Archive for May, 2009

Foraging with the “Wildman”

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

At the beginning of May I had the pleasure of representing the Science Museum of Long Island at EcoFest, a belated Earth Day celebration which took place at the lovely Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, Long Island.  While walking around and taking in all of the beautiful scenery, I couldn’t help but notice a large group of people following a gentleman around who was extremely animated and kept bending down to pick things up out of the soil.  Being the naturally curious individual that I am, I took it upon myself to latch on to the end of his tour.  It soon became apparent that this gentleman was a unique person with a unique profession.  The man leading this tour was none other than the “Wildman” Steve Brill, one of the best-known foraging experts in the United States.

The “Wildman” Steve Brill has spent his career educating the public about the ancient tradition of foraging, which is the process of learning to identify and gather wild edibles for food.  By providing engaging, hands-on programs with community members of all ages and backgrounds, the “Wildman” has dedicated himself to inspiring people to learn more about our environment and become re-connected with our natural world through foraging.

By this point of the blog, your probably thinking, what does the “Wildman” have to do with the Science Museum?  Well, this coming summer, SMLI is going to be graced with the presence of Steve Brill during our Survivor Week at summer camp.  It will truly be the opportunity of a lifetime to meet and speak with this incredibly knowledgable and gifted forager, environmentalist, author, and naturalist all roled into one “Wildman.”  So, if you want to see how you can start clucking like a chicken after eating Chickweed or prevent the rash of poison ivy by rubbing Jewelweed on your body, this is the program for you!  We hope to see you here!

Through the Eyes of a Survivor

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Looking forward to upcoming Science Museum of Long Island Gala, I find the guest speaker and honorees truly remarkable.  Chris Nicola, a caver and explorer who uncovered secrets from the dark existence of 38 Jews living underground for 344 days during the Holocaust, will be speaking on his discoveries.  If his story isn’t enough to put you in complete awe, Sonia Hochman, Priest’s Grotto survivor is expected to attend. 

The idea of meeting Chris at the gala and hearing his stories of discovery and revelations regarding how they survived under such extreme conditions moved me to keep researching his expeditions.  The online stories and interviews are amazing and awe inspiring. 

However, I feel the opportunity to meet Sonia will heighten and make the whole story of how they survived come to life.  If you are planning to attend, please find me and I will help you make an introduction to living history.  

SMLI is on Facebook!

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

The Science Museum of Long Island has joined the Web 2.0 scene and is now on FacebookBecome a fan today!

From our Facebook page we’ll be sharing many pictures, keeping you posted regarding upcoming events, and sharing what’s happening at the Museum.  Just click the “become a fan” link once you have logged into Facebook- it’s that simple.  Feel free to write on the Wall or post your own pictures!

Lilly Goes Buggy

Friday, May 15th, 2009

One of my students from an April Holiday Workshop emailed the museum with a gracious thank you note and pictures.  Lilly was a participant in the “Going Buggy” program, one of our three-hour workshops available on days schools are closed.  During the program, we created terrariums, learned the difference between insects and spiders, went on a bug-hunt, and discovered what makes butterflies special.  At the end of class, all of the children received their own caterpillar to take home and watch as it metamorphosed into a butterfly.  Here’s Lilly with her butterfly, and a close-up of the creature after emerging from the chrysalis.

In the close-up of the butterfly, you can also see what is left of the chrysalis in the top left corner, and the meconium, a waste product from the larval stage that looks like blood.

Caterpillar and Chrysalis Overload!!!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

The Science Museum has an abundance of Painted Lady caterpillars and chrysalises.  (Some of the caterpillars have entered the pupa stage.)  

WANTED:  A loving, caring environment to nurture the growth of these butterflies.  Don’t worry, all you have to do is watch!

If you are interested in taking one or many (up to 30) developing butterflies, stop by the Museum between the hours of 8AM and 4PM Monday-Friday.  You will be provided with a calendar and care sheet.  If you have any questions, contact the Teachers’ Office at (516) 627-9400 extension 14.   This is a first come, first serve offer.

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