The Giant Screen at Home

Post written by Ben Gondrez, Digital Dome Manager.

The Giant Screen at Home

As we all practice social distancing at this time to curb the spread of COVID-19, many parents are now tasked with keeping up their children’s education while away from school. If you are in this situation and are looking for some ways to not only keep your children informed but also entertained Giant Screen Films (GSF) has provided some amazing resources just for you. They are now offering free streaming of three of their films including Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, Dinosaurs Alive!, and Wild Ocean. Along with the films GSF has provided an Educator Guide for each show that includes in-depth background information, hands-on activities, and more! These films will be available for free through June 15, so discover something new today!

Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs

Part historic journey and part forensic adventure, Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs follows researchers and explorers as they piece together the archaeological and genetic clues of Egyptian mummies. Through ambitious computer graphics and dramatic reconstructions, the film tells the story of one of the greatest finds in modern history: the late 19th century discovery of a cache of forty mummies, including twelve Kings of Egypt, among them the legendary Rameses the Great. Narrated by Christopher Lee.

Click Here to Watch

Download Educator Guide

Dinosaurs Alive!

Dinosaurs Alive! is a global adventure of science and discovery – featuring the earliest dinosaurs of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous, “reincarnated” life-sized for the giant screen. Audiences will journey with some of the world’s preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendants of dinosaurs still walk (or fly) among us. Narrated by Michael Douglas.

Click Here to Watch

Download Educator Guide

 

Wild Ocean

Wild Ocean is an award-winning, action-packed adventure exploring the interplay between man and our endangered ocean ecosystem. The film highlights one of nature’s greatest migration spectacles, plunging viewers into an underwater feeding frenzy, an epic struggle for survival where whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, gannets and billions of fish collide with the most voracious sea predator, mankind.

Click Here to Watch

Download Educator Guide

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Daily Discovery: Constellation Scope

Post written by Sierra Tamkun, Learning Experiences Manager.

Daily Discovery: Constellation Scope

Have you ever searched the night sky for patterns in the stars? For thousands of years, humans have used easily recognizable star patterns, or constellations, to guide mythology, storytelling, and travels. Explore some well-known patterns in the night sky by making your very own constellation scope!

Supplies:

  • Toilet paper tube
  • Dark construction paper
  • Tape
  • Push pin
  • Constellation patterns (attached in PDF)

Instructions:

  1. Using your toilet paper tube, trace a circle on your dark-colored construction paper. Draw a larger circle around the outside – this is how we will attach the paper to the toilet paper tube!
  2. Cut along the outside circle. Fold the edges of your paper circle over the top of your toilet paper tube and attach it with tape. Tip: cut slashes along the edge of your paper circle to fold them over more easily!
  3. Place your constellation pattern on top the paper circle. Using a push pin, poke holes where the “stars” are.
  4.  Look through your viewer at a light source to see a shining constellation. Tonight, head outside and see if you can find this same constellation in the night sky!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

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Daily Discovery: My Museum

Post written by Heidi Fuhrman, Discovery Camps Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: My Museum

Become a curator and create your very own at home museum! Will your museum be a history museum, science museum, art museum, or a little bit of everything? What will you discover and teach to your visitors?

Supplies:

  • Your museum objects
  • Paper & markers (optional)

Instructions:

What is a museum, anyway?

A museum is a place where collections of objects are stored and displayed for people from all over the world to learn from. Many museums focus on one area like science, history, or art. Some museums focus on a single topic like baseball, or cowboys, or modern art. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery focuses on many different areas—science, history, music, animals—but we have one big topic… discovery!

What kinds of museums have you been to? Which museum is your favorite? Why?

When you visit a museum, you see exhibits. These are created by many different people who work at a museum. They are made so that you can see and learn about some of the many amazing objects and specimens a museum stores and takes care of. But did you know that you’re only seeing a teeny tiny glimpse into a museum? Most museums have thousands to millions of objects that aren’t on display! Curators— people who take care of museum objects—carefully store them so that someday they can be displayed. But they don’t just put the objects on a shelf and leave them. Nope! They use those objects and specimens to learn more about history, art, and science so they can teach people through exhibits! Today your challenge is to become a curator and create your very own at home museum!

Decide what kind of museum you’re going to create. Is it going to be a history museum? A science museum? An art museum? A topical museum (maybe sports or superheroes or legos or a museum about you)? Maybe you’re going to make a museum like FCMoD and it will have a little bit of everything!

Next Steps:

In the linked PDF below, discover how to approach creating your museum depending on the type! From there, follow instructions for how to make your exhibit. Ready, set, go!

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#National Beer Day

Post written by Alex Ballou, Marketing Assistant.

#National Beer Day

It’s National Beer day and there is no better place to celebrate this holiday than our home – Fort Collins, Colorado!

History of National Beer Day

National Beer Day is celebrated annually on April 7. This day marks the signing of the Cullen-Harrison Act. The signing of this act led to the 18th Amendment being repealed, with ratification of the 21st Amendment to the constitution.This enactment took the first step toward ending the prohibition.

Beer drinkers rejoiced as they were able to purchase beer again – for the first time in 13 years. Beer is now the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage. Following water and tea, it is the third most popular drink overall. This was not a “sour” move to make!

Fun fact: April 6, the day before National Beer Day, is also known as, New Beer’s Eve.

Local Beer History

Fort Collins is sometimes referred to as the Napa Valley of beer. Although alcohol arrived with the first settlers in Fort Collins, prohibition hindered the growth of the industry until 1969.

Fort Collins was founded in 1872 as an agricultural colony for settlers. In 1980, the large beer company Anheuser Busch made a bid to open a brewery in the city. It took 8 years to get the city on board for the first brewery in Fort Collins. The plant began construction in 1988. In 1990, Doug Odell opened Odell’s Brewery. Soon after, New Belgium opened in 1991. Other breweries opened soon after these leaders in the industry. Fort Collins was one of the first to latch onto the craft beer movement. In 1989, Old Colorado Brewing Company paved the way as the city’s first microbrewery. The craft beer industry, with its emphasis on local breweries, plays a vital role in the communities economy and culture, this goes hand in hand with the outdoor recreation that is popular in Colorado.

With the inception of Odell and New Belgium, local beer soon saw popularity nationwide. By 2010, a new generation of breweries, like Funkwerks & Equinox Brewing, emerged. Beer has and will always be a valuable tourist attraction in Fort Collins and a way for our city to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

How YOU can Celebrate

Celebrate with a pint of pale ale, lager, stout, or wheat beer. If you are stuck at home, no worries! You can order beer from your favorite breweries in Fort Collins (please check the preferred brewery website for updated hours and delivery options).

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Aw – Rats!

Post written by Willow Sedam, Live Animal Husbandry Team Member.

Aw – Rats!

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a museum? For the critters who are a part of our Animal Encounters exhibit, living in a museum is just a part of their daily life!

Our mischief (a group of rats) of four fancy rats are the only mammals in the Animal Encounters exhibit at the museum. They are an important part of our mission to educate the public about animals and how they crawl, slither, and skitter in-and-out of our daily lives. Our rats travel regularly through the museum to meet people as part of the live animal presentations and events to help educate the public about life on earth. But what do they do when they’re not helping educate the public?

At the museum, the rats’ morning starts around 8:00 am, when the Animal Encounters staff come in to take care of all the animals before the museum opens. They’re usually all fast asleep in a big fuzzy rat pile. They are not very happy to be woken up – but they need to come out of their enclosure so that the staff can clean it and make their breakfast.

Once they’re up, each rat gets put in their own brightly-colored exercise ball and is set loose in Animal Encounters for their morning exercise – although each rat treats their “exercise” time differently, as some prefer to find a quiet corner to nap in, while others like to run around and sniff everything they can.

Each rat is named after their distinct and varied appearances. Black and White is a white rat with black markings, and the busiest, always running around hiding food in her favorite food-hiding spots. Black Rex is named after her fur – rex is a name for animals bred to have soft and curly fur – and her fur is definitely soft, but because it’s so fluffy, it’s always sticking up in crazy directions! Blaze is a white rat with a gray “blaze” marking down the top of her forehead, who loves to snuggle and take naps. And Brown is your typical brown-furred rat, and the most adventurous of the mischief, always spending her exercise time exploring the museum and bumping into people’s ankles.

Rats are nocturnal, which means they’re most active during the night, and prefer to spend their days sleeping – something you might have noticed if you’ve been to the museum and seen them all curled up in a sleepy pile. However, once they’re done with their morning exercise and back in their enclosure, sleep is far from their minds, because it’s time for breakfast!

Rats are omnivores, much like humans, meaning they eat meat and plants. In the wild, rats will eat just about anything – including agricultural crops and discarded human food. At the museum, we offer them a varied diet of fruits, vegetables, greens, and rat kibble, to make sure they get all the nutrients they need. But just because rats are omnivores, doesn’t mean they don’t have standards! Our rats have favorite foods just like we do: they love sweet potatoes and curly lettuce the most. Just like us, they also have a least favorite food, like squash – they’ll leave it completely untouched in their food bowl, even when everything else has been eaten!

Rats are very smart animals, and need enrichment to live happy lives in captivity. Enrichment is a term for anything that is provided to animals to keep them from getting bored – like interesting treats, puzzles, and new toys. At the museum, we have several strategies for changing up the rats’ routines to make sure there’s always something interesting going on. They get food treats, from peanuts hidden around their enclosure, to blocks of alfalfa hay, to cute little rat-sized “hamburgers” made of seeds and dried fruit. They also get new toys like wicker balls and salt licks regularly – and every so often they get new hammocks, tunnels or houses to cuddle up in. Every time they go back in their enclosure after their morning exercise, there might be something new and exciting waiting for them!

By the time the rats have had their exercise, gotten their home cleaned, and finished eating breakfast, it’s usually close to opening time. Once the museum is open again you can come in and see exactly how the rats spend the rest of their busy rodent day. And they’ll be just as excited to see you as you are to see them!

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Daily Discovery: Over on the Farm Finger Puppets

Post written by Lea Mikkelsen, Early Childhood Coordinator.

Daily Discovery: Over on the Farm Finger Puppets

Follow along with FCMoD’s live stream Storytime in the Home: Over on the Farm. Then grab your craft supplies and create some adorable farm finger puppets! Keep practicing your counting at home with the lovely flashcards featuring illustrations from the book.

Supplies:

  • Printed finger puppet activity sheet
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Color the finger puppet activity sheet.
  2. Cut out the finger puppets.
  3. Cut a small slot to connect the paper ring that goes around your finger or use glue to close the ring.
  4. Have a farm animal finger puppet show! Tip: Try doing a video chat puppet show for your friends and family while you practice social distancing!
  5. Print out the additional coloring page and the farm animal flash cards to keep the discovery going!

Tip: Don’t have a printer? Try drawing and cutting out your own finger puppets from paper! Here is a tutorial!

Want to download these directions? Click here for a handy PDF!

Follow along with our Daily Discovery! Click here for all activities that you can do at home.

Image Credit: Arty Crafty Kids

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Enter the Zooniverse

Post written by Ben Gondrez, Digital Dome Manager.

Enter the Zooniverse

Have you ever wondered if there was an easy way to help scientists and researchers make new discoveries from your very own home? Well, whether you’ve had that thought or not, you can indeed be a vital participant in actual research through the Zooniverse! The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. By utilizing the power of volunteers – more than a million people around the world who come together to assist professional researchers – Zooniverse makes it easy for anyone, including you, to contribute to real academic research from their homes on their own computers. As many of us are spending more time than usual at home observing social distancing in response to COVID-19, now is the perfect time to become a citizen scientist and Zooniverse makes it easy for all ages of people to get involved. So how does Zooniverse work? Check out this short animation to learn more:

Ready to get started helping with real research projects from your own home? You can visit zooniverse.org to see all active projects including projects like Planet Four, a project exploring the surface and weather of Mar’s south polar region, or the project Bash The Bug, helping researchers find effective antibiotics to fight tuberculosis. Not sure where to start? Here are a couple of curated lists of projects and other links from Zooniverse to help you get started:

Designed for 5-12 year olds:

  • Curated list of age-appropriate Zooniverse projects for younger learners
  • Zooniverse-based Activity for 5-12 year olds
  •  Classroom.zooniverse.org
    • Wildcam Labs
      • Designed for 11-13 year olds, but the content can easily scale down for younger audiences.
      • Great way to engage if you love looking at photos of wild animals and want to investigate ecological questions. The interactive map allows you to explore trail camera data and filter and download data to carry out analyses and test hypotheses.
      • Educators can set up private classrooms, invite students to join, curate data sets, and get access to the guided activities and supporting educational resources.
      • Individual explorers also welcome – you don’t need to be part of a classroom to participate. · Planet Hunters Educators Guide

Designed for 11-13 year olds:

Designed for teens and adults:

  • Curated list of Zooniverse projects
  • Zooniverse-based Lesson Plan for teens and adults
  • Classroom.zooniverse.org
    • Wildcam Labs
      • Designed for middle school classrooms, but the content can easily scale up for older audiences.
      • See description above.
    • Astro101 with Galaxy Zoo
      • Designed for undergraduate non-major introductory astronomy courses, but the content has been used in many high-school classrooms as well.
      • Students learn about stars and galaxies through 4 half-hour guided activities and a 15-20 hour research project experience in which they analyze real data (including a curated Galaxy Zoo dataset), test hypotheses, make plots, and summarize their findings.
      • Developed by Julie Feldt, Thomas Nelson, Cody Dirks, Dave Meyer, Molly Simon, and colleagues.
    • For both Wildcam and Astro101 Activities
      • Educators can set up private classrooms, invite students to join, curate data sets, and get access to the guided activities and supporting educational resources.
      • Individual explorers also welcome – you don’t need to be part of a classroom to participate.
  • Planet Hunters Educators Guide
    • Designed for 11-13 year olds, but the content can easily scale up for older audiences.
    • See description above.
  • Notes from Nature Activity
    • Designed for 11-13 year olds, but the content can easily scale up for older audiences.
    • See description above.
  • Snapshot Safari-based Lesson Plans and Interactive Timeline
    • Developed by University of Minnesota PhD student Jessica Dewey
  • Kelp Forest Ecology Lab
    • Through the Zooniverse FloatingForests.org project, researchers are striving to understand the impact of climate change on giant kelp forests, an indicator of the health of our oceans. In this lab, students analyze Floating Forest and other ocean data to explore their own research questions.
    • Developed by Cal State – Monterey Bay faculty Dr. Alison Haupt and colleagues
  • NEH Teacher’s Guide for Digital Humanities and Online Education
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Traveling from your own home!

Post written by Alex Ballou, Marketing Assistant.

Traveling from the comforts of your own home!

Here at FCMoD, we believe in the importance of exploration. And during times like this, we want to provide resources to continue discovery and exploration.

In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of our recommended virtual tours to travel from the comfort of your home during this time. Learn more below!

  • Have you ever wanted to visit the Great Wall of China? Well, now is your chance to visit this wonder of the world that stretches more than 3000 miles across several provinces through this virtual tour.
  • Take a virtual tour of Arconic Foundation hub in Alcoa, TN and learn about the exciting ways robotics and digital technology impact the skills needed to succeed in Advanced Manufacturing.
  • Visit Manitoba, Canada for the annual polar bear migration. Thanks to Discovery Education we can study the science of polar bears and their Arctic habitat from afar.
  • Staying indoors? No problem! Join us as we explore the great outdoors virtually. Enjoy this virtual tour of Mammoth Hot Springs Trails.
  • Discover Mud Volcano Trail in Yellowstone. Learn about the sights, smells, and sounds you would uncover in this virtual tour.
  • Lastly, on our outdoors journey, stop in at Yellowstone National Park and experience it in 3-D – from beautiful landscape, wildlife, and geysers – explore the park like never before.

Even though the museum is closed, we want to continue to inspire creativity and encourage hands-on learning for all!

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At Home Music Resources

Post written by Alex Ballou, Marketing Assistant.

At Home Music Resources

Here at FCMoD, we believe in the importance of music. And during times like this, we want to provide resources to continue discovery.

In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of our recommended education resources during this time. Learn more below!

  • A list of live virtual concerts to watch during the shutdown!
  • Follow the NOCO Live from Home Show to support local Northern Colorado artists.
  • Create your own instruments at home through our #dailydiscovery blog series!
  • Here are some tips for gigging musicians!
  • Moog and Korg make synth apps free to help musicians stuck at home.
  • Smart Music is offering free virtual tutorials and online subscription access until June 30, 2020.

Even though the museum is closed, we want to continue to inspire creativity and encourage hands-on learning for all!

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At Home Animal Cameras

Post written by Alex Ballou, Marketing Assistant.

At Home Animal Cameras

Here at FCMoD, we love animals. And during times like this, we want to provide resources to our furry friends – both close and far away!

  • Need a pick-me-up about now? The Atlanta Zoo has their PandaCam up for your daily does of cuteness.
  • Who doesn’t love animals? Hang out with jelly fish, beluga whales, and more through the live cams from the Georgia Aquarium.
  • With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are. Thanks to the Monterey Aquarium.
  • The San Diego Zoo has live cams of Panda’s, Baboon’s, Penguins, and so many more animals! Hop on today to tell our furry friends hello!
  • Tune in to the Houston Zoo webcams and enjoy a live look at animals that call the Houston Zoo home!
  • Want to know what our black-footed ferrets are up to during the closure? Check it out via our Ferret Cam!
  • Iowa is showing off their fishy friends on their webcam!
  • Chattanooga introduces their Meerkats, Snow Leopards, Tamarins, and Spotted Genet daily!
  • Can you spot the fastest animal on the planet – a cheetah! Try on the live cam from the Pittsburgh Zoo.
  • A little closer to home – the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has live feed of their Giraffes.
  • Kansas City has everything from penguins, giraffes, and polar bears waiting to make and meet new friends online!
  • Can you spot the jellyfish on the live broadcast from the National Aquarium?

Even though the museum is closed, we want to continue to inspire creativity and encourage hands-on learning for all!

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