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Join the Universe of Learning

Universe of Learning logo

Smithsonian Affiliations, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and funded through NASA’s Universe of Learning, is launching a new, two-year science literacy pilot program and looking for participants. Funding is available–up to $2,000 per year– for seven Affiliate organizations to use resources from the Universe of Learning site to develop programs exploring  art, history, and natural science. The goal of the pilot is to create sustainable models of innovative STEM learning for youth, families, and lifelong learners.

To participate, interested candidates must complete three of  seven professional development online webinars.* The webinars are hosted by astrophysics scientists and educators and discuss NASA’s three main questions: How does the Universe work? How did we get here? Are we alone? An accompanying online forum will further strengthen the discussion topics and address how your organization can best use the available resources to develop and share your program model.

Webinars are every two weeks on Wednesday at 2pm EST (the next one is on Sept 13th). *Two out of the seven webinars have already occurred. However, they were recorded and we encourage for your institution to partake in this great opportunity.

The application opens in November and is only available to Smithsonian Affiliates.

For any inquiries, please email Patty Arteaga at ArteagaP@si.edu.

Affiliates in the news! July edition

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this month! Do you have a Smithsonian collaboration in the news? Email Elizabeth Bugbee, BugbeeE@si.edu, and submit your clipping for review. Each month we compile our newsmakers and distribute in our Affiliate eNewsletter.

Uncrating an exhibition

Rene Rodgers, curator of exhibits and publications, uncrates a Suffolk push mower that is part of the new Smithsonian exhibit called “Things Come Apart” that opens this weekend at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Photo-Earl Neikirk/BHC

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, VA)
VIDEO- Birthplace of Country Music Museum hosting Smithsonian exhibit
“They will start looking around at some of the things that they use every day and really start to think about how they work and how theyve gotten to that point from where they started and actually just think about the way things are made,”Dr. René Rodgers, Museum Director and Head Curator for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum said.

Smithsonian exhibit opens Saturday at BCMM
“It’s one of those exhibits the Smithsonian Institution creates to travel around the country to various museums,” said René Rodgers, curator of exhibits and publications at the museum. “We are the third museum to have it. It’s just come to us from the Kansas City Public Library. The exhibit is based on the work of photographer and artist Todd McLellan. He has taken the idea of common, everyday objects to look at their functionality, their design, the change in technology, and he’s done that by taking them down to their component parts and creating artistic renditions of them.”

South Dakota State Historical Society (Pierre, SD)
Former Smithsonian director in Pierre on July 24
“As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, we are delighted to bring Mr. Glass to South Dakota,” Jay Smith, director of the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, stated in a release. “He brings with him a message about the value of saving, preserving and visiting historic places which is an important aspect of the mission of the South Dakota State Historical Society. We will be discussing some of our future plans with him as well, so this is an exciting opportunity for our museum.”

Tellus Science Museum (Cartersville, GA)
SMITHSONIAN’S ‘ART OF THE AIRPORT TOWER’ CAPTURES THEIR UNIQUE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNS
In the midst of a nationwide tour, the Tellus Science Museum near Atlanta is currently hosting the exhibit until September 17. The Smithsonian affiliate is home to many aviation and space flown hardware. “This is a fascinating exhibit – it combines photography, architecture, and aviation in unexpected ways,” Tellus Science Museum Executive Director Jose Santamaria said on Sunday. “It is very unique and the images are stunning.

Art of the Airport Tower exhibition

Carolyn Russo, National Air and Space Museum photographer, in front of her exhibit “Art of the Airport Tower.”

 

Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville, VA)
Prehistoric adventure headed to Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville
There will also be a Stegosaurus display from the Smithsonian and fossils collected by scientists in the field.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)
Firearms experts gather for Cody museum symposium
July 17 will feature speakers and session leaders from the following institutions: Cody Firearms Museum, National Rifle Association’s Museums Division, Autry Museum of the American West, Springfield Armory National Historic Site, United States Marshals Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Smithsonian Institution National Firearms Collection, Colonial Williamsburg , Royal Armouries Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Pearl earrings from designer brenda smith

Southern Charm,” pearl earrings from designer Brenda Smith, are among the items on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and included in a traveling exhibit that runs through next March at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst.
Courtesy of Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary art

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art (Elmhurst, IL)
Smithsonian gems on display in Elmhurst
“Most of the pieces are either donated or gifted to the (Smithsonian) museum,” said Asher. “We’re a Smithsonian affiliate.” Asher said she worked with Smithsonian gem curator Russell Feather to select the pieces visitors will see in the “Smithsonian Gems” exhibit.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (Greenville, SC) (VIDEO)
Children’s Museum of the Upstate provides perfect atmosphere for solar eclipse
They will also have pinhole projectors, a live stream from NASA in the Smithsonian and activities in Spark!Lab focusing on women in astronomy. “We are an official viewing site of NASA, which means that we are able to have some NASA scientists come,” Halverson told WYFF News 4’s Allyson Powell Thursday.

Tellus Science Museum and Booth Western Art Museum (both in Cartersville, GA)
Travel: Consider Cartersville, Georgia
Despite traveling extensively, I’m still impressed when I discover big things in small places. Cartersville, Ga., a city of 20,000 residents about 40 minutes north of Atlanta, has major draws. It’s the smallest town in the U.S. with two Smithsonian Affiliate Museums. The Booth Western Art Museum houses the largest permanent exhibition space for Western art in the entire country — and what a fabulous place it is.

Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
Apollo 11 module will visit Pittsburgh next year — after a makeover
Before the Apollo 11 command module embarks on a cross-country tour of four museums — including the Senator John Heinz History Center in the Strip District — it’s getting a makeover for the first time since it arrived in 1976 at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, NPR reported Monday .

Things Come Together for “Things Come Apart”

Disassembled flip clock

Flip clock made by Sanyo in the 1970s, component count: 426 © Todd McLellan

Special thanks to Rene Rodgers at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for sharing this blog with us. Things Come Apart, organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, is on view at the museum through October 8, 2017.

“Things Come Apart is not our “usual” type of exhibit, one where the focus is on the history of early country music, the musical legacy of this region, or other related social and cultural topics. However, one of our aims with the museum’s Special Exhibits Gallery is to also choose interesting and engaging exhibits that will serve to bring new audiences into the museum and expand the educational resources offered to our local community. With this type of exhibit, we also work hard to find ways to relate the exhibit’s subject to our content or to music, for instance through panels and artifact supplements or the related programming and outreach.”

Read the whole blog post here.

Affiliates in the news

Congratulations to these Affiliates making headlines this month! Do you have a Smithsonian collaboration in the news? Email Elizabeth Bugbee, BugbeeE@si.edu, and submit your clipping for review. Each month we compile our newsmakers and distribute in our Affiliate eNewsletter.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, VA)
Bristol, Tenn. known as ‘Birthplace of Country Music’
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum opened in 2014 and is housed in a historic building in Bristol, Va., just a couple of blocks away from where Peer’s famous recordings were made. It’s a state-of-the-art museum that’s affiliated with the Smithsonian.

Rhino sculptures

Photo by Kent Warneke.

University of Nebraska State Museum (Lincoln, NE)
Rhino battle comes to life at Ashfall
“You’ve got this incredibly sweet mix of great scientists, great park managers, great philanthropists, great artists,” Johnson said. “And we’re really a long way away from any big population center, but this is a national treasure here in the northeast corner of Nebraska.”

Smithsonian director attends Ashfall event
Johnson said he was there because part of his job as the director of a national museum is to help other museums across the nation. It’s also appropriate because Ashfall is a Smithsonian affiliate.

National Civil War Museum (Harrisburg, PA) (VIDEO)
Civil War Museum allows visitors to take a step back in history
Civil War Museum CEO, Wayne Motts said, “So we’re a Smithsonian affiliated museum, right here in downtown Harrisburg. Right here in Dauphin County. We’re pleased with that. We’re pleased that the community has chosen to be with us today. We’re happy to have these offerings. And we hope it’s fun but that it’s also educational.”

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (Miami, FL) (RADIO INTERVIEW)
Phillip Frost Talks About Climate Change, The Science Museum And Doing Business In Sunshine Economy
Frost is the largest private benefactor of the new Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, which opened in May. The Frosts gave $45 million to the museum.

Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle (Doylestown, PA)
Bucks County Historical Society names new leader for Mercer Museum, Fonthill Castle
“I am excited about the opportunity to lead the Bucks County Historical Society and its two world-class museums,” said McKoy. “I am inspired by the organization’s commitment to educating its many audiences, and for the diversity of its exhibitions and programs. I look forward to working with the staff, trustees and volunteers to further the museums’ mission.”

California State Railroad Museum (Sacramento, CA)
Railroad Museum Now a Smithsonian Affiliate
In joining the Affiliation, Sacramento’s growing population will further receive the necessary help to build a bridge between the local experiences available in individual communities with the national heritage preserved and displayed at the Smithsonian.

California State Railroad Museum Becomes Smithsonian Affiliate (RADIO INTERVIEW)
Ty Smith, new Director for the California State Railroad Museum, talks to Kitty about the museum becoming a Smithsonian Affiliate.

Aquarium of the Bay (San Francisco, CA)
Aquarium of the Bay Receives Prestigious Smithsonian Affiliate Status
San Francisco’s only waterfront aquarium, Aquarium of the Bay, is proud to announce its new designation as a Smithsonian Affiliate. This prestigious designation makes it one of only three institutions in San Francisco and the only dedicated aquarium in the state of California to be honored as an affiliate.

Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (Easton, PA)
Easton sites share special connection to Smithsonian (VIDEO)
The museum had been a Smithsonian affiliate since 2002. Now, said Garofalo, the entire corridor is recognized as an affiliate. “We are the first heritage corridor affiliate and the only canal affiliate in the United States,” said Jim Birdsall, chairman of the park’s trails committee.

Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor partners with Smithsonian to bring history alive (VIDEO)
“The Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor will be the first of its kind in the Smithsonian Affiliate Network,” Director of Smithsonian Affiliations Harold A. Closter said. “Like the D&L Corridor, the Smithsonian cares deeply about the nation’s natural, cultural and historic resources.”

D&L corridor becomes the Smithsonian’s newest affiliate
Those who preserve the historic path used to transport coal and iron from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia will now be able to draw on the resources of the world’s largest museum and research complex.

USS Hornet ship

(Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum (Alameda, CA)
Smithsonian Institution partners with USS Hornet
“We are extremely proud to be part of the Smithsonian affiliate network,” said Jill Knowland, the Hornet’s executive director. “Our selection to this program is a continuation of the museum’s ever expanding mission of connecting our nation’s ‘Greatest Generation’ with future generations and preserving the history and legacy of this national and state historical landmark.”

Shedd Aquarium (Chicago, IL)
Shedd Aquarium now affiliated with Smithsonian Institute
“We are honored to be affiliated with the Smithsonian in our shared goals of increasing discovery and inspiring lifelong learning. This partnership is an incredible collaborative resource that will help us deliver more mission moments to more people with greater impact, both onsite and in our communities,” said Shedd Aquarium President and CEO Bridget Coughlin.

Springfield Museums (Springfield, MA)
Springfield Museums plans John F. Kennedy centennial exhibit with items from Smithsonian, JFK Library
The Springfield Museums, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, will exhibit 27 photographs on loan from the National Museum of American History in Washington. The Richard Avedon photographs will anchor the Springfield Museums exhibition, providing a glimpse into the Kennedys’ personal life, while also documenting their public image.

 

Supersonic Challenges: The Installation of the F-5 Fighter Jet

Special thanks for this guest post to Dr. Jorge Perez-Gallego, Curator of Astronomy and Exhibition Developer, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science.

Riddle us this: what moves faster than the speed of sound and lives in a gallery?

Give up?

Gulf Stream Aquarium Oculus

Gulf Stream Aquarium Oculus at the Frost Museum of Science. Photo by Ra-Haus.

The answer: a Northrop F-5B Freedom Fighter, on loan to the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science from the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The supersonic light fighter is capable of speeds faster than 1,000 miles per hour and you’ll find it hanging right over your head in the Feathers to the Stars exhibition, located in the Batchelor Foundation and Christine Allen Gallery, in the museum’s North Wing.

Frost Science, which officially opened its doors in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on May 8, is truly a marvel of both architectural and engineering feats. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum features a three-level 500,000-gallon cone-shaped Gulf Stream Aquarium teeming with hammerhead sharks and dolphins, anchored by a 31-foot oculus lens that peers into the waters above. The Frost Planetarium, one of the most advanced facilities of its kind anywhere in the world, uses a 16-million-color, 3-D 8K visual system to send visitors hurtling through space and into the depths of the ocean. And with a fascinating roster of interactive exhibitions, it’s easy to spend an entire day exploring and being immersed in the power of science.

Now, about that Northrop—exactly how is an 8,000-pound airplane moved into a gallery? Teamwork. Lots of it. For that, Frost Science enlisted the help of an invaluable group of experts, including first-class airplane movers and riggers. The aircraft was brought into the building in three pieces (the fuselage, the wings and the tail) through a tight opening between the Frost Planetarium and the level three terraces. The intricate task took our crew 10 hours from beginning to end.

Breaking through the sound barrier is a relatively recent feat in human history. On October 14, 1947, Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager became the first to do so. Manning a rocket engine-powered Bell X-1, Yeager reached Mach 1.06— exceeding the speed of sound in level flight. (At 768 miles per hour, Mach 1 is equal to the speed of sound.)

Feathers to the Stars exhibition at Frost Museum of Science. Photo by Ra-Haus

Because sound waves move at a finite speed, moving sources can catch up with the sound waves they emit as they accelerate. As this happens, sound waves pile up in front of them. If the aircraft is fast enough, it can burst through them causing a sonic boom. The loud noise is a consequence of the change in pressure as the aircraft outruns all the sound waves ahead of itself.

That accomplishment came just over 40 years after Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first controlled, sustained flight of a heavier-than-air powered aircraft on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. And just over 20 years before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. In less than a lifetime, humans mastered the sky and knocked on the door of space exploration.

Feathers to the Stars will carry you through the amazing story how ancient evolution gave birth to animal flight, and how humans used imagination and engineering to get airborne and explore the infinite possibilities of space. The exhibition also features a rocket engine, a rocket tail piece with jet deflector vanes, and a model of a V-2 missile (the world’s first guided missile) on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Ultimately, Feathers to the Stars is a story driven by challenges—and perseverance. Ready for take-off? You can find more information on the exhibition here.

 

Coming up in Affiliateland in June 2017

Summer is heating up in Affiliateland!

CALIFORNIA
The board of the Smithsonian Latino Center will be meeting at the LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles, 6.4-5.

The National Museum of American History will present Let’s Do History professional development workshop in collaboration with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, 6.9.

KANSAS
National Air and Space Museum curator Mike Neufeld will give a talk and booksigning on Werner Von Braun at the Cosmosphere  in Hutchinson, 6.8.

Fort Worth Alliance Airport tower

Fort Worth Alliance Airport
Texas, United States
Photo by Carolyn Russo, National Air and Space Museum

INDIANA
Former director of the National Museum of American History Brent Glass will give a talk and booksigning on 50 Great Historical Places at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis, 6.13.

NEBRASKA
National Museum of Natural History director Kirk Johnson will be the keynote speaker at the Ashfall Fossil Beds Dedication ceremony at the University of Nebraska State Museum  in Lincoln, 6.17.

ILLINOIS
The Dusable Museum of African American History will host the Night of 100 Stars gala and honor Lonnie Bunch, director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Chicago, 6.24.