Archive | Newsletter

Free Friday August 21st, from 4 to 8pm

Bacteria and other microscopic life are everywhere! They live in the deepest oceans, in frozen arctic ices and even boiling hot geysers. In fact, you have billions of bacteria and yeast on your skin and in your body! During our Aug. 21 Free Friday event, join the Bioscience Technology Department from Cincinnati State in our STEM Lab in the Museum of Natural History & Science to find out about these tiny organisms and how science is using them to improve our lives.

 

Free Friday this week at Cincinnati Museum Center

2015_LB_FreeFridays_700x200_040215-sb

Earn GIRLS participation points during our Free Friday event, July 24th from 4 to 8 p.m.

During the Free Friday event, the Bioscience Technology department from Cincinnati State will be asking visitors to help solve a 100 million year old mystery in the Museum of Natural History & Science’s STEM Lab. Be the scientist and use various techniques to determine what species of dinosaur lay trapped inside of a newly discovered egg.

CSU logo

We’re Nuts (and Bolts) for Inventions

trampoline-796219_1280

What do earmuffs, popsicles, trampolines, braille and water skis all have in common? If you guessed that they were all invented by kids, then you would be right! Each one of these everyday objects were first thought up by kids their under the age of 15. It is because of these youth with their wondrous imaginations and other kids like them that we have innovative creations that help make our days easier and more fun! On average, 500,000 kids around the world invent different things every year, proving that all you need is a big imagination and your thinking cap handy in order to make something great!

Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire

Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire

Come put your imagination to the test at Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire at Cincinnati Museum Center Aug. 29 and 30. This event is a part of the global Maker Faire network created by MAKE Magazine. It’s a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, which helps to celebrate young builders and makers. The event brings together amateur and professional inventors, artists, crafters, chemists, engineers and performers in a combination of large spectacles and communal interactive experiences. Learn more here!

 

Become an Inventor Today!

GIRLS_1 300

No matter your age, your head is probably filled with invention. No idea how to make them work? Don’t fret! Just follow these easy steps to help turn your dreams into a reality.

  1. Think about what you want to make. If possible, take a pad and pencil with you when you go places so that you can write down ideas.
  2. A great way to get ideas is to ask others in your household about daily problems they face and recording their feedback.
  3. Once you have several ideas, look through them and decide which one(s) to build.
  4. Sketch your invention, using as many sketches as you want and any labels or notes you’d like it to have
  5. Think about how it will work. An idea is fine, but unless you know how it works, you cannot invent it.
  6. Get your materials.
  7. Get some tools. If you are using anything potentially dangerous, get your parents’ help.
  8. Figure out a good time to put your invention together. Mom or Dad might need to be there, so don’t forget to ask them if one of them is free when you plan on putting it together.
  9. Only you know exactly how to put your invention together. Make sure you have everything, and go ahead and get started.

Featured Girls in Real Life Science: Female Inventors

drops-of-water-578897_1280

Cynthia Lam, 17-year old Australian scientist, had always been fascinated with the science behind invention and being able to put imagination into practice in order to create something great. Lam was able to put her imagination to the ultimate test in 2014 when she entered into Google’s annual Science Fair where the best and the brightest compete for the $50,000 scholarship grand prize. Lam had long been concerned about the millions of people who have to live each day without energy or clean water and made the decision to design a product that would tackle just that. She was able to turn her vision into a reality with the H2Pro, a device that Lam created to act as a portable photocatalytic electricity generation and water purification unit. With the H2Pro people would be able to produce enough clean energy and fresh water for a day in a matter of two hours. Although Lam did not take home the grand prize that year, she was a top 10 finalist and made the decision to continue her work with the H2OPro and improve the device so it could be used around the world.

 

What are you doing in August?

Explorer’s University: NASA Challenge

Explorer's University Lockup 300Are you up for the challenge? Use innovation and creativity to complete challenges developed by NASA educators.  Ages 9 to 15. $7 for Members; $10 for Non-Members. Aug. 8 from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

 

Scavenger Hunt: Vertebrate Detective

Dino_1 300

Learn the importance of bones as you become a detective searching for clues relating to vertebrates while earning points for Nature’s Trading Post. Aug. 1-31 in the Museum of Natural History & Science

 

Science of Sports: Indoor Rowing Classes

Join No Limits Rowing for indoor rowing class in Museum Center’s Science of Sports Exhibit. Aug. 7 at 11 a.m. in Science of Sports

Founding Supporters

Ashladn_logo- cropped         Duke-Energy-Logo - cropped

Associate Sponsor

CAMM_Logo_White_RGB

We All Scream for Ice Cream

ice-cream-day

July 19 is National Ice Cream Day! The day was first denoted in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, who designated July as National Ice Cream month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. Since then National Ice Cream Day has lived in our hearts, but most importantly our stomachs. And although, ice cream is more commonly thought of as being a nice cold treat of indulgence there is real science behind creating a tasty treat that is not only solid, but also soft. Check out this site to learn more about the basics and the building of better ice cream.

Was Willy Wonka onto something with his

“Three Course Gum”?

Ice Cream

Food development scientist Elizabeth Fenner created a flavor-releasing ice cream that starts out tasting like vanilla and quickly changes to tasting like cherry even before you had a chance to swallow. Fenner began her three years of research and development when she was a food science graduate student at the University of Missouri. It was there that she began to develop the idea of using micro-encapsulation to change the flavors of ice cream. The process of micro-encapsulation is one most commonly used when creating frozen food, which uses tiny particles and surround them in a coating to give the small capsules many useful properties. Fenner became the first person to transition the process of micro-encapsulation to ice cream. After many years, she was finally able to create this special type of ice cream and as a result of her creation, Fenner was hired to work at Yogurtland as a product development specialist.

thing-654750_1280Become a Food Scientist Yourself!

Try your hand at creating a new ice cream flavor by starting with this basic ice cream recipe that can be made without a machine! Follow this link to learn more.

 Featured Career: Food Scientist

experiment-217201_1280 (1)

Food Scientists apply their knowledge of chemistry, biology, and engineering to develop and improve food and food process for the benefit of the public. To become a food scientist, a bachelor of science in food science is typically recommended. Along with at least four years of formal education, food scientists should have strong verbal and written communication skills. They often work with teams of agriculturalists or other food scientists, but they also must be able to work independently. Proficiency with computers is also suggested for this career, as well as being able to work well with numbers and having advanced problem-solving skills. A food scientist typically works for federal government agencies, food processing companies or academic institutions. The projected growth for this career is about 11 percent over the next couple of years, and the average salary is $65,340 a year.

 

cap-306816_1280What are you doing in July?baseball-bats-312153_1280

Scavenger Hunt: Hit A Home Run

Help celebrate the All Star Game with this fast hitting scavenger hunt that will help earn you Nature’s Trading Post points.

July 1-31 in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Explorer’s University: Baseball

Hit a home run with this enlightening lesson about physics of baseball. We’ll even throw a few curveballs so keep your eye on the ball. Register in advance to guarantee a spot. Ages 9 to 15. Learn more and register here.

July 11 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Coming Soon…GIRLS Day Out!   

Join us on location as we go to the science!  Meet a female in a STEM career as she shows us a day in her job.  Enjoy a tour, activities, demonstrations and so much more. Keep checking the GIRLS website and your email for more details!

Founding Supporters

Ashladn_logo- croppedDuke-Energy-Logo - cropped

 

Associate Sponsor

CAMM_Logo_White_RGB

BugFest 2015

Bugfest logo-cropped

Our 12th annual BugFest is Saturday, June 6, 2015. Immerse yourself in the world of arthropods with special guests, live insects, hands-on activities, and much more in the Rotunda and the Museum of Natural History & Science.

Learn and play with local organizations:

Buckeye United Fly Fishers
Cincinnati Health Department
Cincinnati Parks Board: Explore Nature
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Department of Energy: Fernald Preserve
EchoBats, Inc
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Grubco Inc.
K-12 Inc. Ohio Virtual Academy
United States Department of Agriculture
Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County
University of Cincinnati Biological Science Department

Get hands-on with fun activities:

Make fun crafts
Bug-themed scavenger hunt
Preschool story time
Bug Jeopardy
Cockroach races
Animal showcase
Bug Bistro – eat like a bug, eat a bug or make an edible bug!
Plus Bat flight, spin-a-prize, raffles and so much more!

Shop for bug related items:

Crown Jewel
Folderol & Fiddledy Dee
Six Foods – with our Featured Girl in Real Life Science Laura D’Asaro!
Usborne Books
Meddling with Nature

Why Should We Eat Bugs?

Yes you read correctly, BugFest has a bistro where you can actually eat bugs! If you think that’s crazy then check out this video that explains why it’s crazy NOT to eat bugs!

Featured Girl In Real Life Science: Laura D’Asaro – Co-Founder of Six Foods

Laura - Linked In

Now that you know WHY you should eat bugs, meet a girl who’s trying to convince the world that bugs are nutritious and environmentally friendly. Laura D’Asaro, along with the other co-founders Rose Wang and Meryl Natow, have created a company that offers bug based foods such as Chirps, chips created with cricket flour. Check out Laura’s interview and the Six Foods website here. And meet Laura D’Asaro in person at BugFest on June 6 to ask her your own questions about bugs, food and being a girl in science!

Dragonfly vs. Damselfly

Larva under microscope

                                               Larva under microscope – water sample taken from Marrow, Ohio

Dragonflies and damselflies are both insects in the Odonata family, which means “toothed ones.” Combined there are over 5000 species worldwide (University of California Museum of Paleontology). Here in Ohio, we are reported to have over 150 different species (U.S. Geological Survey). The larva, which hatches out of in egg, is called a nymph (see photo above). These nymphs are able to breathe underwater with gills and feed on other larva, tadpoles and even small fish. Like other animals, nymphs must go through molts in order to grow. They can do this between 10 to 20 times before emerging as an adult dragonfly or damselfly (San Diego Zoo). This process can take from 2 – 6 years (University of California Museum of Paleontology).

 Fly 1                              Fly 2

In order to tell the difference between dragonfly and damselfly adults, you only need to observe their wings at rest. Dragonflies rest with their wings outstretched at their sides whereas damselflies rest their wings together. Damselflies also have thinner bodies (University of California Museum of Paleontology). When flying, the dragonfly can beat its swings together or separately. The damselfly always swings separately which gives them a different and slower flight pattern (San Diego Zoo).

If you are not already an admirer of the dragonfly or damselfly, here is a reason to reconsider – they eat mosquitoes! They are able to eat their prey in midair but may sometimes land if they are snacking on a large insect. If you ever stand near water and watch these colorful insects fly, you’ll soon notice they don’t sit still for long. The constant movement keeps them protected from predators (San Diego Zoo).

One of the most obvious and distinguishing features is there large head and eyes. Each individual eye is made up of 28,000 ommatidia (units). They use about 80% of their brain to process visual information which probably comes in handy for an animal that doesn’t sit still. They have six legs that are used mostly for catching prey but also for walking (University of California Museum of Paleontology).

Fly eyes

The first Odonata fossils are about 250 million years old but there is another fossil of the group called Protodonata that has been found in sediments from about 325 million years ago in Europe. Appearances are similar to current species but researchers are not certain if the ancient species had water dwelling larva (University of California Museum of Paleontology). Because dragonflies and damselflies are fairly a common animal to both observe and collect, it is possible to find all sorts of information online as well as books and field guides for identifying species in your local area. In Ohio, there is even an Odonata Society.

Be an entomologist (a person who studies insects) in your own yard or local park!

Beetle

Shake-a-Tree

Try putting a light color sheet or towel under different types of trees. Shake the tree without damaging it. Count how many insects you get from each tree. Think about why one tree may have more bugs than another. After your sheet search, look closer at the tree. Are there any insects that didn’t fall onto the sheet? Why didn’t they fall but others did? Do different trees house different insects? Did you find any arachnids (spiders)?

Bait & Trap

Another way to catch insects for observation is to make a bait trap. For this you’ll need:

  • Plastic containers (yogurt cups, cottage cheese containers or something similar)
  • Small amount of fruit
  • A cover for the bowls (optional)

1. Place the bowls on or in the ground. Baited traps can be used in a couple of ways. You can use a shallow dish directly on the ground, or you can use a deeper container that you set into the ground so the top is even with the ground around it. Place the bait into the cup so that insects will fall in and have something to eat.  You can also add small rocks, leaves and sticks for your insects to rest and hide. NOTE: Use overripe fruit such as blackened bananas, watermelon or papaya. Try different baits and see what works.

2. Cover the traps. You’ll want to use something with holes big enough for insects to pass through, but small enough to keep out other animals. You could poke holes in a plastic lid, plastic wrap, or use chicken fire. Some people just cover the top with a large rock, leaving plenty of places for insects to crawl around.

3. Observe your collection! Now that you’ve made your observations, you can release your collection back into their habitat.

4. Release. What did you find? Did the location of traps and different types of foods attract different creatures? Try using a magnifying glass or microscope to get a better look. Using a kind of cover for the traps helps to keep non-arthropod wildlife from stealing your bait.

What are you doing in June?

Explorer’s University: Minerals
Explore the shape and structure of crystals and how geologists identify minerals as well as watch a crystal form right before your eyes. Ages 9 to 15. $7 for Members; $10 for Non-Members. June 14 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Scavenger Hunt – “Bugs in Our Museum”
Gear up for BugFest on June 6 with this bug related scavenger hunt while earning Nature’s Trading Post points. May 1-June 6 in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Scavenger Hunt –  “Crazy Collections”
Our museum is full of collections and very fascinating items big and small! These clues will get your more acquainted with our crazy collections while earning you Natures’ Trading Post points! June 7-30 in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Special Exhibit — Science of Sports
Lace up your tennis shoes, stretch out those muscles and come in to Cincinnati Museum Center to work up a physical and mental sweat! Our Science of Sports exhibit challenges your body and mind as you explore how incredible feats of athleticism are just science at work Once you have visited Science of Sports take your ticket to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

 

Founding Support By:

Ashladn_logo- cropped           Duke-Energy-Logo - cropped

 

Associate Sponsor:

TWC Presenting Sponsor Lock-up on white cropped

Humans in Flight

Alan Shepard

Alan Shepard was one of NASA’s first seven astronauts. On May 5, 1961, he became the first American in space. Shepard attended the U.S. Naval Academy and was a test pilot for the Navy’s Test Pilot School. Test pilots try new aircraft to make sure they are safe. After intensive training with NASA, he was ready to go to space. During this flight in 1961, he did not orbit the earth but he did fly 116 miles high (NASA.com). This flight was a successful start for further space exploration. Ten years later, Shepard would again be chosen for a space mission where he would become the fifth person to walk and the first person to play golf, on the moon!

Amelia Earhart

When Amelia Earhart began flying planes, there weren’t many female pilots around. She didn’t let that stop her. She had excelled in science and after graduation, she worked as a nurse during World War I. After attending an airshow with her dad, Amelia decided she had to fly. She worked a variety of jobs in order to save money to buy her first plane, which she named Canary for its yellow color. Three years later, after months of flight training and experience, she was given her international pilot’s license which had only been given to 15 other women at that time.

In addition to flying, Earhart was a member of the National Aeronautic Society, where she encouraged women to be involved in aviation. She also founded the Ninety-Nines Inc, the first group for female aviators (PBS.org). Being busy advocating for females in aviation didn’t keep her on the ground. She kept flying and eventually became the first woman to fly solo across North America.

Then, on May 20, 1932, Earhart became the first woman to fly all the way across the Atlantic Ocean! Her hard work and determination has been an inspiration to other women who realized they also follow their dreams. Earhart believed that women shouldn’t be held back by their gender and they should pursue what is important to them.  She knew that when trying new things, sometimes there will be failure but failures simply serve as a challenge to improve (PBS.org).

Visit our Museum of Natural History & Science to see our exhibit honoring Neil Armstrong, an Ohio native and the first person to walk on the moon.

For more space and aviation fun, take a trip to Dayton for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s Space Fest on May 15 and 16.

To get your own peek at outer space, visit the Cincinnati Astronomical Society for their free events on May 2 and May 9.

“Goodbye Earth”

That’s what Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko said this March, as they blasted from here to the International Space Station (ISS). The six-hour journey took the two men to the ISS, where they will spend a whole year in space! While on this mission, NASA will be collecting data about how health is affected by long visits to space. This information is important because it allows them to plan for future long term trips to Mars by humans. This is actually a unique circumstance because while astronaut Scott Kelly is in space for one year, his identical twin, Mark Kelly will be here on earth. Doctors will be monitoring both brothers during the mission to fine clues as to how space affected the twin in space (TIMEforkids.com).

If you want to follow along with the mission, visit the Time for Kids Space page where they will be posting updates and chats with the crew.

Did you know you can see the space station from earth? Use the Spot the Space Station Lookup to see when the space station will be visible in your city.

Featured Career: Fighter Pilot

Nicole

U.S. Air Force Colonel Nicole “Fifi” Malachowski decided she wanted to be a fighter pilot when she was five years old. Her parents supported her dreams even though at that time, girls were no allowed to be fighter pilots. She was persistent. She worked hard and surrounded herself with people who supported her goals. She was eventually awarded a scholarship by the Civil Air Patrol to pay for flying lessons. She then went on to Air Force pilot training which prepared her for a career with the United States Air Force. Col. Malachowski says that STEM education plays a big role in becoming a pilot because you must always be up to date on technology and able to understand the science behind land formations and flight (GirlsWithWings.com).

Along with her combat work for the U.S. Air Force, Col. Malachowski was also the first woman to fly with the Air Force Demonstration Squadron – the Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds perform an amazing acrobatic show with rolls and twists, sometimes coming within what seem like inches of one another. If you’d like to see the Thunderbirds in person, you can visit the Dayton Air Show on June 20 and 21, where they will be performing for the public.

Thunderbirds Public

Learn more about aviation with this interactive lesson from the National Museum of the Air Force.

To print your own women in flight paper dolls, visit the Girls with Wings website.

What is it like to fly across the United States? Play this game to find out! Choose from over 70 years of flying history to explore flight in our country.

Plan your own Space Mission and blast off into space with this NASA Space Mission builder.

What are you doing in May?

Explorer’s University:  Paper Aeronautics
Learn about the physical forces that act on an object in flight while creating and testing your own flying objects. Register in Advance to guarantee a spot! May 17 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Scavenger Hunt: “Bugs in Our Museum”
Gear up for BugFest on June 6 with this bug related scavenger hunt while earning Nature’s Trading Post points. May 1 – June 6 in the Museum of Natural History & Science

OMNIMAX® Film Humpback Whales

Journey to the underwater world, to the faraway places where Humpbacks live and thrive. From the clear turquoise waters of the South Pacific to Africa, Hawaii and Alaska, this ocean adventure, narrated by Ewan McGregor, will reveal what we know about this giant mammal and what mysteries scientists are determined to solve. Swim alongside these 50-foot whales and be entertained by their high-spirited, full body acrobatics as the whales leap, twirl, lunge and splash their way onto our five-story, domed OMNIMAX® screen. With the magic of computer graphics, become like the fabled Jonah – and be swallowed by a whale in a fun, water-churning roller-coaster ride into the giant’s maw. See mothers caring for their young and listen to males sing a song that fills the theater. Show times vary.

Once you have watched Humpback Whales, take your ticket to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

Founding Support Provided By:

Ashladn_logo- cropped              Duke-Energy-Logo - cropped

Associate Sponsor:

TWC Presenting Sponsor Lock-up on white cropped

 

All Things Earth Day!

Earth_Day_-_Earth_from_Space

On April 22, millions of people from around the globe will rally together to celebrate Earth Day. It’s the largest civic event in the world with all kinds of people participating – including kids! The goal of Earth Day is to teach people how important it is to keep our planet healthy and clean. One of the great things about Earth Day is that there are so many things you can do to help – plant a garden, start recycling, pick up trash in your neighborhood, learn how to compost or even build a bat house.

Here in Cincinnati you can visit our new exhibit, The Curious Mister Catesby, opening April 20. Mark Catesby was one of the first people to realize that how we treat our environment will have an impact on animal species. While here, catch a showing of our OMNIMAX film, Humpback Whales. See how these amazing creatures eat, play, sing and raise families. Learn how they depend on humans to keep oceans clean and healthy. Observe how technology is being used in order to protect a species that was once nearly extinct.

Also, you can join us in the STEM Discovery Lab for environment and sustainability-themed activities on Tuesdays from 2 – 3 p.m. And visit our booth at Sawyer Point on Saturday, April 18 during the Greater Cincinnati Earth Day Celebration.

 

Phone Technology for Whale Conservation

whale app

Marine conservationists are always looking for new ways to protect ocean life. In order to get the job done, they’re asking for help from citizens like us. Blue Point Science teamed up with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to create a “whale spotter” app. This app allows anyone with a cell phone to record the location of whales off the coast of Northern California. This information is then sent to NOAA and they are able to inform boats and ships that there is a whale in their area – and they need to be careful! NOAA estimates that every year, 1,800 to 2,000 blue whales travel in this area to feed. By giving more people tools to track whales, it will allow scientists to use this information to decide the best routes for boats and ships to take in order to protect the blue whale. The “whale spotter” app is a good example of technology being used to protect our planet’s animal species.

 

 Featured Career: Botanist

femlae botanist

Here in Cincinnati, there is one thing all of us have on our minds in April – spring! With the new warmer weather and the celebration of Earth Day, this is a great time to talk about plants. The scientific study of plants is called Botany. The definition of plants includes algae, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. The study of plants is important because it helps us find new foods, building materials and medicines to treat illness. It’s also important because it helps with the conservation of plant species. The information provided by botanists, people who study plants, can help conservation organizations better manage land, parks, forests and wilderness area.

Botanist works in all different types of settings where they can focus on many plant topics. They study everything from the smallest bacteria to the giant sequoia that can grow over 250 feet fall! Some botanists study the structure and parts of plants. Some botanists study the relationship between plants and their environment. Others want to know how plants will grow under different conditions.

Scientists in plant research must conduct experiments in the lab and make observations in the field. They work indoors, outdoors and in exotic places full of new and interesting plant species. There are so many areas to study when it comes to plants that it leaves a lot of room to explore what interests you most. This makes a career in botany one that is both fun and beneficial for the greater global community.  For more information about careers in botany, please visit the Botanical Society of America.

 

Wondering if botany is for you?

Be the botanist and try these experiments and games!

 game screenshot 2

People who study plants often perform experiments in the lab to see how different conditions affect parts of plants. You can try this too by examining how light affects seed germination and plant growth. Can you predict how light will affect growth?

When studying plants, it is important to understand how other parts of nature interact with plants. Try your own experiment by using different types of soils and compost to grow plants.

Just like other living things, plants prefer particular types of food. Play Dirt Detective to find out what kinds of soil these trees prefer.

Plants are a part of the food web in an ecosystem, so if they change, a whole forest can change too. Map changes in the forest by examining plants, insects and trees with this game from the National Zoo.

 

What are you doing in April?

Tremendous Trees Scavenger Hunt
Help us celebrate Earth month by celebrating the power and importance of trees while earning Nature’s Trading Post points. April 1 to 30 in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Explorers University:  Mummification
Presented by Time Warner Cable. Learn the science of mummification and create your own mummy. Register in advance to guarantee a spot.  Ages 9 to 15. April 25, 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Fruit Mummies
Turn a piece of fresh fruit into a mummy! Learn about the science behind mummies and why they are so well preserved. April 10 and 24, 2 to 3 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Lather Up!
Learn about germs and how to wash your hands properly with the help of some friendly plush germs. April 11, 2 to 3 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

What Makes A Mummy?
Discover the different ways that bodies can become mummies! Learn about artificial and natural mummification, including bog, desert, salt, and ice mummies. April 18, 2 to 3 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

 

Founding Support Provided by:

Ashladn_logo- cropped                               Duke-Energy-Logo - cropped

 

Associate Sponsor:

TWC Presenting Sponsor Lock-up on white cropped

March equals Math

leprachaun with symbols

March is known for two big events…St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness! And believe it or not, both of these share something in common… MATH! We’ve seen the images of leprechauns and heard about their supposed lucky charms, but luck is really about probability, which involves math. And when millions of people fill out their NCAA brackets, they will be using math to compare wins and losses to help determine the probability of certain teams to win.

Experience the fun of math with probability and the science of basketball by attending our March Explorer’s University: Museum Madness. Visit the website for details about date, time and registration.

 

How Computers Make Predictions

SMALL_ModelingUTSAKickingSimulator

She lines up for the kick. The whistle blows. She’s running. She kicks! Will she get the ball through the uprights?

There are computers that can answer this question before everyone in the stadium sees it happen. With the use of math, computer programming and some data, virtual representations have been developed that can give us the probable outcomes of situations in sports, climate, farming and so much more.

This article by Kathiann Kowalski at Science News for Students explains what goes into creating these virtual models.

 

Cool Jobs: Math As Entertainment

cooljobs_feature_0

Three experts in three different jobs will explain how they use math to entertain in this article by Dana Mackenzie at Science News for Students.

In How to Realistically Destroy a Fake Building, meet a visual effects expert who uses the skills of communication and solving word problems to translate a line of script into the mathematical formulas that a computer can use to create visual effects.

Sculpting Geometry follows an artist who creates complex and unique sculptures that represent mathematical patterns, formulas and answers.

And finally, read about a magician who uses math to amaze the masses in Pulling Back the Veil.

Don’t forget to check out the Word Find or list of Power Words at the end of the article that will help explain some terms that may be new to you.

 

 

What are you doing in March?

“Phun Physics”

Get revved up for these high voltage physic clues! The right circuit and enough force will help earn points for Nature’s Trading Post.

March 1 to 31 in the Museum of Natural History & Science

 

Explorers University: Museum Madness

Presented by Time Warner Cable. It’s basketball time. Learn about how hard it is to fill out a perfect bracket and explore the science behind the game of basketball. Register in advance to guarantee a spot.  Ages 9 to 15. Eligible for GIRLS program points.

March 14, 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

 

OMNIMAX® – Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs

Follow researchers and explorers as they piece together the archaeological and genetic clues of Egyptian mummies. These relics of the past create a window into the world of the pharaohs increasing our understanding of the culture, religion, medicine, and daily life thousands of years ago. Show times vary.

Once you have watched Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, take your ticket to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

 

Special Exhibit® — Mummies of the World            

Come face to face with the largest exhibition of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled in the exhibition Mummies of the World. This groundbreaking exhibition bridges the gap between past and present, showing how science can shed light on history, the study of medicine and cultures around the world. Featuring never-before-seen collection of objects and specimens, including real human and animal mummies and related artifacts Mummies of the World  also demonstrates that mummification – both through natural and intentional processes – has taken place all over the globe.

Once you have visited Mummies of the World, take your ticket to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

 

OMNIMAX® — Humpback Whales

Journey to the underwater world, to the faraway places where Humpbacks live and thrive. From the clear turquoise waters of the South Pacific to Africa, Hawaii and Alaska, this ocean adventure, narrated by Ewan McGregor, will reveal what we know about this giant mammal and what mysteries scientists are determined to solve. Swim alongside these 50-foot whales and be entertained by their high-spirited, full body acrobatics as the whales leap, twirl, lunge and splash their way onto our five-story, domed OMNIMAX® screen. With the magic of computer graphics, become like the fabled Jonah – and be swallowed by a whale in a fun, water-churning roller-coaster ride into the giant’s maw. See mothers caring for their young and listen to males sing a song that fills the theater. Show times vary.

Once you have watched Humpback Whales, take your ticket to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

 

Founding Support Provided By:

Ashladn_logo- cropped                                   Duke-Energy-Logo - cropped

 

Associate Sponsor:

TWC Presenting Sponsor Lock-up on white cropped

Don’t be left out in the cold!

 Polar-Bear

Bears, bumblebees and hedgehogs won’t put up with the cold dreary winter. They sleep right through it! Although that sounds nice, humans just can’t hibernate. Luckily, there are plenty of fun things going on inside Cincinnati Museum Center and the Museum of Natural History & Science this month that will keep your mind off the chilly February weather!

Get cozy in our Hibernation Station, located in Pathways to Change, so you can experience for yourself what it feels like inside a hibernating bear’s den.  And while you’re in there, check out some of things to see and do that have to do with winter!

You can also sign up to participate in our Explorer’s University on Saturday, Feb. 14 from 2-3:30 p.m. Learn all about Winter Ecology by participating in hands-on activities that will teach you how plants and animals adapt to survive the winter.

And what better place to stay warm and dry during the winter than in a cave? Visit our cave during regular museum hours to learn about organisms that spend time in caves and so much more!

How to hibernate

sleeping dog 3

Sleeping for three or four months might sound easy, but it’s a lot of work and preparation. The purpose of hibernation is to slow down all of the body’s functions in order to save energy through the winter season when there isn’t very much food and cold temperatures. And it’s actually not sleeping.

Sleeping is a mental change. It’s your brains way of going to half-power and resting. Your heart rate and breathing might slow down a little, but not very much.

In comparison, hibernation is all about big physical changes takes place inside the body. A hibernating animal’s body temperature will drop dramatically. Just like the thermostat in your house, the body has a “set point,” which is the minimum temperature its body can handle. When the body reaches that temperature, the metabolism begins to burn fat reserves in the body. Those fat reserves come from weeks of eating as much as they can in the fall. As the body burns fat, it creates energy, which warms the body back up.

At the same time, the animal’s breathing drops 50-100 percent. Yes, 100 percent! There are some reptiles that can go through their entire hibernation without breathing!

And while there may be occasional animals that “wake up” and move around before going back into their torpor, a state of physical or mental inactivity, most hibernating animals never wake up. Not even to use the bathroom! That’s because nothing goes to waste in the body of a hibernating animal. The digestive system is closed for the winter, to save the animal energy, so nothing can get processed.  Instead, waste gets broken down by the body and reabsorbed to keep the animal alive longer.

 

A Treatment for Alzheimer’s Might Lie in the Brains of Hibernating Bears

bear

Who would have thought that sleeping all winter could be a cure for Alzheimer’s? This article by G. Vaughn at VICE News  explains the science of what happens to the brain during hibernation and how it can lead to cures for some nervous systems disorders.

And while you read, keep a look out for these words:

  • Neurodegenerative – a breakdown in the nervous system, especially in the brain cells that process and transmit information.
  • Synapses – a meeting between two nerve cells that is made of a small gap where impulses jump back and forth.
  • Torpor – a state of physical or mental inactivity
  • Dementia – an incurable disorder of the mental process caused by brain disease or injury creating memory problems, personality changes and difficulty making sense of things.
  • Anti-inflammatory – a medicine used to reduce redness and/or swelling.

Chances are that if you’ve been somewhere cold during the winter months, you’ve had to fight off the urge to curl up under the covers, imitating the tranquil state of a hibernating bear.

Well, it turns out, according to scientists, hibernation might provide some lessons for treating the 5 million Americans that suffer from Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative brain disorders.

A group of Leicester, England-based researchers simulated the process of hibernation in mice, which do not do so naturally, and identified a process for preventing the loss of brain cells and the connections between them.

When a bear hibernates for the winter, its core body temperature declines, which depletes the synapses between brain cells, allowing the mammal to fall into a deep torpor for extended periods of time without the need for nutrition. When body temperature is increased in the bear at the end of the season, the connections between its brain cells are restored, causing brain function to return to normal.

At the heart of that process are “cold shock” proteins, one of which scientists identify as RBM3 and, they say, helps to regenerate the connections between brain cells.

The researchers took two sets of mice, one of which was bred to develop neurological disorders and another that was healthy. They reduced the body temperatures of the mice by 16 -18 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes. In the healthy mice, they found that brain cell synapses degenerated during cooling but regenerated during re-warming. In the mice bred to develop neurological disorders, however, they found that brain cell regeneration deteriorated as the disease advanced, as did levels of RBM3.

The researchers then took a group of neurologically compromised mice and boosted their levels of RBM3. In this set of mice, they found that by boosting the protein, brain cells and the connections between them were protected from deterioration.

RBM3 alone, they concluded, could help protect brain function without the need for cooling core body temperature. Their findings were published in the journal Nature.

“We’ve known for some time that cooling can slow down or even prevent damage to brain cells,” Giovanna Mallucci of the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) said. “But reducing body temperature is rarely feasible in practice: it’s unpleasant and involves risks such as pneumonia and blood clots.”

“By identifying how cooling activates a process that prevents the loss of brain cells, we can now work towards finding a means to develop drugs that might mimic the protective effects.”

There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s and treatment costs are estimated to be $215 billion annually. Currently 225 clinical studies are underway seeking to identify ways to combat Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. And, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s causes memory loss, problems with language, disorientation, and mood swings. Risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s increases significantly after the age of 65. Those 85 years or older have a 50 percent chance of contracting Alzheimer’s.

“The neuroprotective pathway identified in this study could be an important step forward,” Hugh Perry, chairman of MRC’s Neurosciences and Mental Health Board, said. “We now need to find something to reproduce the effect of brain cooling. Just as anti-inflammatory drugs are preferable to cold baths in bringing down a high temperature, we need to find drugs which can induce the effects of hibernation and hypothermia.”

Consider that when curling up this winter.

 

What are you doing in February?

Scavenger Hunt: “Chompers”

Help us celebrate Dental Health month as you chomp through these clues that will help you earn Nature’s Trading Post points! Feb. 1-28 in the Museum of Natural History & Science

Explorer’s University: Winter Ecology

Presented by Time Warner Cable. Join us for this fun, hands-on program where we will investigate the cold-weather adaptations of plants and animals in winter! Register in advance to guarantee a spot.  Ages 9 to 15. Feb. 14, 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

OMNIMAX® Film Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs

Follow researchers and explorers as they piece together the archaeological and genetic clues of Egyptian mummies. These relics of the past create a window into the world of the pharaohs increasing our understanding of the culture, religion, medicine, and daily life thousands of years ago. Show times vary. Once you have watched Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs take it to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

Special Exhibit Mummies of the World            

Come face to face with the largest exhibition of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled in the exhibition Mummies of the World. This groundbreaking exhibition bridges the gap between past and present, showing how science can shed light on history, the study of medicine and cultures around the world. Featuring never-before-seen collection of objects and specimens, including real human and animal mummies and related artifacts Mummies of the World also demonstrates that mummification – both through natural and intentional processes – has taken place all over the globe. Once you have visited Mummies of the World take your ticket to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

OMNIMAX® Film Humpback Whales

Journey to the underwater world, to the faraway places where Humpbacks live and thrive. From the clear turquoise waters of the South Pacific to Africa, Hawaii and Alaska, this ocean adventure, narrated by Ewan McGregor, will reveal what we know about this giant mammal and what mysteries scientists are determined to solve. Swim alongside these 50-foot whales and be entertained by their high-spirited, full body acrobatics as the whales leap, twirl, lunge and splash their way onto our five-story, domed OMNIMAX® screen. With the magic of computer graphics, become like the fabled Jonah – and be swallowed by a whale in a fun, water-churning roller-coaster ride into the giant’s maw. See mothers caring for their young and listen to males sing a song that fills the theater. Show times vary. Once you have watched Humpback Whales take your ticket to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

 

 

 Founding Supporters

Ashladn_logo- cropped                               Duke-Energy-Logo - cropped

 

 Associate Sponsor

TWC Presenting Sponsor Lock-up on white cropped

All wrapped up for winter

Mummies press-room

Most people hear the word “mummies” and think of pyramids, ancient Egypt and the very meticulous rituals and process of preparing a body for preservation. However, mummies were created by several cultures for different reasons, and some mummies happened without the help of humans. The Mummies of the World  exhibit, here at Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal until April 26, 2015, features both intentional and natural mummies from all over the world.

 

The Science of Mummies

Learn about mummies with experiments that you can do at home! Check out these hands on activities by clicking on the title of each activity.

Humidity and Aridity – To see how humidity and aridity affect decomposition.

Freezing and Thawing – To determine the effects of freezing and thawing on organic materials.

Salinity and Decomposition – To determine how salinity affects decomposition.

 

Featured Career: Anthropologist

If you’re interested in studying the who, what, why and how of mummies, then a career as an anthropologist might be for you! There are several types of anthropologists.

Archaeology – Archaeologists are interested in recovering the prehistory and early history of societies and their cultures.  They systematically uncover the evidence by excavating, dating and analyzing the material remains left by people in the past.

female anthropologist 1

Cultural Anthropologist– Cultural anthropologists are interested in the way people govern themselves. Cultural anthropologists are interested in things like marriage customs and relationships between parents and children — things that do not leave artifacts. Cultural anthropology tends to involve anthropologists living with the society they are studying — learning the language, eating the food and often wearing the clothes. Check out this video discussing job opportunities for students who major in Cultural Anthropology.

female anthropologist 2

Forensic Anthropologist –Forensic anthropologists are experts in analyzing human remains. They are often called on after mass disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis in order to assist in identifying human remains. They are also used at crime scenes to help recover evidence. For more information check out this video.

Paleo-Anthropologist – combination of archeology, cultural anthropology and physical anthropology who study the way cultures, before the existence of records, lived together.

Biological / Physical Anthropologist – Biological anthropology, also known as physical anthropology, studies the evolution of the human body and the racial difference between the different populations of humans.

Check out this video by Kathy Schick of Indiana University who discusses some elements of Paleo and Biological/Physical Anthropology.

Linguistic Anthropologist – Linguistic anthropologists study language. They are interested in the evolution of particular languages and how different languages are related.  This video gives you a brief example of what a linguistic anthropologist does.

 

 

What are you doing in January?

Scavenger Hunt: “Where is my Mummy?”

Unwrap some secrets to mummies and get to know our own mummy, Umi, while earning points for Nature’s Trading Post. And be sure to check out our Special Exhibit, “Mummies of the World”!

January 1-31 in the Museum of Natural History & Science

 

Art Machines

Create art with machines that we find and make ourselves!

January 21 from 2:30 to 3 p.m. in the Duke Energy Children’s Museum

 

Explorer’s University: Mummy Forensics

Presented by Time Warner Cable. Explore how Forensic science can be used to study mummies. Try your hand at solving some cold (and dry!) cases when provided with mummy evidence Register in advance to guarantee a spot.  Ages 9 to 15.

January 31, 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Museum of Natural History & Science

 

OMNIMAX Film – Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs

Follow researchers and explorers as they piece together the archaeological and genetic clues of Egyptian mummies. These relics of the past create a window into the world of the pharaohs increasing our understanding of the culture, religion, medicine, and daily life thousands of years ago.

Show times vary.

Once you have watched Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, take it to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

 

Special Exhibit — Mummies of the World            

Come face to face with the largest exhibition of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled in the exhibition Mummies of the World. This groundbreaking exhibition bridges the gap between past and present, showing how science can shed light on history, the study of medicine and cultures around the world. Featuring never-before-seen collection of objects and specimens, including real human and animal mummies and related artifacts Mummies of the World  also demonstrates that mummification – both through natural and intentional processes – has taken place all over the globe.

Once you have visited Mummies of the World take your ticket to Nature’s Trading Post to get your GIRLS code.

 

Founding Supporters

Ashladn_logo- cropped                Duke-Energy-Logo - cropped

 

Associate Sponsors

TWC Presenting Sponsor Lock-up on white cropped