Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lunch & Monsters

Yesterday, I went to an Education That Works mentor luncheon at Memphis Catholic High School (they gave us coozies, hence the above picture!). Dear readers, I don’t know if you all knew this, but we have four interns from Memphis Catholic. The school’s Education That Works program, which is in its sixth year, is designed to prepare students for their futures in the professional community (aka, “the real world” that teachers have referred to since the beginning of time). As part of this program, Memphis Catholic students intern at over 80 organizations in the Memphis area and are able to experience hands-on learning about the work world.

At the luncheon, Ted Schreck, the director of work/study for Education That Works, Jim Pohlman, the principal of Memphis Catholic, and Mimi Uhlmann, the director of corporate recruiting for the program, spoke to the mentors about the importance of Education That Works. Students/interns also spoke about the importance of the program to their high school experiences. Our interns here at CMOM do a little bit of everything, from helping prepare materials for crafts to assisting gallery staff. And they do it very well! By the way, the food at the luncheon was good (see below)!

If you know of a business that would benefit from participating in the Education That Works program, please contact Mimi Uhlmann at 901-569-1206.

In other news, CMOM’s 2nd annual Monster Bash is this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.! We’re super excited about it. There will be fun crafts, goopy science experiments, a staff costume contest, a drawing for free membership…and some fun surprises! Be there!

Staff Profile: Keosha Williams

Name: Keosha Williams
Position: Administrative Assistant
Hometown: Memphis, TN
How long at CMOM: I began at the museum in 2000 as a gallery assistant and 2004 became the receptionist
Favorite exhibit: Art Smart Studio
Favorite book as a child: This Is the House that Jack Built
First museum ever visited: the Pink Palace
Hobbies: Party and event planning
Fun fact: In 1987, I was one of the spokespeople for Smucker’s Jelly and traveled within the City of Memphis giving an opening speech for the head associates of Smuckers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Autumn Leaves

For this weeks Tot Art we created these fun and colorful leaves. The kids had a lot of fun AND it was virtually mess-free!

Here’s what you need:

Tempera paint-we used red, yellow and orange

White school glue

Wax paper


First, take a large sheet of wax paper and fold it in half. Mix the tempera paint with the glue. I used a 2:1 paint/glue ratio. Once you’ve got your mixture, open the wax paper, like a book and put a dollop of each color in the center. Fold the other side of the wax paper onto the paint.

Using your fingers, squish the paint between the wax paper. Experiment with textures and come up with some great paterns!

When finished, let dry for 45 minutes to an hour. When it’s dry, have your toddler cut out different leaf shapes. This is also an opportunity to explore your back yard or local park. Find different types of leaves and try to recreate them! Have fun and HAPPY FALL!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fire Safety

The Children's Museum of Memphis is coming to the Memphis Zoo! On Saturday, October 22, CMOM’s director of education Felicia Peat, our maintenance technician Mike Garries, and I will implement several fire safety programs, from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. We are thrilled to display and demonstrate our new Surrey Fire Safety House. We hope to see you there!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Staff Profile: Jim Hyde

Name: Jim Hyde
Position: Exhibits Manager
Hometown: Grew up in Little Rock, but I moved around quite a bit
How long at CMOM: 14 years
Favorite exhibit: CMOM-TV--I love watching the young performers.
Favorite book as a child: Are You My Mother?; my mom would read it to me while my soup cooled off.
First museum ever visited: Ripley's Believe It Or Not in St. Augustine, FL. The magic faucet left quite an impression!
Hobbies: Writing, playing and recording my own music
Fun fact: In 1997, I was hired by CMOM for a week's worth of work. They just kept finding more things for me to do!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ballet on Wheels!

Ballet on Wheels will perform at the Children's Museum of Memphis this Saturday, October 15, at noon. Come see graceful dancers and learn more about Ballet on Wheels!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Faith Ringgold!

Happy birthday to artist and author Faith Ringgold, who was born October 8, 1930. We’ve read one of Ringgold’s books, the wonderful Tar Beach, during Storytime on several occasions. In addition to being a great story, Tar Beach has amazing illustrations (and was once featured on an episode of Reading Rainbow!) Ringgold’s other books include Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky, If A Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks, and The Invisible Princess.
Also, she was the subject of Fabulous Fine Art last month. See our replica of one of her paintings below:

Here’s information Ringgold’s 9/11 Story Quilt, which is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Do something fun for your birthday, Ms. Ringgold!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Halloweeen! The extra E is for Expanding Matter!

I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us. --Dr. Ray Stantz

The Children’s Museum of Memphis is getting ready for Halloween. We’re prepping crafts and gooey experiments for our October 29th Monster Bash celebration! You’ll be able to make a creepy witches hand, slime and hunt for candy!

Yesterday I had the extreme pleasure of purchasing copious amounts of marshmallows...I felt like a 'shelf clearer' on that coupon show, except I paid full price and I'm nice. In addition, I received our edible markers for our Frankenstein craft--marshmallow Frankensteins. (or as Tamara correctly calls him “Frankenstein’s Monster”). Having never used edible markers, I had to try those out. I learn by doing—that’s good considering I work at an awesome hands-on museum! The marker went on smooth as I drew a primitive smiley face and then without any warning, popped him in my mouth—mmmmm sugar!

As the ladies in my office watched me devour one marshmallow man (or woman) after another, I had an idea—more like a flashback, a sugar induced flashback.

It was Easter, 1985. Exhausted from spending the better part of my morning searching for hard boiled eggs, I dug into my Easter basket and pulled out a Peep…and then I ate him. Later that day, my family gathered around our microwave and watched the Peep expand and change shape. In my short 4 years of life, it was literally the coolest thing I had ever seen.

“Again” I shouted!



It is a tradition that has lived on. I can’t wait to teach my nephew how to microwave a Peep. Until that time, this is an activity that you can do at home while learning about how microwaves work! Ohhhh ahhhhh. I would be remiss if I didn’t display a bit of Caution

Yay, you!

What you need:


Microwavable Plate


What to do:

Before doing anything, ask your child a few questions. What do you think is going to happen?Why? This helps them form a hypothesis (an important part of the scientific method).

Once you have some idea’s as to what is going to
happen, place one or two marshmallows on a plate. Place inside the microwave for 30 seconds. Watch and document what happens. Some great questions to ask are: why do you think it’s getting bigger? What do you think is inside?

This is also a great time to experiment further. What do you think will happen if we put the marshmallow in for 45 seconds? A minute? Test these theories until your house smells like a toasted marshmallow!

Now Here Comes the Science:

So what exactly is happening? Microwave ovens are a unique appliance. Inside, microwaves swing back and forth at a frequency of about 2 billion cycles per second. While they are doing this, they are making the water molecules dance! Well not so much dance as move. As they move faster, the molecules get hot and then hotter. The heat from the molecules causes the food to heat up. Now when things heat up, they expand. As the marshmallow heats up, it too expands.

Take your hands and rub them together. As your hands move faster and faster, you can feel the heat. This is like what is happening inside your food. As the molecules move faster and faster, they are creating heat. Yay Microwave ovens!

MARSHMALLOWS **jazzhands**

Staff Profile: Jana Smith

This post marks our inaugural staff profile. This is a great way to get to know our spectacular CMOM staff. So, without further ado...

Name: Jana Smith
Position: Visitor Services Coordinator
Hometown: West Memphis, AR
How long have you been at CMOM? Since July 2010
Favorite exhibit: The Skyscraper
Favorite book as child: Harold and the Purple Crayon
First museum ever visited: The Pink Palace
Fun fact: I was born in Texas and was adopted, then moved to Arkansas.
Hobbies: Camping, biking, spending time outside, and collecting books and pens
P.S. Jana is also a HUGE Arkansas Razorbacks fan. Woo Pig Sooie!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jasper Johns

Here's our version of the Jasper Johns painting mentioned in yesterday's post. Remember, Fabulous Fine Art is every Friday at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.