Friday, November 21, 2014

Week 6: Thursday November 20th - Activity Designing Time

Today we focused on creating our activities that we would test on Saturday in the museum. However, before that we played hangman as an icebreaker/warmup activity.

Afterwards we broke up into our groups, which were each led by an intern or one of the educational staff members, and began working on our projects. We used the materials we had requested and got creative when we didn't know what materials to use. The activities ranged from a video, to games, and even a gigantic historical timeline activity.

Two of the groups working on compiling information and assembling/putting together their activities

One of the teens working on the timeline activity

The movie group working on turning their information into a script that was later recorded

At the end of the day, we determined what still needed to be completed before Saturday afternoon and made plans for when and how we would finish the activities. Hopefully the museum visitors will like what we created for them!  

Week 6: Tuesday November 18th: Idea time!

Today at EnergyNet, our main focus was to talk about ways that museums communicate ideas to the public, and to then use inspiration from that discussion to come up with ideas for our exhibit.

After some scheduling details, the group talked about modes and what things in other museums we have been drawn to.
Students listening to and contributing ideas to the group discussion

We then looked at some of the ideas that we had previously individually brainstormed. We created blueprints of what we thought the exhibit should look like. Everybody presented their ideas and then we wrote down which ideas we thought would be best for communicating the ideas about soil our exhibit will focus on.

Although this is difficult to see, we projected each of the teen's ideas onto the white board so there would be a visual for them to explain
After a short break, we broke up into groups and determined which ideas we thought were best suited for each of the content areas that the exhibit will focus on. Each activity the students will be designing will communicate one of our 5 content areas. The groups/content areas are: contaminants/remediation, pittsburgh history, lead, soil types, and importance and need of soil. The groups then shared their ideas with the rest of the EnergyNet team.

One of the students writing their group's ideas on the board

The students decided which content area they wanted to focus on and divided up into groups to start working on designing their activities. In our groups, we came up with goals, what materials we would need, and a plan for how to make our activities on Thursday. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 5: Thursday November 13, 2014 Timeline Time!

  Thursday at Energy-Net, the team began by completing the evaluation activities with those who couldn’t attend Tuesday’s meeting. These evaluation activities were set up to evaluate what we had learned so far in our time with the program and what we hope to accomplish in our museum activities and final exhibit.  Lauren then led the group in a discussion that got everyone involved.

(Lauren leading a discussion)
(Finalizing our goals!)

Later, we finalized our goals for the content of our activities and exhibits. After that, we went to the art museum to see how art can communicate and teach content. Everyone participated by taking notes. These were then mapped in our timeline. We can’t wait to see where our brainstorming goes and what our final project will look like!
(Jordy and Alexus checking out some art.)

(Roe and Zora taking notes in the art museum.)

(Our timeline!)

Can't wait to see what next week will bring! See you then! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Week 5: Tuesday November 11, 2014 Museum Perspectives with Kaleen

Previously on Energy Net… 

Today was when we really started to think about the audience of our museum exhibit. Kaleen came in and talked to us about what makes a good exhibit, and who our audience may be. We then embarked on a quest inside the museum, observing current exhibits. We were given cards that gave us the roles of audiences we didn’t relate to and had to see if these exhibits appealed to that audience. For example, my group was given cards that read: college student on crutches and a family with a toddler and stroller.  We took notes based on the questions, “Is the exhibit working?” and “Who is the exhibit working for?” We got into character and really considered if the exhibit worked well for our audience. Then, we met up with Kaleen and the rest of the group at the moose in the wildlife exhibit to discuss our findings. 

Later, once we returned to the classroom, we began the evaluation stations activity. Buckets were scattered around the room with post-its inside that contained questions for us to complete. We wrote about what he would like to overhear our visitors saying at our exhibit and even had the opportunity to draw what we thought our exhibit might look like. After we completed these questions, we all agreed that drawing the final product was the hardest out of all of the evaluation stations. 

Thank you to Kaleen for joining us on Tuesday! 

Can’t wait to see what Thursday brings.

And that’s what you missed on Glee Energy-Net.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Week 4 Thursday November 6th: Fun games, Town Hall debates, and Straight Talk

At Energy-Net, the team had a fun filled Thursday with a rope icebreaker, Rosemary Town Hall Debate and Straight Talk. The Interns also had a little extra fun, as they coordinated their outfits. The day started off with a challenging ice breaker aimed at creative problem solving, and communication skills. The rules are simple, place one hand between two knots; you are not allowed to move your hand over the knots but you may slide your hand along the rope. The ultimate goal is to untie the rope as quickly as possible.

Middle of the Rope Icebreaker Pack trying to untangle the rope.
The middle getting more tangled as they continue their attempt to get untangled.
Teens at the ends of the rope figuring out how to untie the rope.

Afterwards, the group went to receive an overview of the manufacturing legacy in Pittsburgh. Along with this, was how brown-fields in Pittsburgh are being reclaimed into shopping areas. This was preparation for the town hall debate.
Teens having fun with last years exhibit, as we wait for our room to open.
The town of Rosemary is looking to reclaim a brownfield site. To do so they are holding a town hall meeting and are accepting proposals. Present are, a development corporation, manufacturing, concerned citizens and Parks and Recreation. Teens were randomly assigned roles and had to work together to develop proposals for the site.
Favoring cooperation, the teens formed alliances to develop their proposals.
The planning committee receiving the proposals.
In  the end, the committee decided that more time was needed and the proposals each had strengths and weaknesses. At a future date and time the committee would convene again to discuss the reclaimation of the the brown-field site.

Finally, the Teens delivered Straight Talk to the educators and interns.

Day 1 of Themed Outfits: Small Woodland Creatures 

Week 4 Tuesday November 4th: Soil Sampling and Straight Talk

At Energy-Net, the team gathered soil samples from Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park. Previously, the teens used GPS to find the coordinates of the soil sample sites and recorded this data in their notebooks. They used the same GPS units to re-find the sample locations and collect a surface layer sample. These samples will be used in Rob's research on lead pollution in the Pittsburgh Area.

One of the teens collecting a soil sample.

One of the teens practicing her tree climbing skills before collecting the samples.

After the demonstration, the teens and interns broke up into their groups and each took two soil samples. Using the GPS units they were able to find the correct locations and at each location collected a sample and recorder the soil color using a Munsell Soil Color Book.
Two of the teens showcasing the soil samples they collected.

Afterwards, the teens prepared Straight Talk for the Interns and Educators.

                                          Steve giving us a farewell until next time.
Steve looking very stylish for Energy-Net

Friday, October 31, 2014

Week 3 Thursday October 30th: Human interaction with each other and soil

At Energy-Net, the team worked on a Pittsburgh Industry Timeline activity. Each teen was given a card with an event related to Pittsburgh's history. The teens were then challenged to determine where on the timeline each event was supposed to go. Afterwards, we went over the timeline and corrected any misplaced events.
Rob brainstorming with the teens where the events go on the timeline 

Michelle and one of the teens going over the timeline
Afterwards, PhD candidate and paleoclimatologist David Pompeani gave a presentation about ancient lead pollution. He is responsible for finding the oldest lead pollution in the world! He gave a history of the ancient origins of lead contamination and the techniques used to determine previous levels of lead. He also discussed how lead contamination affects human health. High levels of lead can cause headaches, kidney damage, aggressive behavior and even lead to a lower IQ. He ended with a discussion of his research, which looks at how mining affects lead pollution in lakes.

David Pompeani giving his lead pollution presentation
The Energy-Net staff then gave the teens Straight Talk. In this activity, staff members talked with the teens to tell them what they are doing well and how they can improve. In the future, the teens will be giving the staff members straight talk, so that the staff can be evaluated and make Energy-Net a better experience for everyone. 

                                                                 Happy Halloween!  
One of the interns with the skeleton in the Energy-Net Classroom