Wiki + Affiliates Part III: Nuts and Bolts of an edit-a-thon

KellyDoyle [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Since October 2019, we have been working with Smithsonian Affiliates to learn how Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons can help raise awareness of underrepresented women in American history. With the help of the Smithsonian’s Open Knowledge Coordinator, Kelly Doyle, and in conjunction with the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative (AWHI), we’ve hosted two webinars introducing the platform and how our Affiliates can contribute content. Together, we aim to illuminate women’s pivotal roles in building and sustaining our country.

In our third webinar, we’ll take all we’ve learned and focus on the nuts and bolts of planning and hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at your organization. We know there are incredible women represented in Affiliate collections and we want to help give you the resources and skills to share their stories on Wikipedia and connect with your local community in a new way.

RSVP to join us on Thursday, February 27 at 3 PM Eastern and learn how to gather together editors of all skill levels around American women’s history. During the webinar, you’ll learn:

  • How to structure and organize your event
  • Best practices
  • Tips and tricks

Fuzheado [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Looking to jump ahead and do some reading before the webinar? Kelly has compiled a few resources to help you understand what an edit-a-thon involves:

And catch up by reading these blogs:
Wiki + Affiliates: Help Represent the Under-Represented!
Wiki + Affiliates Part II: Wikimedia Commons and Image Releases

We hope you can join us on February 27 and learn more! RSVP here.

SAVE THE DATE! We’re excited to announce that we will be co-hosting an edit-a-thon on Sunday, June 28, 2020 from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM at the National Museum of the American Indian to kick off our Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference. Kelly and Wikimedia District of Columbia will be on hand to help everyone add content!

Questions? Comments? Contact us!

ProtoplasmaKid [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Kudos Affiliates!! February 2020

Congratulations to these Affiliates on their recent accomplishments! Do you have kudos to share? Please send potential entries to Aaron Glavas, GlavasC@si.edu.

FUNDING

The National Museum of Industrial History (Bethlehem, PA) announced that Capital BlueCross has awarded $2,500 in funding through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program to the museum’s youth educational initiatives. The initiatives will provide access to meaningful science, technology, engineering, math, and social history learning opportunities for public school students in the Lehigh Valley community.

Science City’s Children’s Museum, part of Union Station, Kansas City, Inc. (Kansas City, MO) received combined donations of $402,750 to support the Early Learning Initiative. The gifts were from Mike and Millie Brown, the Sosland Foundation and the Harry Wilson Loose Trust Bank of America, N.A., Trustee. Scheduled to open in March 2020, Science City’s Children’s Museum will offer three brand-new experiential, hands-on exhibitions, each intentionally designed to translate into the beginning of a STEMful education for young explorers.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Nora Hernandez of the the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum (Clewiston, FL) has been named to the Museum Computer Network Advisory Board for diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

Jameson McDermott, Museum Educator, at Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC) was presented with the 2019 North Carolina Science Teachers Association (NCSTA) Distinguished Service in Science Education Award Non-School Setting at the annual NCSTA Conference. The  award is given to a person exhibiting leadership in science education; contributing to improvements in science education; and excelling in the aspects of science education in a non-school setting.

LEADERSHIP

The Alabama Space Science Exhibit Commission announced that Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Huntsville, AL), has stepped down from her position at the Center. Dr. Barnhart had led the Rocket Center for the past nine years. Louie Ramirez, a long-time Center leader who has served as its Chief Financial Officer, will serve as interim CEO until Dr. Barnhart’s replacement is named. Dr. Barnhart has been named CEO Emeritus, and she will advise and support the recruitment and hiring of a new CEO.

The Springfield Museum of Art announced Jessimi Jones as their new Executive Director.

Jessimi A. Jones has been named the new executive director for the Springfield Museum of Art (Springfield, OH). Jessimi brings over 20 years of arts institution experience having served at both the Columbus Museum of Art (Ohio) and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, OK. Most recently, Jessimi served as the Bernsen Director of Education and Public Programs for the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

National Museum of Natural History Lineage Workshop

Credit: National Museum of Natural History

Announcing an exciting post-conference opportunity for Affiliate educators on Wednesday, July 1, 2020! Immediately following the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is offering an Affiliate-exclusive day-long, hands-on professional development workshop and discussion exploring fossil-based science content and informal learning opportunities, such as “challenging conversations” and co-learning among family members. Selected participants will receive funding to offset lodging and other costs associated with participation.

This special workshop is part of a National Science Foundation-supported project called Lineage, a comprehensive educational media and outreach initiative designed to increase public understanding about the history of life on Earth and the relevance of that history to our present and future. The Lineage team is comprised of NMNH, Twin Cities Public Television, Schell Games, and the Institute for Learning Innovation.

Lineage activities, content, and materials are designed for use in informal learning spaces such as museums, libraries, and parks, as well as schools. This one-day workshop at NMNH will introduce Affiliate educators to the activities and equip them to access the content and materials for use in their own museums and communities.

Click here to apply

Credit: National Museum of Natural History

During the one-day workshop, the Project Team will share:

  • Best practices on creating and facilitating STEM-focused family learning experiences,
  • Demonstrate the Lineage project’s fossil-based activities as examples,
  • Share results of the project’s important research effort.

Lineage materials (including files to make 3D prints) will be available online for free beginning in April.

Museum educators hoping to launch or expand public programs with fossil-based collections; museum staff interested in deepening conversations with the public around evolution and adaptation, and any mid-career informal education professionals interested in developing and implementing family-based learning programs are encouraged to apply.

Apply today to extend your conference experience and expand your STEM learning toolkit! Contact Nicole Bryner at brynern@si.edu with any questions.

Apply here!

 

Credit: National Museum of Natural History

New science exhibitions from SITES

Looking for some fascinating science content? Check it out:

Nature Bridge Students observing the contents of One Cubic Foot, Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, April 9, 2013
Photo credit: Anand Varma

Life in One Cubic Foot, a new traveling exhibition from SITES, invites your visitors to explore the amazing biodiversity of life on Earth. From New York’s Central Park to a Costa Rican cloud forest to South Africa’s Table Mountain, the exhibition reveals the unique plants and animals found in various ecosystems. To compare these ecosystems, scientists use “biocubes”- one-cubic-foot metal frames- to measure a sample of the natural world. The exhibition invites visitors to become scientists in their own backyards by including complete instructions to conduct their own biocube survey.

Life in One Cubic Foot features fascinating composite images by photographer David Liittschwager, three display cases of collection objects and animal models, four hands-on interactives, four compelling videos, and a fully-designed digital template for host venues to display their own biocube survey results.

Visitors will:

  • Look closely at the teeming life found in biocubes
  • Stare into the dozens of eyes of a Paraphronima midwater creature
  • Plan their own biocube survey
  • Hunt for camouflaged animals
  • Spin a cube to find animals, shells, and leaves
  • Solve a biocube puzzle
  • Speed up or slow down the action in a biocube video

Exhibition at a Glance

  • 200 running feet
  • Moderate security
  • $16,000 for 12 weeks, plus outgoing shipping
  • Tour launches November 2020- fee reduced for debut slot!

For more information, please contact Ed Liskey, liskeye@si.edu, 202.633.3142

Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend

Narwhals in the wild.

Although they have inspired art, legend, and cultural practice for centuries, it’s undeniable that narwhals are having a “moment.” A “unicorn of the sea,” these elusive animals have captured our interest and imaginations, and you now have a chance to share the legend of the narwhal with your audiences.

Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend was developed by scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in collaboration with Arctic researchers and members of Inuit communities.  The 2,000 square-foot exhibition is told in four thematic sections—The Narwhal’s World, Unicorn of the Sea, From Tooth to Tail, and The Inuit and Narwhals—and features a showstopping 16-foot fiberglass narwhal model suspended from the ceiling. Banners, graphic panels, object cases, and interactives further engage audiences in the narwhal story.

Audiences will:

  • Encounter first-hand accounts from scientists and Inuit community members that reveal how traditional knowledge, coupled with scientific research, are heightening our understanding of these unique animals
  • Become immersed in the narwhal’s Arctic environment through breathtaking panoramic landscapes
  • Listen to a soundscape of shifting ice, flowing water narwhal vocalizations and Arctic birdcalls
  • Read the Inuit legend of the narwhal, illustrated by artwork from Inuit community members
  • Learn what the narwhal tusk is for
  • Compare the different ways that narwhals and their whale relatives have adapted to the Arctic environment
  • Touch a small 3-D printed bas relief narwhal model

Exhibition at a Glance

  • 2,000 sq. ft.
  • Moderate security
  • $20,000 for 12 weeks, plus prorated shipping
  • Tour launches March 2020/ Now Booking!

For more information, please contact Minnie Russell, russellm@si.edu, 202.633.3160

Coming up in Affiliateland in February 2020

Brrrrr! Let the cold outside drive you to these compelling programs inside at Affiliates across the country.

NATIONWIDE
The Smithsonian Channel is again teaming up with Affiliates to screen their feature for 2020 Black History Month – Black in Space: Breaking The Color Barrier.
at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 2.5.
at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, 2.10.
at History Colorado in Denver, 2.11.
at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 2.13.
at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, 2.19.
at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, 2.19.
at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, 2.20.
Note: these events are not open to the public.

VERMONT
Corine Wegener, director of the Smithsonian’s Cultural Rescue Initiative, will give a talk on conserving cultural heritage at the Sullivan Museum in Northfield, 2.5.

TEXAS
Alexandra Alvis from the Special Collections of Smithsonian Libraries will present A Fairy Castle of Painted Windows on illuminated manuscripts at the Ellen Noël Art Museum of the Permian Basin in Odessa, 2.6.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The Smithsonian Science Education Center will offer a free webinar to all Affiliates to introduce their new resource Smithsonian Science for Global Goals, and offer suggestions for Affiliate collaboration, 2.12.

NEBRASKA
The Durham Museum will screen the Smithsonian Channel film The Unknown Flag Raiser of Iwo Jima in Omaha, 2.23.

Happy Retirement, Rosemary Phillips: You’ve been a great friend to Affiliates!

Rosemary goofing around with the Affiliations staff at NMAH.

Since 2000, Rosemary Phillips has been a program manager at the National Museum of American History (NMAH), handling a myriad of requests from Smithsonian Affiliates, from moving a Civil War-era locomotive, to the loan of over 50 firearms, to championing a performance of early American music and much more. Throughout her decades-long association with Affiliates, Rosemary has displayed the friendliness, commitment, diplomacy, and genuine care for Affiliates that has made the relationship between the Affiliations Program and the National Museum of American History one of the most successful collaborations at the Smithsonian. After 42 years, Rosemary retired on January 3, 2020.

Rosemary started her career at the Smithsonian as a graduate intern at the National Collection of Fine Arts (which has since become the Smithsonian American Art Museum). She started at the National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History) in collection management services. She made significant contributions to NMAH’s culture over the years, including leading a staff development committee, helping to create the Museum’s peer recognition awards and Museum-wide cross training program, and creating an annual Girl Scout Day which brought an average of 500 girls and troop leaders to the Museum each year.

After joining the Affiliations Program at NMAH, Rosemary has been essential in realizing some of the biggest accomplishments in the Affiliate network. Here are a few notable ones:

Rosemary with colleagues at the opening of the National Museum of Industrial History.

– When the Durham Museum (Omaha, NE) became an Affiliate in 2002, Rosemary was instrumental in securing a significant number of artifact loans, a collaboration that took over two years. She did the same when the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA) opened in their new building in 2010.

– Rosemary spearheaded the collaboration with the National Museum of Industrial History, the Smithsonian’s first Affiliate, that opened to the public in 2016 with over 100 artifact loans from NMAH.

Rosemary with former Affiliations Director Harold Closter and his wife at the grand opening of the National Museum of American Jewish History

– She championed the collaboration between Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA) and NMAH’s Religion initiative, which led to a weekend of events featuring a performance of Native and English music traditions, Waking the Ancestors: Recovering the Lost Sacred Sounds of Colonial America. 

There are countless more examples which demonstrate Rosemary’s persistence, good cheer, and dedication to being of service to Affiliates, in ways that brought the Smithsonian to their communities – and Affiliate expertise to the Smithsonian – in meaningful and impactful ways. If you have an anecdote to share about your relationship with Rosemary, please post it below in comments! 

Rosemary helps a curator from a New York Affiliate evaluate Mamie Eisenhower’s purse for loan.

Rosemary with the staff of the Heinz History Center and NMAH in Pittsburgh.

Rosemary (in blue) watches over first-person Pilgrim interpreters leading visitors in traditional songs at NMAH.

Rosemary with a delicious thank you from an Affiliate in Hershey, PA.