The Smithsonian is a name recognized all over the world. Internationally, if people know one Museum in the US, it’s most likely the Smithsonian. But through Smithsonian Affiliations, museums all over the country can partner in efforts to share science, art, and history with everyone. The Miami Science Museum is a proud Affiliate member, and recently has taken advantage of several unique opportunities made available by the Smithsonian.
One of these opportunities was sponsored by Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live, and it allowed our Museum to open its doors for free and allow even more of our community to come here and get up close to science activities and exhibits, planetarium shows, and even live animals like starfish and turtles. We had a special visitor that day, 3 month old Colton, who came to the Museum for the first time with his family – just like his mom did when she was a child. Colton’s mom wrote a gracious email to the Museum telling us all about Colton’s adventure, and how much he enjoyed his first Museum visit. Click here to see more of Colton’s day and read his family’s letter to the Museum.
For the Smithsonian’s National Youth Summit, the Museum was able to invite local youth to participate in a national conversation about environmental stewardship. Students previewed clips from Ken Burns’ documentary “The Dust Bowl,” which shows the very real cause-and-effect relationship that humans can have with nature, and focuses on the 1930s, when the wheat farming boom caused a large-scale, decade-long drought. Miami students participated in a nationwide videoconference with students from around the country, and then in a “town hall” meeting with local experts. Because of this event, these students now know more about being responsible for their environment. Click here to find out more about this event.
In yet another amazing opportunity, the Museum applied for and received a grant from Smithsonian Affiliations to involve students in astronomy and astrophotography through the Youth Capture the Colorful Cosmos program. Students were able to remotely operate Harvard-Smithsonian MicroObservatory telescopes, request their own images, and then process their images using real astronomy imaging software. Students were given complete creative freedom, and the result was a new exhibition at the Museum showcasing their work, which illustrates the spectacular detail and amazing structures in our Universe. At the exhibition’s opening weekend, students were present to show their work to visitors, and lead hands-on activities related to color, light, and telescopes. Click here to see more of the students’ images of our colorful cosmos.
What’s next? We can’t wait to see!