Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 3 Novemeber 5: Museum Tour

Today we started our session with a Carnegie Museum of Art Design Tour. Two docents from the Museum gave us a tour of the HAC lab and the Charity Randall Gallery. The teens were really interested in the pieces and were really engaged in the docents' presentation.Through the tour, the  teens were able to learn about the design process of an exhibit well as the communication strategies used to convey the message of the exhibit. This tour was a great way to get the teens thinking about their own museum exhibit.

After the tour we stayed in our tour groups and continued our group discussion work from last Thursday. The group that went to the Dinosaur Hall to learn timescale with Justin stayed in the classroom with Lindsey to go over exhibit design and brainstorming and visa-versa.

When both groups finished we regrouped in the classroom to learn about legacy effects. We watched a short video on the effects smog and pollution has on locals living near industrial sites of pollution. The video showed what life was like 50 years ago in Pittsburgh as well as today. Although a lot has changed, there is still room for improvement. After the watching the video, the teens browsed the Breath Project website to learn more about the current state of pollution of Pittsburgh. The teens were able to see time lapse videos, today's air quality reading and air quality comparisons between Pittsburgh and other major cities.   

Week 3 Tuesday Novemeber 3: Atmosphere and Sources of Pollution

Today we learned about Parts per Million (ppm), atmosphere and time scale. Justin gave a lesson on the different atmosphere layers and what happens in those layers through a guessing game activity. The students had a lot of fun guessing which layers contained airplanes, satellites, and geological features such as Mt. Everest. They were also very surprised to find what each layer contains.

After our guessing activity, Justin discussed sources of air pollution. He went over sources and the differences between primary and secondary pollutants. The teens then used their research skills to look up the different primary and secondary pollutants, sources and the source's pollutants. It was great to see the teens so engaged in their research! We collected back as a group and went over our findings.

We ended today's session with a scavenger hunt around Oakland. We broke up into three groups and set outside. The teens were given a sheet with clues to find evidence of pollution. After some thinking about the clues, the teens were able to find the different locations: The Natural History Museum, Carnegie Library, Mellon Institute, the Cathedral, the former coal power plant behind the museum and vehicles! It was great getting outside and showing the teens real life examples of what we've been learning in sessions.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Week 2 Thursday October 29: Geological Timescale

Today we finished our experiment team presentations and demonstrations. Then we went over the geological timescale and its importance with Justin and Tom. Afterwards, we broke up into 2 groups. The first group went up to the museum with Justin to tour the Dinosaur Hall and learn some more about the geological timescale. The second group went over exhibit design with Lindsey and brainstormed interview questions and design layouts. After the two groups finished, we went over workshop goals and did our first straight talk.

Week 2 Tuesday October 27: What is Air? Atmosphere Components

Today the teens met Justin, our Graduate Researcher. He talked to the group about his research, air quality, and components of our atmosphere. The teens played a fun activity with M&Ms that mimicked our atmosphere's composition. It was a great way for them to visualize how much nitrogen, oxygen, and other elements make up our atmosphere.

After our atmosphere activity, we broke up into our 3 experiment groups. Amanda's team focused on how humans effect air. This group burned different fuel sources in the fume hood and measuring the PM count on the Speck. Tom's group focused on gas mobility and density. This group created carbon dioxide through a mixture and  blew out candles using the gas. Justin's group focused on chemical reactions of air. This group also created carbon dioxide through a mixture and demonstrated the gas by capturing it in balloons. The teens had a lot of fun performing these experiments. Afterwards, we regroups and each experiment team performed their findings.

Week 1 Thurdsay October 22: Creating Goals and Playing with Specks

Today we started Energy-Net by continuing our icebreaker from Tuesday. We played a game of social bingo to learn new things about our peers.

Afterwards, we recapped our trip to Filmmakers and presented our findings on the exhibit, took care of some paperwork and went over Energy-Net standards. Then we broke up into groups and discussed what our personal goals are for the program and what we can do to achieve those goals. Two big group goals for this semester are improving communication skills and creating an exhibit that the museum will want to keep. We also talked a lot about being respectful and listening to one another.

The teen then broke up into 2 groups and played with the Specks. They had a lot of fun finding out what will make the particulate counts rise. Some materials they used were baby powder, paper, and carpet squares.

Week 1 Tuesday October 20th: EnergyNet is back!

Today was our first day back in the classroom. We welcomed back some old faces and met some new ones! To kick things off Lindsey went over this year's Energy-Net project: air quality. The teens were really excited about this year's topic. We then walked over to Pittsburgh Filmmakers to take a look at a local air pollution photo exhibit. We explored the exhibit and observed it's message, how the message is being delivered and why. On our walk back to the museum the teens took photos of air pollution evidence. We had a lot of fun looking at the exhibit and seeing evidence of air pollution in real life. We look forward to the rest of the semester!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Final Energy Net Post: Our Final Project

In the middle of April the Energy-NET staff, environmental interns and student interns debuted their  final project. Pictures of the final product are below.

We would like to Thank all of our followers and the assistance of everyone at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Museum of Art and the Geology and Planetary Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh.

Our exhibit has 3 parts, a Lead Infographic, a texture soil column wall, and a brownfield map of the City of Pittsburgh.

One of our student interns preparing a panel for the textured soil column wall.
The wall features the layers typical in a soil column. These layers are:
O Layer- Is the top layer, which is typically very thin and comprises Organic Matter.
A Layer - This layer is below the O layer and comprises a rich organic materials and minerals.
B Layer- This layer is primarily constructed out of clay.
C Layer- This layer is typically sandy and filled with slightly weathered parent material (Bedrock).
R Layer- The R layer is the bedrock layer.

The Lead Infographic shows the different ways that lead gets into our environment and bodies. This includes sources such as industrial, leaded gasoline, and leaded paint.

The final part of the exhibit is the Brownfield map. This map shows the historic brownfields in the City of Pittsburgh. Panels on the exhibit show what the brownfields looked like and what they have been turned into, whether it be a shopping center or a new research facility for Pitt, or a new residential development.

Please visit the exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh PA.

Look forward to the work the program does next Fall Semester. 

Once again we would like to Thank all of our supporters that helped us build this exhibit.