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a new face at SEEC!

In 1988, the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center was founded, in part, to demonstrate the tremendous learning potential of museums on very young children, and to share those lessons as broadly as possible.  Dr. Sharon Shaffer, SEEC’s founding director, has grown the organization to three centers on the National Mall and an ambitious outreach program that has trained thousands of educators, including many Affiliates.  Sharon has made an indelible mark on the Smithsonian community, enriching our understanding of early childhood education.  She leaves big shoes to fill upon her retirement later this year. 

SEEC's new executive director, Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl

In July, SEEC will welcome Dr. Kimberlee Kiehl, its new executive director.   Kim currently serves as Chief Strategy and Operations Officer and Senior Vice President for the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio.  Of her many accomplishments at COSI, Kiehl was responsible for the physical and programmatic design of little kidspace®, a 12,000-square-foot “museum-within-a-museum” designed specifically for young children.  She has also been a faculty member at Ohio State University, teaching early childhood education and development courses, and running the University’s laboratory school for children under 6.  Kim earned her doctorate degree in education from Pennsylvania State University. 

the new early childhood space at the B & O Railroad Museum

Affiliates have a long successful history of working with SEEC.  The B & O Railroad Museum in Baltimore consulted with SEEC when developing their dedicated spaces for early learners.  SEEC has conducted trainings and workshops for the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, and the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, MS among others.  In January 2012, four Affiliate representatives from the California Science Center, the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas and the Miami Science Center all came to Washington, D.C. to participate in a planning session for a National Symposium on Early Learning in Museums, currently under development.

We look forward to continuing the Affiliate-SEEC collaboration for the benefit of our museums’ youngest visitors, in thanking Sharon for the foundations she has laid, and welcoming Kim as a new partner in education.

Look for SEEC at the Resource Fair at the Smithsonian Affiliations National Conference, June 12-14.  And for more, check out the latest issue of the Journal of Museum Education, guest edited by Sharon Shaffer and focusing on early learning.

coming up in affiliateland – december 2011 and january 2012

a busy ending to 2011… and full steam ahead into 2012!  

TEXAS:
The
Frontiers of Flight Museum hosts the the National Air and Space Museum’s At the Controls in Dallas, 12/1.

GEORGIA:
The
Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History celebrated its 10th anniversary as a Smithsonian Affiliate in Kennesaw, 12/3.

COLORADO:
The
Littleton Museum hosts SITES’ 125 Years of Lasting Light: Grand Canyon Photography in Littleton, 12/8.

TENNESSEE:
The
American Museum of Science and Energy hosts SITES’ Earth From Space in Oak Ridge, 12/16.

FLORIDA:
The
Mennello Museum of Art will host SITES’ William H. Johnson: An American Modern in Orlando, 1/6.

MISSISSIPPI:
The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center will present a professional development workshop at the
Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, 1/12.

FLORIDA:
The
Orange County Regional History Center will host SITES’ Beyond Baseball: Roberto Clemente in Orlando, 1/21.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:
Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA), Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL), National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA), Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI), Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA), Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA), Institute of Texan Cultures (San Antonio, TX), and the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland, OH) will participate in a two day meeting to brainstorm ways in which the institutions could work together to foster civic engagement on immigration/migration issues, 1/25-1/26.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:
The
Rubin Museum of Art (New York, NY), the Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, TX), Miami Science Center (Miami, FL), and the California Science Center (Los Angeles, CA)  will participate in planning meeting for a National Symposium on Early Learning, 1/27-28.

CALIFORNIA:
The
Columbia Memorial Space Center will host SITES’ Suited for Space in Downey, 1/28.

 

kudos affiliates! september 2011

Affiliates have been busy in September!  Kudos to all.

The Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI) raised $285,887, with $150,000, from the Museums for America grant program. The funds will benefit the museum’s Understanding Arabs, Arab-Americans and Islam initiative, which aims to educate students throughout the Midwest. The museum also has been awarded a $150,000 grant by the American Association of Museums (AAM) for a project titled Watch Your Waste. The grant enables the Museum to partner with the Children’s Museum Jordan in Amman, Jordan, to create an e-museum where children from both countries will simultaneously conduct research about the garbage their families generate and dispose of.

Seven other Affiliates received Museums for America grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services:

Michigan State University Museum (East Lansing, Michigan) will receive nearly $150,000 to complete chemical testing for natural science specimens and to make database and technological enhancements for its natural science and cultural collections.

 USS Constitution Museum Foundation(Charlestown, Massachusetts) will received $149,023 for a hands-on, Old Ironsides 1812 Discovery Center gallery and programs, grounded in research and designed for all ages, to learn about the USS Constitution and the War of 1812.

National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) will receive $138,600 to fund The Civil War 150 Years Later—Bringing History Back for the Future, a primarily Web-based project that is intended to enhance educational resources available to teachers, students, and the public on the Civil War.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) will receive $112,760 to design, create, and coordinate travel for a 500-square-foot exhibition about the role of western Pennsylvania in the Civil War. 

Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, California) will receive $149,963 to implement the design phase of its upcoming outdoor exhibit, Launchpad. Through Launchpad, students and visitors will learn about space and the sciences as they play and engage in hands-on activities throughout the exhibit.

Conner Prairie (Fishers, Indiana) will receive $141,885 to develop and implement Test Lab: Indiana Inventions, a 500-square-foot exhibit focusing on the themes of energy, innovation and invention; life sciences; and environment and nature; that will place visitors in the role of a scientific investigator. 

Hubbard Museum of the American West (Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico) will receive $79,355 to upgrade and add technology to its new distance learning center to provide new opportunities to learn about the history and culture of the southwest for adults, families, and pre-K through grade 12 students.

 Two other Affiliates received funding for the 2011 Museums & Community Collaborations Abroad (MCCA) program by the American Association of Museums and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs:

Atomic Testing Museum (Las Vegas, Nevada) will partner with the Karaganda Ecological Museum (Karaganda, Kazakhstan) to develop Nuclear Weapons Testing Legacy: The Tale of Two Cultures. Students in both cities will collect oral histories and radiation data from the areas surrounding the Nevada and Semipalatinsk test sites. Ultimately, participants will produce a joint report and conduct symposiums with experts in each country to explore the local and international implications of their findings.

California Science Center (Los Angeles, California) will work with Maloka (Bogota, Colombia) to create Rainforest Leadership Academy: Cross-Cultural Teacher Training and Mentoring.  To empower teachers with the resources, skills, knowledge, and the confidence to deliver inquiry-based science lessons to their classes, the California Science Center and Maloka will enlist mentor teachers from local public schools to collaboratively develop materials for teacher professional-development trainings and student activities.

The African American Museum in Philadelphia(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) was awarded $149,287  as part of the Museum Grant for African American History and Culture by The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  AAMP will create resources for smaller museums through a project that trains future African American museum professionals.

Three affiliates received grants from The National Endowment for the Humanities to support ongoing projects.

Montana Historical Society (Helena, Montana) received $290,000 to digitize over 100,000 pages of Montana’s microfilmed newspapers, dating from 1864 to 1922, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Center for Jewish History (New York, New York) will receive $103,657 to support the digitization of approximately 1,000 volumes to add to the Wissenschaft des Judentums library, which was dispersed and partially destroyed during World War II.

Oklahoma Historical Society (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) was awarded $325,000 to support the digitization of 100,000 pages of Oklahoma newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922, as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

 JP Morgan Chase & Co. is donating $1 million to the Perot Museum of Nature & Science (Dallas, Texas) to support the Bio Lab and related educational programming in the Being Human Hall, which will be part of the new museum under construction.

Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center (Dowell, Maryland), received a $12,000 grant from The Dominion Foundation’s to give more than 60 teens an opportunity to participate in center’s summer arts program.

The Museum of History & Industry (Seattle, Washington) has received a gift of $10 million from Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive officer of Seattle-based Amazon.com. The grant will be used to establish the Center for Innovation at the new MOHAI opening in late fall of 2012.

Coming Up in Affiliateland in June 2011

Summer is in full swing with great events at Affiliates!

NATIONWIDE:
The Smithsonian’s Latino Center hosts its Latino Young Ambassadors in June, which brings students to Washington, DC for a week of cultural enrichment programs.  Following their Washington week, the Ambassadors will return to Affiliate sites for month-long internships in their home communities. 
Participating Affiliates include: Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA); California Science Center (Los Angeles, CA); Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland, CA); Miami Science Museum (Miami, FL); Adler Planetarium (Chicago, IL); Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA); Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico  (San Juan, PR); International Museum of Art and Science (McAllen, TX).

Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture

WASHINGTON:
The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture celebrates 10 years as an Affiliate with an award ceremony featuring Affiliations Director Harold Closter in Spokane, 6.2.

GEORGIA:
At the Controls exhibition of cockpit photographs of aircraft and spacecraft from the National Air and Space Museum opens at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, 6.4.

CALIFORNIA:
National Museum of Natural History Museum scientist Rusty Russell leads a citizen science program with the Riverside Metropolitan Museum in Riverside, 6.11 

PUERTO RICO:
A workshop on “Linking the Museum to the Classroom through Education” will take place at the Universidad del Turabo in Gurabo, 6.23-25.

NEW YORK:
Monica Smith, Exhibition Program Manager at the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, will give a public lecture on the history of the electric guitar at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook, 6.26.

NASA + Smithsonian + Smithsonian Affiliates = Blissful retirement for space artifacts

Space Shuttle Endeavour is moments away from touchdown at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, bringing to a close the STS-113 mission to the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA

On April 12, 2011 NASA announced new homes for three space shuttles soon to be retired from the space program at the end of this summer. The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center   will receive the Discovery and the California Science Center  a Smithsonian Affiliate in Los Angeles, California,  will receive the Endeavour.  

But NASA isn’t just retiring the gigantic shuttles.  Hundreds of space artifacts are also included in the retirement plan and several more Smithsonian Affiliates will have the honor of exhibiting them.   

 These NASA objects join Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) artifacts already on long-term loan to these Affiliates and enjoyed daily by museum goers across the country.

The Saturn V Rocket at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Photo courtesy U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

  • At the Adler Planetarium, visitors can see the Gemini 12 Space Capsule flown by Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin in 1966.
  • The Aerobee 350 Sounding Rocket has recently been conserved at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and will be on view for visitors to the museum soon. 
  • From space food to drawings to space suits, The Museum of Flight has delighted visitors to the museum with NASM artifacts for many years.
  • The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is home to the Saturn V Rocket and many other artifacts such as space instruments and technical devices.

 Of course, the history of the American space program and many more historic artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum can be can be seen in numerous Smithsonian Affiliate museums from Portage, Michigan to San Diego, California.  There are 168 Smithsonian Affiliates in 40 states, D.C., Panama and Puerto Rico.  More than 1,000 artifacts are currently on view at Affiliates across the country just waiting for visitors to experience the Smithsonian in their own neighborhood.  Visit a Smithsonian Affiliate in your community today!

Gemini 12 at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Photo courtesy Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum.

affiliates in the news: week of march 29

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this week!

Mexican Heritage Plaza (San Jose, CA)
Exhibit in San Jose triggers memories of farm labor for old braceros

California Science Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Museum Takes New Look at Air, Water, Land and Life (ABC news/travel section)
Museum Takes New Look at Air, Water, Land and Life (SFGate/ San Francisco Chronicle)
Exploring ecosystems at science center (LA Times)
California Science Center near downtown LA takes $165 million, hands-on approach to ecosystems (Canoe.ca-travel)
New look at ecosystem (Straits Times)
Museum Takes New Look at Air, Water, Land and Life (ArtDaily.org)
Blinded by Science:  Dynamic ‘Ecosystems’ Exhibit Highlights The California Science Center’s $165 Million Expansion (losangelesdowntownnews.com)
What’s New at the California Science Center? A lot!

High Museum of Art (Atlanta, GA)
Civil Rights Battles, in Black and White
Touring the ‘Road to Freedom’

Conner Prairie (Fishers, IN)
Conner Prairie’s 1859 Balloon Voyage to be featured at Smithsonian Air & Space Museums conference in Washington, D.C.

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, IA)
Hy-Vee gives $100,000 to river museum

Plimoth Plantation (Plymouth, MA)
Name that steer