affiliates in the news

Congrats to these Affiliates making news! Each month we highlight Affiliate-Smithsonian and Affiliate-Affiliate collaborations making headlines.  If you have a clipping highlighting a collaboration with the Smithsonian or with a fellow Affiliate you’d like to have considered for the Affiliate blog, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee.

Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman, Montana)
Museum of the Rockies T. rex to arrive at Smithsonian in April
The T. rex unearthed in Montana in 1988 will arrive at the National Museum of Natural History on April 15 on a 50-year loan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Smithsonian is planning a new, 31,000-square-foot dinosaur hall that is scheduled to open in 2019.

Jack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, provides scale for Tyrannosaurus rex fossils at the excavation site near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana in June 1990. Named for its discoverer, Kathy Wankel, the Wankel T.rex is estimated to have weighed six to seven tons. Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies.

Jack Horner, Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, provides scale for Tyrannosaurus rex fossils at the excavation site near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana in June 1990. Named for its discoverer, Kathy Wankel, the Wankel T.rex is estimated to have weighed six to seven tons. Photo courtesy Museum of the Rockies.

American Textile History Museum (Lowell, Massachussets)
American Textile Museum Receives Major Gift
The American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA has received a major gift of $1 million from the late G. Gordon Osborne and his wife, Marjorie, who passed away last year.

Smithsonian Secretary kicks off 2014 Affiliations National Conference

Education and access have always been at the core of all of our work. Our Affiliate network provides countless opportunities for informal learning in local communities across the U.S. through research, scholarship and exhibitions both real and virtual. Many Affiliates have collaborated with the Smithsonian on online national summits for teens, science webcasts, and even collected oral histories all captured for a virtual audience as well as developed as engaging public programs at each organization.

We’ve invited Smithsonian Secretary, G. Wayne Clough, to be our Keynote Speaker at our 2014 Affiliations National Conference* (June 23-25) to share how Affiliates are our partners in tackling a digital world.

“While digital technology poses great challenges, it also offers great possibilities. For the Smithsonian and our nation’s other museums, libraries and archives, today is a time when we can serve the role our founders envisioned for the educational systems of our republic. We can help all the people, not just a few of the people, to understand our culture, the cultures of other countries and life in all its dimensions.”

Join us on June 24 and discover the possibilities when we partner in making our collections more accessible and provide lifelong learning experiences to all of our visitors through innovative digital access.

To read the Secretary’s free book Best of Both Worlds: Museums, Libraries, and Archives in a Digital Age and see a short video, go to http://www.si.edu/BestofBothWorlds. The book is also available for free at iTunes U. Read the full press release for the Secretary’s e-book here.

*The Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference is for current Affiliates only. If you are interested in becoming an Affiliate, or have an application in progress and would like to attend the Conference, please contact Elizabeth Bugbee for more information.

Unearthing Paleontologists in Miami

A special thanks for this guest post to Michelle Beumer, Restoration and Social Action Coordinator at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, Florida.

Ever wanted to be a Paleontologist? Last Thursday, over 100 fifth grade students from Goulds Elementary School in Homestead got to experience a day in the life of a paleontologist. Through a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science staff joined Goulds Elementary students for a fossil whalebone scavenger hunt, a live science webcast with Dr. Nick Pyenson, and a question and answer session hosted by the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C.

Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science staff member, Ta-Shana Taylor is our very own whalebone expert, and guides the students through their scavenger hunt activity. Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science staff member, Ta-Shana Taylor is our very own whalebone expert, and guides the students through their scavenger hunt activity. Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

To jump-start the immersion experience, students were sent on a mission to hunt for special whale fossils.  Through various stations, students took a trip around the world exploring different fossil-rich locations. Students dug through buckets of sand (not unlike real paleontologists) to find their bone.  Working as a team, students then had to figure out the story of their whalebone in a broader picture by comparing results in each of the five world locations. Then Smithsonian scientist Dr. Nick Pyenson discussed his research on the webcast and showed some of the specimens that be found through his work in Peru, Chile, the eastern United States, Panama, and Vancouver, while answering questions that students from around the country asked via a live chat window. The students from Goulds Elementary learned basic whale anatomy and how that corresponds to our own human anatomy, what whale species are rare and common now versus millions of years ago, and how paleontologists discover and dig up history.

Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

The new Q?RIUS (pronounced “curious”) collection at the National Museum of Natural History will be presented through a series of live webcasts. From January until June 2014, nine live webcasts will air that examine a wide range of scientific topics that are perfect for you and your classrooms to watch, participate in, and enjoy. Each webcast is based on the Next Generation Science Standards and entices students to explore core science concepts through real-world connections.

Explore the topics in the schedule to access a package of classroom activities, lessons, readings and other related resources that support each webcast program.

Join us in our scientific adventures and tune in to watch real Smithsonian scientists talk about their research and answer your questions, live!

Join the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and the National Museum of Natural History on February 12th to become Bird Detectives with featuring Carla Dove.

Students watching the Q?RIUS webcast from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

Students watching the Q?RIUS webcast from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy Frost Museum of Science.

Happy 2014 Affiliateland!

prezi22013 was an exciting year for Smithsonian Affiliates. If you saw our recent e-Affiliate newsletter, our Year in Review Prezi took you on a coast-to-coast road trip through a Seriously Amazing year in Affiliate neighborhoods. But there was so much good news to tell we couldn’t fit it all in to one Prezi. So here are some more 2013 Affiliations by the numbers fun facts for you. Happy New Year! We are looking forward to a collaboration-filled 2014 with all of you.

There were 183 Affiliates in 43 states, Puerto Rico and Panama. Nine new Affiliates joined our network in 2013!

Our social media platforms grew and helped us engage with more than 670,000 people  interested in the Smithsonian in their neighborhood:

7,481      Blog Visits (unique visits)

2,175      Facebook Fans

2,818      Twitter Followers

671,178     YouTube views

 12,000   new museum members joined the Smithsonian through the Smithsonian Affiliations Membership Program offered at their local Affiliate.

Our National Outreach Managers helped facilitate 80  new Artifact loans for Affiliates. There are now 1,359 Smithsonian artifacts currently on view in Affiliate communities.

17 Smithsonian exhibits at 20 Affiliates opened in 2013. Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service organized 10 of them for travel. Four of those Affiliates were awarded Smithsonian Community Grants, sponsored by MetLife, to plan programming to go along with the SITES exhibits at their museum.

Our Affiliates hosted 66 Smithsonian speakers and experts in 2013, sharing stories about Citizen Science, DNA an its influence on modern discoveries, Thomas Jefferson’s Bible, the art of boat-building, Elvis, Asian American portraits and much, much more.

In September 2013,  89 Affiliates participated in Museum Day Live!, opening their doors to visitors for free thanks to Smithsonian magazine.

The 2013 Affiliations National Conference was one of our highest attended events in Affiliations history! 119 attendees from 74 Affiliate organizations in 31 states and Puerto Rico joined Smithsonian colleagues in Washington, D.C.  18 Affiliate colleagues participated as panelists, and spoke about topics including digital outreach, 3-D imaging, mobile apps, traveling exhibits, and collaborative fundraising. (Mark your calendars for this year’s conference- June 23-24, 2014!)

Thanks to all of our Smithsonian and Affiliate colleagues who helped make 2013 such a success!

 

starting the new year off right! Affiliate kudos for January 2014

Funding

The PPG Industries Foundation announced a $5,000 donation to the Frontiers of Flight Museum (Dallas, TX) to support aviation and space-flight education programs for Pre-K through 10th-grade students.

The Putnam Museum (Davenport, IA) has received a $300,000 grant to develop a Science and Technology Innovation Center. The Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant from Vision Iowa will support the $2.2 million STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning center that will provide hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD) received a $128,000 grant award through The Star-Spangled 200 (SS200) Grant Program in the commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 for maximum benefit to Marylanders. The funding will go to support the exhibition “For Whom it Stands: The Flag and the American People” highlighting Grace Wisher’s contribution to the original Star-Spangled Banner and investigates the broader history and representation of the United States flag as an icon of our nation and its people

The Schiele Museum of Natural History (Gastonia, NC) received a $1,000 Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Service Smithsonian Community Grant, sponsored by MetLife Foundation.  The award will be used to fund speakers’ fees for “Bugapolooza,” the museum’s annual celebration of the contributions made by insects to the natural world. Programs will include hands-on activities, interaction with entomologists, museum displays, and presentations by insect researchers in order to increase interest in entomology, as well as an awareness of the value of biological research programs. All programming relate to the themes of Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants.

 A citizen science initiative led by the Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL) and Oxford University won $1.8 million from Google’s Global Impact Awards. Zooniverse, a nonprofit collaboration between the two institutions that has already had close to 1 million volunteer scientists participating, links ongoing research to willing volunteers who, in most cases, comb through data that requires human interpretation. The 18 current projects include searching for lightcurve anomalies in telescopic images to help discover distant planets and classifying animals caught in Serengeti National Park camera traps. Zooniverse will use the money to rebuild its platform to make it easier for more science projects to take part. The money will also help the Adler extend the project to schools and youth and community groups locally. 

Historic Bethlehem Partnership  (Bethlehem, PA) will hire and train costumed docents to act as historic ambassadors to Bethlehem’s Moravian history, thanks to a $45,000 allocation in 2014 by the Northampton County Council.

Awards and Recognition

The New England Museum Association (NEMA) elected Susan Funk, executive vice president of Mystic Seaport (Mystic, CT), as president of its board of directors.

The American Alliance of Museums has announced that eight museums were newly accredited including  an Affiliate, the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History (Albuquerque, NM).

Assistant Superintendent Peter Aucella of the Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA) received the
Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Award in recognition of his 23-year career with the National Park Service and his stewardship of the Lowell Summer Music Series. 

The Silo Cooking School at Hunt Hill Farm (New Milford, CT) was awarded the honor of 2013’s Best Cooking Classes by Connecticut Magazine. 

Leadership

The Executive Board of Trustees of the International Museum of Art & Science has appointed Danella Hughes as its new Interim Executive Director.