Create a Gingerbread Fairy Tale for the Springfield Museums Holiday Exhibit

Springfield Museums Gingerbread Fairy Tales Exhibition & Competition Inspires Creative-Free Play in the Kitchen

The Springfield Museums are inviting bakeries, schools, individual bakers and young people to submit design plans to create gingerbread houses that will be on view at the  Springfield Science Museum as part of the holiday exhibit “Gingerbread Fairy Tales.”  Entry forms and design plans must be submitted by Nov. 9. Any structure, including designs based on fairy tales, recreations of historic homes or buildings, and magical make-believe creations, will be eligible. Completed gingerbread houses must be delivered to the Museums on Nov. 19 and will be on display from Nov. 23 through Dec. 30. (Submitted Photo)

What does your fantasy fairy tale castle look like?  Are there turrets?  A moat?  Maybe a drawbridge?  Now, what if it was made not out of stone, but of gingerbread, icing & candy? – Gingerbread houses are a great way to engage in creative-free play with your family, and the Springfield Museums is inviting community members of all ages to be a part of their holiday exhibit, “Gingerbread Fairy Tales.” All entries will be displayed in the museum alongside fairy tale backdrops and holiday trees beginning in mid-November.  

Entries (due by November 9th) can be created by school classes, businesses, youth groups, etc. – or your family can create one of their own!  Participation in the gingerbread contest offers youth a fun and creative way to experiment with architecture and design, as well as kitchen skills & creative-free play!  Families with kids of all ages can design an entry together – using careful planning to perfect designs for each wall, window, and courtyard – and can easily incorporate math, problem solving, food science, etc.

While the contest is exciting on its own, there’s even an extra incentive – prizes are available for certain entries!  For more information on the contest, including official guidelines and registration dates, visit the museum’s website at  www.springfieldmuseums.org.

The Springfield Museums are located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street in  downtown Springfield.  For additional information about the gingerbread competition, please call Laura Scott at  413-263-6800 x387.

Cold-blooded Creatures Invade the Springfield Science Museum

Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly

Come see a tree-dwelling Veiled Chameleon with a tongue longer than its body! (Submitted photo)

The Springfield Science Museum will have the special exhibit Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly, on view from January 15 through May 22, 2011. The world’s largest traveling reptile exhibition, Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly is an interactive zoological exhibition bringing visitors face to face with living reptiles from around the world. Colorful lizards, bizarre turtles, deadly snakes, alligators and crocodiles are exhibited in naturalistic habitats.

Families will encounter a giant seven-foot Monitor Lizard, a strange-looking Alligator Snapping Turtle, a deadly Cobra, a tree-dwelling Veiled Chameleon with a tongue longer than its body, a Diamond-back Rattlesnake, a Gaboon Viper which has the longest fangs of any snake, and many more exotic reptiles from the four corners of the Earth.

The exhibition is loaded with stunning images, cool facts about reptiles, and plenty of hands-on action. A push of a button and “venom” drips from the tip of a model rattlesnake’s fang. At another interactive station a model viper skull opens and closes, exposing the long fangs and folding them against the roof of the mouth. You can also hear recorded crocodile “conversations” and learn what they mean. At other stations, children can flip boards and push buttons to discover interesting facts about these cold-blooded creatures.

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Public Night Sky-Gazing at the Springfield Science Museum on May 7th, 2010

Stars Over Springfield at the Springfield Science Museum

Rooftop telescope at the Springfield Science Museum.

The Springfield Science Museum’s large rooftop telescope will be open for public sky-gazing on Friday, May 7th, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. The program will be held rain or shine. If it is overcast, a planetarium show will be presented in place of telescope viewing.

Christopher Lyons, museum astronomy educator, will present “The Life Cycle of Stars.” Stars, like humans, are born, live their lives as adults, and go through major changes as they grow old and finally die. But they do this over a life-span of millions and billions of years. Lyons will explain the out-of-this-world stages and processes of a star’s life.

After the presentation, participants can use the museum telescope to view sights in the night sky, which may include objects such as the moon, a planet, star clusters, a nebula or a galaxy, depending on their visibility. Springfield Stars Club members also set up telescopes outside the museum, weather permitting.

The programs are best suited for families with children ages 8 and older, however younger children are also welcome. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children 17 and under.

The Springfield Science Museum is located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street, off Chestnut Street. Free parking is available in the Edwards Street lots. For information about astronomy programs at the museum, call 413-263-6800, ext. 318.

Summer Biology Lessons at the Springfield Science Museum

Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body
Springfield Science Museum through September 6th, 2009

Grossology is based on a popular series of books by science teacher Sylvia Branzei. The exhibit is an interactive, larger-than-life biology lesson that harnesses children’s natural curiosity about themselves and explains how the human body functions. Grossology engages young children by appealing to their fascination with the stinky, slimy, noisy functions of their bodies.

Visitors enter Grossology by walking over a huge tongue floor mat and through a giant mouth. Once inside, they encounter Nigel Nose-It-All, a 9-foot-tall moving, talking animatronic character with a faucet-shaped head; Burp Man, a larger-than-life 3-D cartoon character that drinks from a three-foot soda can pumped by visitors; the “Patients Please” game which resembles a giant version of the popular old “Operation” game; a climbing wall where the hand- and foot-holds are warts, hair, and other blemishes on a fiberglass replica of human skin; and many other gross – but fun – activity stations.

Colorful graphics arranged throughout the exhibit provide additional interesting facts about our bodies, and children can play a multiple choice trivia game hosted by the video character “Her Grossness” to show what they have learned from visiting the exhibit.

$4 per person special exhibit fee for all visitors ages 3 and up at the Springfield Science Museum.

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