Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 8 February 4th

Today we started off with a game in the hall of sculpture.  They each randomly picked two people that they had to move to be equal distance from.  Everyone picked different people which made things complex and interesting!  The game paralleled the inter-connectivity of the climate system.

Next, we had a discussion on climate change.  We went over some background information, some causes and effects, future predictions and why there are some who deny climate change is occurring.

Then, we performed an experiment that simulated the effects of greenhouse gases.  We filled plastic bottles each with air, carbon dioxide, and moist air.  We placed the bottles under lamps and tested how the different gases contributed to the change in temperature in the bottles!

Lastly, we had a "Big Picture" discussion about the experiment.  We discussed positive and negative feedback loops and why they are important when talking about greenhouse gases.

 Justin leading a discussion on feedback loops. 

Week 8 February 2nd

Welcome Back!

On Tuesday we welcomed the new semester by performing some icebreaker activities and meeting the new teens and interns. It was great seeing all of the old and new faces! After the introductions we  recapped last semester's projects. We broke into our teams and presented our museum exhibit pieces to the group. Then we went over what we'll be doing over the course of the spring semester. We have a lot of exciting things in store!

After going over this semester's plan we practiced our observation and research skills. The teens and interns observed unrelated materials in a shoe box and answered small-detail oriented questions about the items. Through this game the teens leaned the importance of taking good-quality notes and paying close attention to detail. After the game the teens broke up into groups and researched why Pittsburgh has the 9th worse air quality in the nation. The teens came up with a lot of great answers including causes such as industry, geography and urbanization.

We wrapped up today's session by revealing our project teams for the semester. We're looking forward to what's in store this term! 

The teens and interns in their project groups.
The teens and interns in their project groups.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 5 November 19th

Today was started out by playing a quick game then each group shared their exhibit/prototype ideas so far. We bounced ideas off each other and refined them a bit.

Next, we traveled upstairs to the museum floor and met with Mallory Vopal who manages the floor spaces on the museum. She gave us a good idea of what places would be great for setting up our prototypes.

From there, we headed back to the classroom and worked diligently on our prototypes until the end of the day. We also tested some of our work on other groups in order to get some feedback.

Week 5 November 17th

Today we started off with an introduction to Ricardo Washington, a game designer who came to help us better decided how we want to present our exhibits. We then identified areas of interest to communicate to the public in our group. This decided what subject matter our prototypes would focus on.

From there, Ricardo spoke a lot about how games are designed to entice people as well as communicate something. He then explained briefly how this information could be used and applied to a museum exhibit.

Next we set up a "Climate Playground" of various prototypes of museum games and activities. The teens were encouraged to take part in each activity and deduce what made that activity enjoyable or memorable, or what made it unenjoyable or confusing.

Lastly, we got into our teams and the teens assigned themselves various roles which will be used during the exhibit design. These roles are project manager, design specialist, materials person, content specialist, and engagement specialist. We then shared our ideas and finalized our materials list.

Week 4 November 12th

Today we started off with a visit from a speaker, associated with Jane Clougherty, who came and talked to us about Jane's research. This research focuses mainly on how air quality and various social stressors are related.

We then had a visit from a representative of the group GASP. She brought in some very interesting air monitoring equipment. The teens then used these resources to monitor air quality in the are around the museum and the library while recording there findings. It was a fun activity which showed how particulate matter can vary from place to place even when indoors.

To round out the day, we all took part in straight talk within our teams. This gave everyone a chance to give honest feedback to the other members within our teens.

Week 4 November 10th

Today, we started off with a lesson about history of environmental justice. Included in the lesson were some examples of what environmental justice entails.

After this, we introduced a project, of which, the teens would be a major part. The project was an environmental justice debate. This debate was specifically focused on the practice of fracking near residential areas. The teens were split into teams and each given a pro or con stance as well as the role of someone concerning fracking near the Pittsburgh International Airport.

The teens then proceeded to do research on the subject matter and their particular role in the debate. The debate then took place for roughly 45 mins and was very heated. The teens took on the roles well and did an excellent job debating. The judges (Lindsey, Clara, Justin, Amanda and Tom) will tally up the scores and see who won the debate on Thursday.

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.