Monday, December 22, 2014

Paleontology Lab Mural

 Over the summer the Science Museum was approached by one of our camper’s parents about doing a mural somewhere at the Museum.  Lori Lee is a well-known local muralist.  She offered to volunteer her time to help make one of our rooms more attractive and engaging for incoming students. 

The space that was chosen for the full wall mural was the Paleontology Lab, located in a former barn down by the visitor’s parking lot.   Over the last few weeks Lori, along with her son and students from Schreiber High School, have been hard at work.  They decided on a night time dinosaur scene.  The new mural really makes the room come alive and makes the space extremely inviting for guests. 

An official unveiling of the new dinosaur mural will be held soon.  Until then, guests are still able to get a look at what Lori and her team of volunteers have done.  Parents booking a Discovering Dinos or Paleontology birthday party are able to treat their guests to a visit to the paleo lab to see the fossils we have and to brush and scrape real bones.  Teachers can also bring their classes here for either the Discovering Dinosaurs or Practical Paleontology programs which both include a trip down to the lab as well. 


Dissections & Donations

It would appear that this past month as been a busy one for dissections. Mr. Dan talked about his recent frog dissections in his last post, and in this blog I’d like to mention another type of dissection;  Grasshoppers! These not so little insects are definitely a unique and uncommon type of dissection, but they’ve become one of my favorite classes to teach. Students that participate get to take part in a truly in-depth look into the form and function of the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. These insects are easily the most distinct and largest species of grasshoppers, and are famous for their bright colors during the adult stage of their life.  Unfortunately they aren’t favored in their native habitats, as they are a bother to gardeners who often lose many of their prized flowers to these hungry bugs.

Of course dissections aren’t the only thing we’ve been up to at SMLI. Throughout the past month or so we’ve had donation bins on the first floor for the Long Island Cares Community Drive. Items such as canned food, personal care items (shampoo, soap, conditioner, etc.), books, toys, games and more can be donated to support more than 540 communities on Long Island. While this drive ends on December 13th, there are always plenty of opportunities to give back to your community during the holiday season.

Speaking of the holiday season, that always been one thing for us here at SMLI; our winter recess holiday programs! We had a great brainstorming session a few days ago and finalized our plans, including exciting new activities and crafts for these upcoming workshops. You can register for any (if not all!) of these programs by calling our registrar, Rosemarie, at (516) 627-9400 ex. 10.

Stay warm my fellow scientists!


Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy Holidays

The school year has been going super well and I have met so many wonderful new students! I’ve taken our science mobile out to teach classes at schools and been pleased to have lots of wonderful students come visit us at the museum.  I’ve enjoyed teaching classes about volcanoes, boats, navigation, forensics, and of course all of our scaly, slimy, and furry friends!

I was also able to sleepover at the museum recently with a wonderful group of girl scouts.  We learned all about science outside the laboratory while exploring chemical reactions that happen all the time in your home.  We went on a nice night hike where we saw a cute little bunny munchin’ on some grass and then warmed up by the campfire with some yummy s’more’s!

Now, It’s time to get ready for the holidays and here at SMLI. We have tons of fun activities to keep you active and engaged during your holiday break.  With holiday workshops like “Detectives on the Case, Construction Junction, Winter Wonderland, Out of this World, Edible Science, and the “Incredible Human Machine” coming up…who needs TV (or even video games)! I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Stay Warm,


Friday, November 21, 2014

Come Dissect a Frog!

When people find out that I am a biology teacher, the one question I have gotten more than any other is have you ever done a frog dissection (frog  Of course I have, it is one of my favorite topics to teach.  It is a unique experience that people always seem to remember vividly.  I particularly enjoy seeing the look on kids faces when they find out they are going to dissect frogs.  For most, it is a look of excitement, but there are always a few kids who are nervous at the idea but most of the time, they come around.  For the school that came into the Science Museum of Long Island this week, they couldn’t have been happier to dissect the frogs and went away with a great experience.

Our afterschool programs are a great way to give your child a similar experience.  In December, there are some exciting programs including Fur, Scales, Snouts, and Tails for kindergarten, Wiggly Wonders for 1st and 2nd grade, Exploring the Earth for 3rd and 4th, and Advanced Forensics for 5th and up.  These are sure to be exciting programs so don’t miss out.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Outreach Programs

Anyone who is familiar with the Science Museum knows we do programs here for schools, after school workshops, birthday parties, holiday programs and scout badges.  A lot of people are surprised to learn that we do programs off site as well.

Over the last few years we have really expanded where we go with our classes.  I personally enjoy getting to bring science to groups of students who may not have gotten the chance to see and learn all the exciting lessons we do if not for our outreach programs. 

We do after school programs at the Sid Jacobson JCC, Guggenheim JCC, Roslyn and even school districts further away like Baldwin and Oceanside.  Of course we are always looking to bring our science classes to new places and districts.

With my class this session at the Guggenheim JCC after school we have covered exciting topics like Kitchen Chemistry, Reptiles and Slime, Goo and Ooze.  I think one of their favorite lessons so far was about air since each child got to take a turn riding on our homemade Hovercraft.  The children seem to really enjoy science being able to come to them. 

We know there are many districts and nursery schools that are not able to get bussing to come here.  So instead, we go off site and bring our lessons to them during the day.  In my nine years at the Science Museum, I have seen teachers travel to schools in Queens to all the way out to eastern Suffolk County.  We have even made treks to Manhattan, the Bronx and Eastchester just to make sure children all around the area would be able to experience the fun, hands on science we have to offer. 
Take a look around your neighborhood.  You may see our Science Museum van driving around town or pulling up to a school near you.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Summer in November?

Now that the building has been de-spookified, we teachers here at SMLI have been busy prepping for one of our busier times of the year. Our November board is packed with school field trips, scout overnights, holiday programs and more.  But, amongst all of that, we’ve also been taking lots of time to prep for our truly busiest time of the year; summer! It may seem crazy to be thinking about summer camp 2015 so soon, but we like to be prepared. Multiple brainstorming sessions have helped us enhance and design some exciting new themes for next summer! Make sure to look out for our summer camp brochure when it’s finally completed.

                  Some of you might know that I teach the nursery program here at the museum. Children starting as young as 3 can join us once a week for some exciting scientific exploring. Each class involves an activity related to a specific science topic, a short snack-time, as well as creating a craft to take home! Probably the best thing about our nursery program is our flexibility. Families that are interested in a specific days and times can gather their friends together to create a class that works perfectly for them. Our Winter Sessions begins in December, so make sure to call Rosemarie, our registrar, to look into setting up a class, or joining an already existing one.