Our annual Secret Garden Party is just a few months away and time is running out to become a sponsor this year. You might be wondering what the benefit is to becoming a party sponsor rather than just buying tickets to attend. Sponsorship is a great way to align your company’s brand with that of Discovery Center, but it’s an even better way to support the ongoing work and operations of the Discovery Center. Do you love hearing about new exhibit updates or attending hands-on programs? Sponsorship of Secret Garden Party helps to make those possible! Sponsorship includes extra benefits during the lead up to Secret Garden Party and during the party itself. Each sponsorship level includes tickets to Secret Garden Party, located at Christy Fancher’s Georgetown home this year, and tickets to our Secret Garden Tour on Saturday and Sunday. For sponsors at the Iris level and above, you’ll receive tickets to our Pre-Party Cocktail stroll and be able to kick off this Italian summer supper in style. Sponsors at all levels receive recognition on the printed invitation and Iris and up sponsors will be featured on the Secret Garden Party webpage.
To become a sponsor today, email or call Caitlyn Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-890-2300 ext. 221.
This summer, thousands of students across the country will learn about the sun and the stars, Earth’s moon, space travel, and more when GSK Science in the Summer returns to local libraries and community centers for its 32nd year.
Through active, hands-on learning, elementary school students in second through sixth grades will learn that, through knowledge, education, and hard work, worlds beyond ours are reachable – all while they learn the basic STEM skills that will prepare them for academic and professional success. The Science of Space content invites children to see the sky above them. Through interactive learning, students will explore the sun’s energy, phases of the moon, human survival in space, and how rockets overcome Earth’s gravity. From here on Earth, we look up and see the sun and moon. From here, we dream of space travel. From here, we achieve liftoff.
Catherine, our new Mobile Education Coordinator, and Kelsey, our Camp Coordinator, joined hundreds of educators from all over the country at the Franklin Institute to learn the implementations of this curriculum. We will be visiting local libraries and community centers this summer to share The Science of Space.
As you know, we had much smaller plans for our first Tennessee STEAM Festival last year. Turns out we just needed to dream a little bigger. By the time the STEAM Festival kicked off on October 12, we had 82 events lined up with 36 different program partners. Reality was so much better than the 15-20 events we originally hoped for. The biggest piece of this success can be attributed to YOU, our community, for your support, sponsorship, and participation in this idea.
We knew Year One was a success and were already hard at work on Year Two when we received an invitation to attend the Kaleidoscope Awards hosted by the Southern Festivals and Events Association. Drumroll…..Discovery Center was given the Bronze Award for best new festival or event in the Southeastern United States! We’re already excited about this year’s STEAM Festival, but a little extra motivation never hurt and we can’t wait to go for the gold.
If you’d like to be involved in the second annual Tennessee STEAM Festival we’d love to have you on board as a sponsor, event host, or volunteer. If you’re looking for more information about STEAM Festival basics, check out our website at tennesseesteamfestival.org.
Being an inclusive organization means trying to do our best to understand and reflect the needs of the many audiences we serve. We are excited to work with Jessica Sickler of J. Sickler Consulting to increase our understanding of evaluation and learn to think like an evaluator. Through the lens of evaluation, we can broaden our audiences, impacts, and insights about what is valuable to our community.
Our first session with Jessica included learning about evaluative thinking, logic models, evaluation questions, and being a reflective practitioner. Discovery Center will work with Jessica through two more workshops over the next 16 months.
In addition to the intensive professional development work with Jessica Sickler, a public component will also be implemented through sessions intended to build regional awareness about evaluation. These sessions draw upon the expertise of two renowned professionals: Swarupa Anila and Jessica Luke. This project is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
With spring right around the corner, we are preparing Nature Play to officially open for the season. One of the biggest changes you’ll see this year is the conversion of the dig pit to a bubble space. If you remember going to the Discovery House, the bubble room featured a pulley system that allowed you to stand inside a giant bubble. While we’re not recreating that exhibit in its entirety, we hope that our outdoor bubble corner has the same excited reception from our guests. You’ll still be able to explore the water table, spider web, climbing wall, and slide.
Little known fact…Nature Play makes a great starting point for a tour of the wetlands. Use the listening tubes to pick up the natural sounds of the wetlands. Can you hear bird songs, ribbits from the frogs, or just the gentle rustling of leaves in the wind? Sharpen your senses and then head into the wetlands and look for the ducks, turtles, frogs, and muskrats that call Murfree Spring home. What’s the best thing you’ve ever seen while on a walk through the Wetlands? Do you have any pictures to share? If so, post them to Facebook or Instagram and tag Discovery Center so we can take a look!
Photo credit: The Kitchn
If you haven’t already had a birthday this year we need your full attention right now. Birthday parties at Discovery Center are under construction. We’re developing new themed parties that will blow your mind and make birthday memories to last a lifetime. Don’t be alarmed–our popular Animal Safari option isn’t going anywhere! We’ve done some research and have narrowed our options down to some pretty stellar party plans. We’re looking at a Candyland party that explores the intersection of science and sugar. You’ll learn about caramelization, temperature, and flavor as we make our own cotton candy. Our Lights, Camera, Action party puts you center stage as we look at role special effects play in your favorite movie. Some of the other parties we’re working on include Minecraft and outer space. As soon as the party plans are finalized we’ll let you know so that you can book your next birthday at Discovery Center!
We Are Tennessee is a new exhibit in progress that will demonstrate our state’s many cultural identities and explore what it means to be a Tennessean. Ginny Togrye is Murfreesboro’s painter laureate this year and she is undertaking this project. Her vision is to create a mural using artists’ concepts of identity. Each depiction of a Tennessean will be woven into a universal tapestry to celebrates the traditions, identity, and culture of Tennessee.
We are still accepting artwork for this project, so read through the call to artists and follow the link to submit your own artwork (or forward this to an artist!) for consideration.
Artists of all ages and mediums from Tennessee are invited to submit their work exploring the theme through representations of the people of Tennessee.
Visual artists may approach this call through any medium; however, only a hi-resolution print of visual art (produced at the cost of the Discovery Center) will be displayed for the exhibit. Written work and multimedia files will be accepted.
Living Laboratory is a program developed by Boston’s Museum of Science that looks at the way children learn. It aims to increase interactions between scientists and the public. Scientists will share their research findings with parents and caregivers visiting museums and museum guests will learn how to apply those findings to their child’s day-to-day activities.
In short, through hands-on activities and observations, scientists will learn more about the way children learn and develop language. Then, scientists will share their knowledge with parents and caregivers and ultimately influence the way that families interact during their daily activities. We are partnering with Dr. Cyrille Magne from MTSU’s Psychology Department to bring Living Laboratory to Discovery Center. Dr. Magne studies the interface of linguistics, education, and cognitive neuroscience. During our Science of Music exhibit, Dr. Magne and the MTSU team will be looking at language patterns and development. We’re just finishing the training phases of this project, but hope it will be ready for the museum floor by March 13. Come find the Living Laboratory in The Science of Music this spring!
Discovery Center is just one of five institutions from around the country chosen to participate in the most recent cohort of the Cultural Competence Learning Institute (CCLI). The Institute is a partnership between the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, the Association of Science and Technology Centers, the Association of Children’s Museums, and the Garibay Group. Its mission is to help museums increase their organizational capacity around diversity, inclusion, and culture.
They define cultural competence as a process of lifelong learning. It results in knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes that allow us to work effectively with others from different cultural backgrounds, increases the ability of organizations to maximize the benefits of diversity within their workforces, and improves the services we offer to our various stakeholders. The CCLI is a year-long program that will help organizations create their own framework regarding diversity and inclusion for staff, visitors, board members, and donors. We’ll keep you up to date as we continue with this process.
Oh, and the Platinum Rule…treat others the way they want to be treated. This is a priority for us this year as we continually work to improve guest experiences for every person that walks through our doors.
Etch-A-Sketch. Nerf. Crayola. Robots. Do you really need any more details to prove just how awesome Spring Break Camp is going to be this year? Just in case you do, here’s a little bit about what you can expect to do at camp.
Little Red Wagon (Monday): Is there another symbol more iconic for childhood than the little red wagon? We don’t think so! We’re using the wagon to learn about force and motion and each camper will end the day by creating a wagon of their own.
Dot & Dash (Tuesday): Is your child interested in programming or robotics and just doesn’t know how to get started? We’ll be using the Wonder Workshop’s Dot & Dash robots to teach the principles of programming and then campers will create their own robots using everyday materials.
All Things Nerf (Wednesday): While Discovery Center’s liability insurance doesn’t cover turning the museum into a massive nerf zone, we will be exploring foam and creating targets to learn about probability and precision.
Crayola Creations (Thursday): Have you ever wanted to name your own crayon or create the perfect mixture of your favorite colors? If you answered yes to either question then Crayola Creations is the day for you. We’re making crayons, naming colors, and letting the creative juices flow all day.
Etch-A-Sketch (Facebook): Join us to learn how your doodles are made and shaken away. We’re taking apart an Etch-A-Sketch to see where the magic happens and then making magnetic slime to take home.