher, the more amazed I became. He never considered himself a scientist, but he had a definite aptitude for scientific research. His experiments in tessellations were meticulous and led him to be invited to speak at science conferences. He learned from scientists and scientists learned from him.
The main theme of SEE’s exhibit Escher: The Science Angle is to show how scientists and artists are united in their curiosity about the world. Both groups are alike in that they use observation, experimentation and imagination in their work. This interconnection is the basis of many of our community efforts to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) (More about those in our next blog). In the meantime, come see Escher: The Science Angle and use your SEE membership to visit M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion, an exhibition of M.C. Escher’s original drawings and prints at the Currier Museum of Art through January 5th at the Currier member rate.
by Douglas Heuser, Executive Director
Recently two young visitors have helped me get my head out of spread-sheet jail and given me a big boost of enthusiasm.
Charles, who is 5, wrote a letter to me (dictated to his grandfather, read it below). He found SEE “one of the best museums for me in the world”. But he also expressed how he missed our Thomas the Train set in our Science for Early Explorers area. He said: “Fix it!” But he did not leave it there. He took $5 from his dinosaur bank and made a donation to the SEE Science Center to make that happen. I was thrilled to see that someone of such a young age realized that funds were needed for such an endeavor. And indeed, we would like to bring back the Thomas the Train set so that our youngest visitors can work on engineering his or her own railroad. So Join Charles and me in our efforts to bring back the train! Donate here.
The second impressive young visitor is Seth. Seth and his friends and family celebrated his 7th birthday at the SEE Science Center last weekend. Seth loves science! So much so that he asked his guests to donate to the SEE Science Center instead of giving him gifts at his party. As a small non-profit, these small gestures are really treasured. So no, we don’t have millions of people all over the world dumping ice on their heads for us, but we do have two small donors who to us, make a world of difference.
by Adele Maurier, Design Coordinator
It was a great day at SEE on Wednesday! SEE formally opened our newest exhibit, Nano. The exhibit is part of an effort to bring more cutting edge science topics to our audience. We were pleased to be joined by guests who share our goal to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Our guests represented Nanocomp Technologies, FIRST, UNH Manchester, Velcro and Manchester Historic Association.
We were also joined by a group of summer campers from Hopkinton, NH. The campers and visitors from the general public were invited to enjoy a presentation by Dr. Mark Banash , Chief Scientist from Nanocomp Technologies, who shared models of the nano particles he helps make in Merrimack NH, and what inspired him to become a scientist (It was a fascination with how sugar dissolves in iced tea!). Nanocomp is the only commercial producer of high performance, strong, light and conductive sheets, tapes, and yarns made with high concentrations of carbon nanotube (CNTs) fibers.
SEE Executive Director Douglas Heuser invited everyone to continue to learn about nano science by visiting the exhibit, and by participating in SEE programs throughout the year. He also invited everyone to enjoy the special snacks, including mini-m&m’s which measure 10 million nanometers across.
(Do you like my idea to represent molecules with grapes and blueberries?)
My co-workers wrote the grant for this exhibit nearly two years ago. So we are very excited to finally have it here at SEE. Nano is produced by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education (NISE) Network with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). It was fabricated by the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM). Additional information about nanoscience can be found the NISE website: whatisnano.org.
AQUARIUS REEF BASE, Fla. – Fabien Cousteau has a week left in his 31-day underwater living experiment in the Florida Keys, and he’s not exactly eager to return to the surface.
“If anything, I’m panicking about the lack of time we have left,” he said. “I’m feeling really comfortable and happy down here.”
In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press inside Aquarius Reef Base, 19.2 metres below the surface of the waters off Key Largo, the French oceanographer said the scientists from Florida International University and Northeastern University who joined his “Mission 31” have had unprecedented access to a coral reef.
“The FIU researchers have accomplished more than six months’ worth of data gathering in just two weeks because they were here, living under the sea in this undersea habitat,” he said. “This highlights how important a habitat…
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I am Jaclyn Chuah, summer intern at SEE. I am new and I had the opportunity to see the school programs offered by SEE for the first time last week. I followed the Day School’s field trip on June 13th. They had one hundred and thirty six third-graders who were split up into three groups. They were well behaved and listened to the instructions. But from the moment when they first set foot into SEE, they looked at all the interesting science exhibits with amazement.
Our first stop was the LEGO Millyard Program. SEE Staff explained the LEGO® Millyard Project while students paid full attention and were actively engaged. Students then built their own LEGO® model and went on a scavenger hunt. During the scavenger hunt, students were excited to search for the “hidden” items in the LEGO Millyard Project. Students learned about the resources needed to run the Millyard in the past and compared them to current resource use, which has become more advanced due to the modern technologies.
Our next stop was the Tour of the Science Center combined with our SEEmobile show. Students got to explore experiments on electricity, combustion, and chemical reactions. The demonstrations were very engaging and visual. Students observed and reasoned the causes and effects during those experiments. I truly enjoyed hearing the laughter and seeing how daring the kids were to try things for themselves especially during the experiment on static electricity. I couldn’t help but laugh myself when I saw the kids’ reaction when their hair stood on end!
Students then explored and tried out SEE’s exhibits. They asked probing scientific questions as their curiosity grew after observing and using the exhibits. Their questions were mainly related to physics, such as momentum, inertia, and gravity. I was amazed as to how the SEE staff explained the physics related to the outcomes at the exhibits in a way the kids could fully understand.
Last but not least was every student’s most favorite stop- the Slimy Science hands-on lab because they got to make and take home silly putty. This lab definitely helps to enhance students’ creativity, concentration, and observation skills. You could hear excitement and anticipation in the kids’ conversation with their friends throughout this activity. The teachers took pictures and recorded videos throughout the day to capture how interested and excited their students were at SEE. Everyone left for home with a big, wide smile on their faces.
I am originally from Malaysia and the science museum in Malaysia was very different compared to SEE. The exhibits are all merely about the history of Science and they do not provide interesting programs like the ones we do at SEE, such as the Family Workshops, field trip and summer programs, and the amazing science exhibits that we could actually try them out! It was a great day joining the field trip with the kids.
SEEing them happy made me even happier!
We had a successful day on Wednesday. Thanks to many great sponsors, enthusiastic players and to mother nature – who gave us a perfect day for golf: no hot sun and most importantly no rain! 86 players competed in the 11th annual tournament to benefit SEE at Canterbury Woods Country Club. The team from Shipyard took first place and bragging rights. Congratulations to Jim Bellisle, Victor Lemay , Tim Moran and Wojcek Staszkiewicz .
The team from Demand Electric (Gold Sponsor) was the runner up and the team from Bank of New England (our Stick the Green sponsors) took third.
This year for the first time this event featured a Tournament within the Tournament called the Restaurant Challenge. Teams from area restaurants including the Country Spirit, The Red Arrow, the Shaskeen Pub,T-Bones/Cactus Jacks and the Wild Rover contributed. The Wild Rover team will hoist the trophy at a special presentation.
by Adele Maurier, SEE Design Coordinator
It felt like homecoming last weekend. Many of the talented builders who helped plan and build our LEGO® Millyard Project returned to the area for BrickFair NE. There was much reminiscing about the challenges and opportunities that arose during the Millyard construction. Other LEGO® enthusiasts from around the region were amazed by the scale and effort that went into the project. It was a treat to see what new projects our Millyard volunteers have undertaken. New England LEGO® Users Group (NELUG) members displayed cityscapes, mosaics, crazy contraptions and more
In particular, it was fun to see what Millyard volunteer, Jamie Berard is up to. If you don’t know his story, it is legendary in the LEGO® community: he started out like every LEGO® enthusiast, but then he was recruited to join the LEGO® Company! He designs sets (including some of the most spectacular expert sets) at the company’s headquarters in Denmark. He made this transition during the construction of our Millyard, but still wanting to contribute to our project, he designed and built a model of the old wooden roller coaster at Manchester’s Pine Island Park, in Denmark. It was flown here from Denmark with Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, Owner/President of the LEGO® Company for the dedication ceremony for the LEGO® Millyard Project. The dedication was an historic event for our center and the LEGO® Company and the LEGO® community.
This past weekend, Jamie shared the development process that went into his latest kit: The LEGO® Creator Fairground Mixer VIP kit. It was very interesting to learn about the iterations and time that goes into the process. You can check out some videos featuring Jamie on YouTube. Like this one about the Sydney Opera House set.