Friday, October 24, 2014

Week 2 Thursday October 23rd: Contamination Projects

Today, we did an ice breaker to make sure everyone knew one another's names.

We talked about the Camp Guyasuta field trip this weekend and made sure everyone had the appropriate forms so they could participate.

The interns and teens did a recap of the past week so everyone who missed a day was aware of what was going on and what needed to be done that day.

The teens then continued researching their respective contaminant topic and finished creating their presentations. The teens presented to the rest of the group and we videotaped them. The presentations ranged from power points to skits.

Teens performed a skit where they pretended to be scientists and answered questions about agricultural pollutants  

Another group performed a skit about Acid Mine Drainage

One of the images from one group's Prezi presentation on Air Pollutants

A slide from the last group's powerpoint presentation about lead 

Week 2 Tuesday October 21st: Why soil and the earth is important to us

Today, we started by drawing an outdoor place that is important to each of us. We then explained to one another why that place was special and why we would care if that area was polluted or contaminated.

We then read two stories from different Native American tribes about the creation of the earth. The teens split into two groups and each performed one of the 2 stories we read as a skit. We utilized taxidermy animals from the museum's collections to help us represent some of the animals in the stories. Afterwards, the students analyzed and interpreted how the stories reflect what is important to the people who wrote these stories.
An intern with a taxidermy animal used in one of the skits

To finish the day, the teens learned about contaminants. They divided into four groups that each focused on and researched a specific pollutant. The groups were air pollution, acid mine drainage, lead, and agricultural pollutants like fertilizer. The students did preliminary research on their topics and created an outline of the work they needed to do on thursday to complete the project.  

Week 1 Thursday October 16th: Creating Goals, Analyzing exhibits, and learning about Soil

Today at EnergyNet, we started out with an IceBreaker where we had to find things in common with our partners. It was interesting to see how people of different ages and backgrounds still had a lot of things in common!

After some paperwork and going over EnergyNet standards, the group discussed what our personal goals were in the program and what everyone could to to help one another achieve those goals. Everyone decided that a common goal was to make new friends. We also talked a lot about what constitutes being respectful.
One of the teens contributing ideas during a group discussion

The teens then divide up into 2 teams. One group went into the museum and analyzed one of the current exhibits while the other group went through stations about soil topics. In the museum, the students explored an exhibit about race and discussed what makes a good exhibit.
One of the teens watching a video in the exhibit and learning about race

The students discussing the exhibit's components with Gale, a member of the museum's education department
The students learning about soil went to 2 stations. At the first one, they learned how to determine the color of a soil sample using the Munsell Soil Color Chart. They also learned how to use the soil texture to determine the soil type.
Rob showing the teens how to use the Munsell Soil Color Chart
At the other station, the teens looked at Winogradsky columns and examined samples from the columns under microscopes. We found a lot of cool microorganisms today!
One of the teens and one of the interns placing slides under the microscope
The teens then switched groups so everyone got a chance to look at the exhibit and rotate through the soil stations.


Week 1 Tuesday October 14th: EnergyNet is back!

Today we welcomed back some old teens and met some new ones!
The group enjoyed getting to know one another and getting acquainted with the program.

The group formed a circle and got to know each other

We then brainstormed group, personal and museum goals as a further introduction to EnergyNet.
The teens also were introduced to the main topic of EnergyNet this year: Soil! Rob, a geology PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh that works with this program taught the teens about soil.
Rob explaining what soil is and the difference between soil and dirt

The teens then got to make a "soil column" out of candy and other fun foods.
We had a lot of fun working with the teens today and are looking forward to the rest of the semester!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring 2014: Exhibit Opening!!

Today was the opening for the Energy Net exhibit at the Carnegie Museum! Our exhibit is called, "Water Wise: Give Rain a Home." The exhibit explains ways to soak up and slow down polluted runoff.

The energy team and our new exhibit!
The exhibit includes a diorama of a ran garden, complete with native plants.

EnergyNet rain garden.
We also had a house with a rain barrel attached to the gutter that stores rain water.

House with a rain barrel.
At the end of the day, we celebrated our amazing work with a delicious cake decorated to look like our exhibit! Great work everyone!!!!

EnergyNet cake!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Last Day! Putting the Exhibit Together

We did a lot of organizing and shifting of materials in order to get ready for the exhibit that opens on Sunday (April 13, by the way!)

The rain garden group with their final product!
A teen in the playhouse, demonstrating what the kids will do.
The students took all of the materials up to the exhibit space and putt all of the big parts together. The only things we have left are a few signs and the big opening!

Transporting some materials.
The students also participated in some experiments and then decided on their favorite so we could have it set up for opening day.

Cameron doing experiments with students.
Check out what we have so far but come see the final product on Sunday!

Kaleen and Nadin hanging up some signs.