SEE Science Center Blog

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People often ask us: How do you clean the LEGO Millyard Project? The answer is: very carefully!
Seriously though, we thought we’d share some of what we do and use to keep SEE looking great 7 days a week.

We always want to be clean and welcoming for our guests – even during those snowy winter months when the sand and salt that we need outside gets tracked in every day. So what do we do? We roll up our sleeves and clean every morning before we open. Just like at your home that means vacuuming, sweeping, washing and disinfecting. Also, Capitol Hill Cleaners help us keep the restrooms clean at SEE 3 nights a week.
According to the Center for Disease Control, cleaning works by physically removing germs and dirt from surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

SEE uses these products for cleaning daily.
cleaning supplies

Table surfaces, plexiglass exhibit coverings and mirrored surfaces are cleaned every day and more often if needed.

According to the CDC disinfecting works by using chemicals to kills germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

SEE uses these products to disinfect surfaces regularly:
Lysol, Clorox cleaner with bleach , Lysol Foam cleaner,  Ultra-violet wand
We use these for surfaces most prone to sneezes and lots of small hands and when “accidents” happen.

Because chemical cleaners and disinfectants can cause allergies to act up –our staff tries to use them before SEE is open to the public.

The big projects, like painting the walls and floors, shampooing the carpets or thoroughly cleaning the LEGO Millyard happen at the beginning of September. We close for one to two weeks to get everything in tip-top shape.

Oh, by the way, our best friend when cleaning the LEGO Millyard Project: Swiffer dusters –and lots of them!

DINOSAURS are coming!

SEE’s Executive Director and Board Members have been busy these past few months working to bring Kokoro’s robotic dinosaurs back to 200 Bedford Street sooner rather than later. Between our 8 past dinosaur exhibitions, SEE staff members repeatedly field the questions “Are the dinosaurs still there?” and “When are the dinosaurs coming back?”. So we are very happy to be able to answer that DINOSAURS will be opening in October 2015. What does that mean for the SEE Staff? We have a lot to do to get ready for these very special guests over the next few months! The dinosaurs will be a different group of robots than our most recent exhibit (psst: there will be a T-Rex); the next few months we will be busy researching these different species and learning how best to showcase them in our space. We will also be reaching out to community organizations and businesses to assist with the growing cost of hosting such a major exhibition. We will also be learning about new academic standards and cutting edge paleontology research as we develop our school field trip program offerings. Then we will have to make sure everyone hears about this great exhibit so people don’t call us right after it closes to ask “Are the dinosaurs still there?”. So look for us marketing and promoting DINOSAURS over the next few months and give us a call at 603-669-0400 if you would like to get involved!


Junior STEAM Ahead at SEE

The SEE Science Center is partnering with the City of Manchester and FIRST to bring interactive Science, Technology, Engineering Art and Math learning experiences to Manchester 4th grade students. The endeavor is called Junior STEAM Ahead. SEE’s role in the partnership is to host all Manchester fourth graders for a field trip experience. Busing to SEE is provided by a donation from Dean Kamen. Who recently joined Mayor Gatsas in visiting some of the students at SEE.
silly putty2
So far have 916 Manchester 4th grade students with about 100 more to come over the next week. At SEE the students participate in perennial teacher’s favorite Slimy Science Lab which introduces basic chemistry concepts. In the lab, students make their own batch of Silly Putty to take home. Students also enjoy a highly interactive guided tour of the SEE facility including demonstrations on electricity, Newton’s laws of motion and more. In addition, SEE educators will be offering a special team building activity for the students to prepare them for the FIRST LEGO League program. This highly engaging activity is called the “slow magnet marble race”. It has been an extremely popular part of SEE mini courses and workshops in the past. Students race to be the slowest team from point A to B by working together and thinking creatively. They use common household items such as straws and paperclips to create their path.

We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from the teachers and students so far. But you don’t have to take our word for it, take a look at just a few of the letters we have received recently.
teacher letter Tegan Tri

Escher: The Science Angle is SEE’s newest exhibit

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.P1070555 P1070556 P1130412

Inspiring and Enthusiastic SEE fans

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.


Douglas and Charles meet about replacing the trains.

Douglas and Charles meet about replacing the trains.

At Seth's party

At Seth’s party

Charles' letter
Douglas' letter

Nano Opens at SEE

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:

Cousteau not eager to return to surface after 31-day underwater living

Global News

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.

READ MORE:Fabien Cousteau enters day 15 of 31-day underwater mission

“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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