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Long Description for Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Wickedly cool place. They have a big blown glass sculpture that a ramp wraps around, and it’s all sorts of colors, and very pretty. Also, outside, the dinosaurs look like they’re bursting out of the walls, which is also cool. they’re very life-like.
I really enjoyed both the dinosaur and Egypt exhibits, which are both permanent. The Treasures of the Earth exhibit was also cool. They also have a Bumblebee (Yeah, the Transformer) in the lobby.
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Latest News from Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
- Saturday Science: Animation Illusion January 31, 2015
How do your favorite cartoons become talking and walking TV or film characters? In this week’s Saturday Science, from Science Sparks, discover animated illusions by putting your own drawings into motion just like a cartoonist! Materials white cardstock color pencils scissors sellotape Process Using scissors, cut the white cardstock into two pieces. Draw and color in some fish on one piece. Draw and color in a fish bowl on the other. Tape the pencil between the two pieces of cardstock. With the pencil between your hands, rub them together. Summary When you rubbed the pencil between your hands, did the fish swim around in the fish bowl? You created an animated illusion! This is the same concept animators use to bring cartoons to life! When still images that are just a tad different from each other are sequenced together and flashed before your eyes very quickly, they create the illusion of movement. This illusion also happens when we quickly and simultaneously spin our two images. All of a sudden the two pictures become one and the fish swim in their fish bowl! What other two things can you draw to create an illusion? Want more Saturday Science? See all of our at-home activities on the blog or on Pinterest. And don’t forget to visit our latest exhibit, Inside Hollywood Film & TV! You're On The Set!, to learn more about how your favorite TV shows and movies are made!
- Join the Instagram #OwnThatStyle Challenge January 26, 2015
There's nothing better than seeing the confident smile on a child's face when they're dressed in their favorite clothes. Whether it's a tutu with cowboy boots, or a dinosaur t-shirt with a superhero cape, kids sure know how to own their style! Adults can find inspiration in this free-spirited approach to personal style. So, this February we're doing just that. Join in the Instagram #OwnThatStyle Challenge, be inspired by fabulous textiles from the museum's collection, and show off YOUR unique style! It's all part of our latest exhibit and digital engagement project, "What's Your Style? Express Yourself!" which showcases quirky and classic styles from our collection of over 9,000 textiles. WHAT: Be inspired by a new look from our textile collections and share your style! WHERE: Instagram. WHEN: Every day in February. HOW: Check the theme of the day posted by @childrensmuseum, then share your style using #OwnThatStyle. Style themes range from #lace and #sweaterweather to #patterns and #90s throwback styles! We need YOUR help to make this campaign a global success! Your contributions will be showcased in a dynamic map within the exhibit, showing families that everyone can have personal style, whether you live down the street, across the country, or around the world. We can't wait to see you #OwnThatStyle on Instagram! Full Schedule: Feb. 1: #SweaterWeather Feb. 2: #Sporty Feb. 3: #Handbag Feb. 4: #Boots Feb. 5: #90s Feb. 6: #StatementPiece Feb. 7: #BundleUp Feb. 8: #Print Feb. 9: #50s Feb. 10: #Dress Feb. 11: #Pink Feb. 12: #VintageTee Feb. 13: Scarf Feb. 14: #PopOfRed Feb. 15: #AnimalPrint Feb. 16: #Colorful Feb. 17: #Sunglasses Feb. 18: #Vacation Feb. 19: #FavoriteShoes Feb. 20: #Boho Feb. 21: #GatsbyStyle Feb. 22: #Lace Feb. 23: #Glam Feb. 24: #Jewelry Feb. 25: #Leather Feb. 26: #HighSchoolDays Feb. 27: #Hat Feb. 28: #Prom
- Why Does My Breakfast Taste Funny After I Brush My Teeth? January 26, 2015
Beeeeep! Beeeeep! Beeeeep! It’s 6:00 a.m., and your alarm is going off. You spring (or slowly crawl) out of bed and into the bathroom to brush your teeth. You finish getting ready for the day and then head into the kitchen. Your breakfast smells good. It looks good. But GROSS! It doesn’t taste good. Why does your breakfast taste funny after you brush your teeth? We answer this question with help from mental_floss. The breakfast ruining culprit: sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). Depending on your favorite brand of toothpaste, sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) might also be to blame. These chemicals are the surfactants that make toothpaste foam by lowering the surface tension of the liquid. As we brush our teeth and our mouths begin to fill with foam, our taste buds become affected by the SLES or SLS as well. According to mental_floss, these chemicals “suppress the receptors on our taste buds that perceive sweetness, inhibiting our ability to pick up the sweet notes of food and drink. And, as if that wasn't enough, they break up the phospholipids on our tongue. These fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they're broken down by the surfactants in toothpaste, bitter tastes get enhanced.” So thanks to these chemicals, that delicious breakfast now tastes less sweet and more bitter, and not nearly as delicious as it smells. Tomorrow morning, wait a little longer after you brush your teeth to eat or eat breakfast before you clean your chompers. Looking for more Never Stop Asking "Why?" questions? Catch up on all of the past "Whys" on the blog!
- Microwave Soap—It's Not Magic, It's Science! January 25, 2015
By Becky Wolfe, Science Programs Manager NOTE: Before starting this activity, please remember to be careful when pulling your soap out of the microwave. Any time you microwave something, it gets hot! The soap will too! As one of the museum’s science educators, I spend a lot of time researching and trying interesting science experiences for our visitors. Microwaving a bar of Ivory soap is one of the demonstrations that had me yelling at my family across the house, “Hey! You have to come see this! It’s so cool!” I even threw a second bar in the microwave, just so our family could watch the reaction a second time. So is it magic? Nope—just a bit of physics. SPOILER ALERT: I’m going to start talking about reaction, so if you haven’t tried your soap in the microwave and want to be surprised, stop here and come back when you are done. (Follow the directions in the blog post Saturday Science: Microwave Soap!) …[Cue hold music]… Back to the reaction. So what causes the soap to expand into a big fluffy mass? First, it’s important to know how Ivory is made. All soap is a mixture of the soap ingredients such as glycerin (this varies by type and is often proprietary), water and air. In the case of Ivory, it has a bit of extra air whipped into the soap mixture. This is why it floats in the bath tub. If your soap has cooled down, touch the microwaved soap and notice the texture. Is it the same as the bar of soap? You might notice that it’s crumbly and a bit drier, in addition to having expanded greatly in size. This is a big clue has to what is happening with the soap. The soap expands due to Charles’s Law, named for the scientist who is credited with the calculations to explain what happens to gases when heated. This law explains that when a gas is heated, its volume expands. When soap is microwaved, the air trapped inside of the soap heats up and starts to expand. The water inside the soap also heats up and will turn to steam. As the gases grow in volume, they push on the remaining soap ingredients, expanding the bar from something small and compact to a fluffy blob. This is also why the soap feels a bit drier. The water in the soap has turned to steam, and has been released from the soap. The same reaction you see with the soap happens when you make popcorn. Water inside of the kernel expands as the kernels are heated. Eventually, the water becomes hot enough that it turns to water vapor or steam. As the steam expands, it pushes on outer walls of the kernel until they burst exposing the yummy insides for the popcorn kernel. I actually think the microwaved soap looks like a large piece of popcorn. But don’t eat the soap! Some of you may be asking what to do with your soap bar, now that it’s a big fluffy bar. There are a number of sensory activities that use crumbled ivory such as ghost mud. You can also use the soap like, soap. P.S. A number of you may be wondering why I didn’t mention the “accident” that caused the invention of Ivory. A few years ago, the makers of Ivory, Proctor and Gamble, shared documents from their archives that showed the process their chemists used to develop floating soap. While a great story of a mistake leading a great invention, no worker accidently whipped more air into the soap. Sources: cbsnews.com/news/ivory-soap-comes-clean-on-floating/ mentalfloss.com/article/32131/why-does-popcorn-pop en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles%27s_law Photo courtesy of Pink Stripey Socks.
- Saturday Science: Microwave Soap January 24, 2015
It’s a beautiful day with big puffy clouds … of soap! In this week’s Saturday Science experiment, found on Steve Spangler Science, discover what happens to Ivory soap when you heat it up in the microwave! Materials: Bar of Ivory soap Various bars of another brand of soap Deep bowl of water (or a plastic tub) Paper towel Microwave oven Process: Fill the bowl with water. Drop the bars of soap in the bowl of water. Did the Ivory soap float? Place the bar of Ivory soap in the middle of a piece of paper towel and place the whole thing in the center of the microwave oven. Cook the bar of soap on HIGH for 2 minutes and watch closely. What does the soap look like now? Allow the soap to cool for a minute or so before touching it. What does it feel like? Summary: Did the bar of Ivory soap look like a puffy white cloud but feel hard and rigid? Unlike many other bars of soap, Ivory soap is able to float in the water because air is added to it while being manufactured. When soap is heated, the bar becomes pliable and traps the air bubbles that form as the water in the bar of soap vaporizes. According to Steve Spangler Science, “this effect is a demonstration of Charles' Law. Charles' Law states that as the temperature of a gas increases, so does its volume. When the soap is heated, the molecules of air in the soap move quickly, causing them to move far away from each other. This causes the soap to puff up and expand to an enormous size.” If you tried to heat one of the other types of soap, without added air, in the microwave it would just melt into an ewwy-gooey mess! Want more Saturday Science? See all of our at-home activities on the blog or on Pinterest.
- Inspired by the Museum: The Fun is Just Beginning! January 22, 2015
This post was written by Children's Museum Blog Ambassador, Samantha Cotten. Follow Samantha's posts on the blog or follow her on Twitter @samanthacotten. It's a hard to believe that my stint as a member of the Blog Ambassador Panel with The Children's Museum has already come to an end. Didn't we just get started?! I have to admit that six months ago, as the mother of a then 9-month-old, I was skeptical about the benefit my family would see in the museum. In my mind, the exhibits and programs were just a little too advanced for my little baby, and I couldn't imagine how she would enjoy it at such a young age. I was so, so wrong. We, as a family, have been inspired—just as the name of this series states. Since our first visit, we have seen a huge change in our daughter. Her creativity has been ignited, her curiosity is ever-present, and her mobility is at an all-time high. She's hit so many milestones—many of which become more apparent each time we visit. Her imagination is growing, in large part due to her time at the museum, and it never ceases to amaze us. Over the last six months, we have explored (and climbed) every part of Playscape. We have driven IndyCars, rode on locomotives, dug for dinosaur bones, and have even flown to China. We attended a delightfully spooky Halloween bash, welcomed Santa Claus to Indianapolis, and of course we can't forget the time we watched Bucky come to life in the atrium. But perhaps the best part of our new-found love of The Children's Museum has been the incredible inspiration for play and learning within our own home. Water tables have transferred over to bath time play, stairways have become mountain climbing courses and every pot and pan has become a musical instrument. Everything is an adventure when you're 15-months-old! Even though my time as a Blog Ambassador has come to a close, the fun is just beginning for our family. I hope you've enjoyed following us, both on this blog and via the #BlogTCM hashtag, as we reacquainted ourselves with the museum and brought the inspiration and wonder home with us. I hope to see you all soon at The Children's Museum!
- Inside The Children's Museum's New Textiles Closet January 19, 2015
By Jennifer Noffze, Children's Museum Registrar and Archivist Over the past two years, I’ve worked with our two Textile Assistants, Chief Conservator, and American Collection Curator to update storage conditions for our wonderful 9,000 piece textile collection! Obviously, we need a lot of space to store that many objects—could you imagine having a closet big enough to store 9,000 pieces of clothing? Our textile collection comprises everything from special outfits like baptismal gowns, Girl Scout uniforms, and wedding dresses to everyday items like jeans and sweaters and even fun items like Halloween costumes! In 2012, the museum was awarded a prestigious IMLS Conservation Support grant in the amount of $125,000 with additional generous financial support from Gerald and Dorit Paul. We used these funds to hire two temporary assistants to help with inventory, moving and re-storing the items in a fabulous new shelving system. As Registrar/Archivist, it’s my job to keep track of everything in the collection; this means making sure that each item has a database record, digital image, and storage location. Before moving the textiles, I worked with the two assistants to inventory the entire collection. This alone took us close to two months! We then moved everything out of the collection. Finding somewhere to store the items during this time was a challenge, but we used aisles in our over-sized storage space. Let’s just say that area was cramped for a while! Once the new shelving was installed, our Textile Assistants started moving the items into the new space. I created a worksheet for them to use for gathering additional information about each piece including condition, measurements and types of materials. They also took a digital image of each piece that I added to the database—I've now seen every piece in the collection! It’s been great seeing new and fun items that I didn’t know we had. I’ve started a whole new list of favorite pieces including this fabulous 1960s dress! The previous textile storage rooms were cramped and the overcrowded conditions were not safe for moving the pieces. It also made it hard to show off the collection to our visitors! With our new space it’s much easier to share our collection on special tours. The photo above shows our Director of Collections, Chris Carron, showing off the Campbell's Soup dress in the new, upgraded storage. The items are now less cramped and we can easily find pieces with the addition of hanging tags which list the accession number (the unique identification number that is given to every piece in our collection.) We were also able to upgrade storage conditions for specific groups of objects, like these incredible parasols! Watch out next week for a brand new This Week's WOW, when Josh takes us inside the upgraded Textiles Storage to show us his top 5 favorite pieces!
- Saturday Science: Crazy Putty January 17, 2015
Squish it. Squash it. Mold it. Bounce it. In this week’s Saturday Science experiment, found on Science Kids, learn how to make Crazy Putty! Materials: 2 different size food storage containers. Water Food coloring White glue Borax solution (ratio of about 1 Tbsp of borax to a cup of water) Process: Fill the bottom of the larger container with white glue. Add a few tablespoons of water and stir. Add 2 or 3 drops of your favorite food coloring and stir. Add a squirt of the borax solution (possibly a bit more depending on how much white glue you used). Stir the mixture up and put it into the smaller container. After some time, the mixture should have putty-like consistency. This is when you’re putty is ready to get a little crazy! Squish it between your fingers. Mold it into your favorite shape. Bounce it on the ground! Summary: What made your crazy putty so CRAZY?! Two things: polyvinyl acetate, a polymer found in glue, and sodium borate, a chemical, found in Borax.According to Science Kids, when you combine the polymer and the chemical together in a water solution, their molecules react and join together as one giant molecule. Because this new compound is able to absorb large amounts of water, a crazy, putty-like substance is formed. Want more Saturday Science? See all of our at-home activities on the blog or on Pinterest.
- What's Your Style? Be Inspired, Be You, Join In January 17, 2015
By Lori Phillips, Manager of Digital Content As fashion stylist Rachel Zoe has said, "Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak." Everyone can show off their personal style, no matter their age. Kids especially love to look crazy-cool, and they certainly know how to own their own style! This inspired us to bring style into the spotlight for our latest Digital Engagement Project. What’s Your Style? lets grown-ups and kids from around the world show off who they are through their own unique style, online and on-site, and all around the world—wherever you may be! You'll be inspired by fashion finds from one of the coolest “closets” around—The Children’s Museum's 9,000-piece textile collection! Take a look at featured ensembles at the museum, or see even more in our Online Gallery. We hope these unique pieces will spark your own style memories that you can share with your family and friends. Do you have a favorite pair of shoes, or a prom dress or suit that will go down in history? Does your kiddo refuse to take off their superhero cape when they go to bed? We want to hear about your memorable styles, and we want to see them, too! Here are all of the ways you can participate in What's Your Style, and even have your style digitally showcased in the museum! Explore at the museum See inspired designs and quirky accessories like the 1970s Telephone Purse or Gianni Versace's Warhol-inspired suit. Make the cover of our style magazine! Check out the on-site photo opportunity and share your cover story! Try out the What's Your Style? app to mix and match fashions from the collection on your digital mannequin. Then download it for your home tablet, too! Share and learn more online Share your style stories. Did Mom rock “big hair” in the ’80s? Tell us your tales of style! See even more fashions, from the classics to the bizarre, in our Online Gallery. Download the What's Your Style? app, and mix and match styles from the museum's collection at home! Available for Android tablet (download) and iPad (download.) Explore our Pinterest style board, and re-pin your favorites. COMING SOON: Learn the stories behind some of our most unique fashion objects on the blog. Join in on Instagram Show off your style on Instagram! Join the #OwnThatStyle Challenge in February, or share your favorite looks throughout the year using #ownthatstyle, then check out style submissions from around the world in the museum and on Instagram. Fashions may be fleeting, but style is something you own—it’s unique and personal. We can't wait to see you #OwnThatStyle!
- Why Dracorex hogwartsia Is a Dinosaur, Not a Dragon January 14, 2015
By Mookie Harris, Lead Interpreter for Dinosphere and Treasures of the Earth It's a question we're often asked in Dinosphere—why is Dracorex hogwartsia considered a dinosaur, not a dragon? In 2003, amateur paleontologists in South Dakota discovered fossils which they believed to be from a Pachycephalosaurus. The fossils were sent to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Paleo Prep Lab for preparation. It was discovered during this process that the bones were not from a dinosaur we already knew about, so our paleontologists got to name the new dinosaur species. Because most people don’t spend as much time staring at dinosaur fossils as Victor Porter (pictured) and the rest of our paleontology team, museum guests who saw the new specimen said that it looked like a dragon or a crocodile—or even an alien. Victor took all this into consideration. He named the small-toothed, herbivorous dinosaur Dracorex after the Latin words for “dragon king.” Why? Because it sounds really cool! Dracorex is in good company, too. Of the over 1,000 named dinosaur species, several others have been named after creatures from myths and folklore. Dilong and Guanlong, two Chinese dinosaur species, are both named after the mythical “long,” or Chinese dragon. In fact, since “di” means “king” in Chinese, Dilong is also a “dragon king!” Siats is named after a man-eating giant in Ute legend. Seitaad gets its name from a mythological Navajo monster that buried its victims under the sand. Jobaria is named after the Jobar, a gigantic mythical beast from Touareg legend. Tarascosaurus is named after the Tarasque, a lion-dragon monster in medieval French folklore. Harpymimus and Garudimimus are named after Harpies and the Garuda bird. Anzu is named after a lion-headed bird from Mesopotamian mythology. The prehistoric flying reptile Quetzalcoatlus is named for the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl who had the combined features of a snake and an eagle. Dinosaurs were real wild animals that once walked the earth, but are now extinct. Everything we know about these creatures comes from our discoveries of fossilized evidence of their bones, footprints, dung, and in extremely rare cases, mummified soft tissue (blatant plug for Leonardo). Dragons are magical creatures from fun stories. Sometimes, dinosaur fossils or even living creatures remind us of dragons. But the evidence tells us that dragons only exist in those stories. Fortunately, as long as we have imaginations and the ability to tell stories, dragons will never go extinct. Special thanks to Thomas Holtz for his encyclopedic assistance during the writing of this blog post!
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