Posts about museum

Google Art Project – View Art from the Hermitage, the Met…

Google Art Project lets you view art from the Hermitage, Van Gogh Museum, the Met, Tate Britain, National Gallery and more museums around the world. The site lets you navigate the museum (similar to Google street view) and zoom in for very close looks at the the works of art.

close up of the Face of Venus, Birth of Venus by Botticelli

The image above is a close up view of the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. In the lower right of the image you can see the portion of the painting that this view is zoomed into.

You can create your own artwork collects, which is a cute feature. Unfortunately it is tied to the still incredibly broken Google ideas on social Internet applications. I find it amazing that a company that does so many things so well, can have such continuously bad ideas about social applications.

Related: Van Gogh Painted Perfect TurbulenceGet Your Own Science ArtMetropolitan Museum of Art photosMuseum of Modern Art photosArt of Science 2006

8-10 Year Olds Research Published in Royal Society Journal

Eight-year-old children publish bee study in Royal Society journal

Their paper, based on fieldwork carried out in a local churchyard, describes how bumblebees can learn which flowers to forage from with more flexibility than anyone had thought. It’s the culmination of a project [Blackawton Bees] called ‘i, scientist’, designed to get students to actually carry out scientific research themselves.

The class (including Lotto’s son, Misha) came up with their own questions, devised hypotheses, designed experiments, and analysed data. They wrote the paper themselves (except for the abstract), and they drew all the figures with colouring pencils.
It’s a refreshing approach to science education, in that it actually involves doing science.

The children designed a Plexiglas cube with two entrances and a four-panelled light box in the middle. Each panel had 16 coloured lights, illuminated in clear patterns of blue and yellow. Each light had a feeder that dispensed either delicious sugar water or repulsive salty water. Once the bees had learned to drink from the feeders, the kids turned the lights on.

Absolutely great stuff. This is how to engage kids in science. Engage their inquisitive minds. Let them get involved. Let them experiment.

Some of the children’s questions when looking at what to discover using experiments:

What if… we could find out how much effort the bees will go through in order to get a reward? For instance, they have to move something heavy out of the way to get a reward.

What if… we could discover if bees can learn to go to certain colours depending on how sweet they are?

What if… we could find out how many colours they could remember?

Related: Playing Dice and Children’s NumeracyKids on Scientists: Before and AfterTest it Out, Experiment by They Might Be GiantsWhat Kids can LearnTinker School: Engineering CampTeen diagnoses her own disease in science class

And some of their comments:
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Home Engineering: Bird Feeder That Automatically Takes Photos When Birds Feed

automatic photo bird feeder

During a trip to the Smithsonian last week I found this great home engineering project. Kayty Himelstein and Amy Darr were frustrated: birds came to their bird feeder while they were away at school, so the girls never got to see them. They decided to build a bird feeder that automatically takes pictures of all the birds that came to the feeder. I believe, they used Lego Mindstorms as part of building it.

Related: Lego Mindstorms Robots Solving: Sudoku and Rubik’s CubeAwesome Cat CamScience Fair Project on Bacterial Growth on Packaged Salads

Ironmaking at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm

Joakim Storck discusses pre–industrial Swedish and Japanese techniques for iron and sword making from a museum demonstration at Tekniska museet. Ironmaking at the National museum of science and technology, Stockholm 2005

Bricklaying is a messy story. The mortar consists of clay, sand and horse manure (if available), mixed with water to a fairly loose batter. The best finish is obtained if you work with your hands as the mortar is placed on, and smears with water so that the surface becomes smooth and fine. When then furnace is ready, it is dried through slow heating by wood without blasting, until the moist has been driven out of the mud. At this stage, heating should be quite cautious in order to avoid cracking.

Then, on Friday September 9, we went again with a fully loaded trailer from Dalarna in the direction of Stockholm. More than a few people were probably turning their heads when we passed, because the trailer was dominated by a large bellow — our newly built two chamber bellow with an estimated bladder capacity of up to 800 litres per minute. In addition, we brought fire wood, iron rods, pliers, some stumps and other stuff needed for the furnace operation.

We made one run each on Saturday and Sunday. Each time we charged a total of about 10kg ore added in amounts of about 1kg every 20 minute. For each charge, we added about twice the amount of charcoal. Discharging of the loupe was scheduled for two o’clock, and by that time a fairly large crowd had gathered to see the show. This time we managed to get the loupe out of the furnace without too much trouble. Worse was that the process took longer than expected, but the crowd seemed to be patient and people stayed around until the end.

Related: Science Museums Should Grow Minds Not RevenueCrystal Growth – Manganese Oxides8 Year Old Math Prodigy Corrects Science Exhibit

National Museum of the American Indian Photos

photo of the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC photo of a Mayan Calendar

Photo of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC by John Hunter. The museum is the newest addition to the collection of Smithsonian museums on the Mall. The second photo is of a Mayan calendar. Photos can be used with attribution.

Related: Botanical GardenC&O Towpath near Monocacy Aqueduct Museum of Science in Boston