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Asteroids and Celluloid: Space in Film

The Montshire Museum of Science will reopen to the public on Wednesday, July 8, offering an enhanced outdoor experience that includes David Goudy Science Park and miles of nature trails, as well as two new features — the special exhibition Prehistoric Giants and the forest play area, The Play Grove. Members will have the first opportunity to visit, from July 1 to July 5, during Member Appreciation Week.

To ensure a safe, engaging, and flexible learning environment, the Museum has made some changes to hours, admission, ticketing process, and visitor policies. Indoor exhibits will remain temporarily closed, while the Montshire focuses on providing a memorable and engaging outdoor experience.

Museum Changes

The Montshire will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10am to 4pm. It will be closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays, however summer camps will still take place on these days. To celebrate the Museum reopening, a promotional rate of $14 for adults and $11 for children will be available for the month of July. Admission is free for members and children under the age of 2.

The Museum is implementing a timed ticketing system to ensure that visitors can safely maintain social distancing. All visitors, including members, are required to pre-register. Tickets must be reserved in advance for either a morning arrival (10am–12:30pm) or an afternoon arrival (1:30–4pm). Tickets may be purchased or reserved up to three days prior to a visit. Visitors may arrive at any time during the arrival window chosen, and can stay until the Museum closes at 4pm. Detailed instructions are available on the Museum website.

The Montshire requires visitors who are age three and older to wear a face covering or mask when inside the building. Face coverings and masks are encouraged outside and required when interacting with Museum staff or other visitors. One-way directional traffic will be maintained in the building and in some outdoor spaces.

To encourage healthy hand hygiene, the Montshire has upgraded restrooms with many touchless features. The Museum has also increased the availability of hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout the building and grounds.

Detailed visitor guidelines are available on the Montshire website.

What’s New at the Montshire

This summer, the Montshire is offering even more outdoor experiences through a special exhibition, a forest-inspired play area, selections from Bubbles: Science in Soap exhibition in an outdoor setting, and learning experiences designed for families.

Prehistoric Giants

Step back in time when you visit Prehistoric Giants, featuring larger-than-life sculptures by New Hampshire-based artist Bob Shannahan. This outdoor exhibition explores life from the prehistoric past through pieces created from various natural materials. While strolling through the Montshire’s David Goudy Science Park, be on the lookout for a towering Irish elk, an American camel (ancestor of modern camels and llamas), a powerful short-faced bear, and a mighty mastodon.

Shannahan has been making and exhibiting his animal sculptures in New England for the past fifteen years. They are an extension of his landscape work and his work with school gardens. Though primarily self-taught, he has studied at the New Hampshire Art Institute and the Boston Institute of Art.

The Play Grove

The Play Grove is a whimsical nature play area nestled at the intersection of the Meadow Walk and River Loop Trails. Through colorful ribbons, fanciful structures, and a variety of activities rooted in informal science learning, visitors can explore, imagine, and play in a scenic woodland setting. Test grace and agility through a path of wood beams, colorful tree trunks, and logs. Use colorful stacking wood to create a structure, a game, or whatever the imagination conjures. Build a gnome home using a mix of natural objects found in the forest. Or take a quiet break on colorful hammocks as you sway along with the riverside breeze.

Bubbles at the Hughes Pavilion

Learn the joy, wonder, and science that can be found through just soap and water at one of the Montshire’s popular exhibitions, Bubbles: Science in Soap — now located outdoors in the Hughes Pavilion.

Education Programming for Families

The Museum will offer a variety of science programs and activities. Visitor groups can engage in hands-on, inquiry-based science activities, designed especially for families. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to use informal learning activities included in the visitor guide to further explore and investigate the Montshire’s exhibits and grounds.

Learn the joy, wonder, and science that can be found in just soap and water at this Montshire favorite — now outside!

Delight in experimenting with surface tension, concocting new ways to create a bubble, crafting a foam sculpture, and injecting a bubble with mist.

The Play Grove is a whimsical nature play area nestled at the intersection of the Meadow Walk and River Loop Trails. Explore, imagine and more through a variety of activities, such as:

  • Balance & Jump — Test your grace and agility through a path of wood beams, colorful tree trunks, and logs.

  • Stacking Wood — Use a variety of colorful stacking wood to create a structure, a game, or anything else you can imagine.

  • Ribbon Room — The woods can become a magical place when you walk through the colorful entrance to this special space.

  • Gnome Homes — At this unique open workshop, build a structure for your favorite gnome or fairy using a variety of natural objects found in the forest.

  • Play House — Enter this charming structure constructed with forest material and and let your imagination run wild as you play.

  • Hammocks — Take a quiet break on our colorful hammocks and sway along with the riverside breeze.

  • Swing — Release your inner adventurer as you swing from a tree and prepare for your day of exploration.

Step back in time when you visit Prehistoric Giants, featuring larger-than-life sculptures by New Hampshire-based artist Bob Shannahan. This outdoor exhibition explores life from the prehistoric past through pieces created with various natural materials.

As you stroll through Science Park, be on the lookout for a towering Irish elk, a massive American camel, a powerful short-faced bear, and a mighty mastodon.

Artist Bob Shannahan has been making and exhibiting his animals in New England for the past fifteen years. They are an extension of his landscape work and his work with school gardens. Though primarily self-taught, he has studied at the New Hampshire Art Institute and the Boston Institute of Art.

This summer, join us for a rich outdoor experience for all ages.

  • Enjoy water and sound exhibits in David Goudy Science Park
  • Revel in nature’s beauty on our miles of walking trails
  • Marvel at larger-than-life animal sculptures with a new outdoor special exhibition
  • Participate in learning experiences specially designed for your family

To ensure a safe, engaging, and flexible learning environment, we’ve made some changes to our hours, admission, ticketing process, and visitor policies.

Learn more on our Visit page!

Thank you to our members! We appreciate your support and we’re dedicating a week for you. Join us from July 1 to July 5 for Member Appreciation Week.

This summer, you can:

  • enjoy water and sound exhibits in David Goudy Science Park
  • revel in nature’s beauty on our miles of walking trails
  • marvel at larger-than-life animal sculptures with a new outdoor special exhibition
  • participate in learning experiences specially designed for your family

To ensure a safe, engaging, and flexible learning environment, we’ve made some changes to our hours, admission, ticketing process, and visitor policies. Our indoor exhibits will remain temporarily closed, while we focus on providing a rich outdoor experience.

Learn more on our Visit page!

What to Expect When You Visit

We are eager to see our visitors again, but we want to ensure the health and safety of everyone at the Museum. We ask that visitors respectfully follow our new policies.

Visitors should not enter the Montshire building or grounds if they are unwell or showing any symptoms of illness.

Vermont has unique quarantine rules for out-of-state visitors. Please review Vermont’s guidelines on cross state travel. Currently, visitors from all adjacent New Hampshire counties are welcome.

What to Expect When You Visit

Face Coverings and Masks

To minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread, we require that visitors over the age of three wear a face covering or mask when inside the building. Face coverings and masks are highly encouraged outside and we ask that you wear them when interacting with Museum staff or other visitors.

Practice Healthy Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is crucial in mitigating the spread of infection. We ask that all visitors wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entry. We have upgraded our restrooms with touchless features and have increased the availability of hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout our building and grounds.

Maintain Social Distance

Social distancing has proven to be an effective measure in decreasing the risk of infection. We are limiting one visitor group per exhibit and ask that visitor groups stay together (all children must stay with adults at all times). We are also maintaining one-way directional traffic in the building and in some outdoor spaces

Limit Contact with Surfaces

Personal items must be kept with visitors at all times. The coat room will be closed. Eating and drinking are not permitted inside the Museum building.

​Group Visits

Due to the current public health situation, we are not accepting reservations for group visits at this time. Measures may change over time. We will adjust and communicate accordingly.

The Montshire Museum of Science will reopen in July for outdoor explorations and adventures!

From July 1 to July 5, the Museum will be open to members only for Member Appreciation Week. We will be open for all on July 8.

To ensure a safe, engaging, and flexible learning environment, we’ve made some changes to our hours, admission, ticketing process, and visitor policies. Our indoor exhibits will remain temporarily closed, while we focus on providing a rich outdoor experience.

We’re so excited to see you at the Montshire again!

Tickets can be purchased up to three days in advance.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Hours

The Montshire is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10am to 4pm.

  • Tickets must be purchased or reserved in advance for a morning arrival (10am–12:30pm) or afternoon arrival (1:30–4pm).
  • You may arrive at any time during the session you have chosen, and you may stay as long as you wish until the Museum closes at 4pm.
  • We will be closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays, however summer camps will still take place on these days.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Admission

Special July Admission

Celebrate our reopening with a promotional rate for the month of July.

  • $14 for adults
  • $11 for children
  • Free for members and children under 2 years of age.
Summer Admission

Mid-June through Labor Day

  • $18 for adults
  • $15 for children 2-17
  • Free for members and children under 2 years of age.
General Admission

September through mid-June

  • $16 for adults
  • $13 for children 2–17
  • Free for members and children under 2 years of age.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Purchasing or Reserving Tickets

All visitors, including members, must pre-register for a visit to the Montshire to ensure that visitors can maintain social distancing. Tickets can be purchased up to three days in advance.

Use this link to pre-register.

1. Enter your name and contact information.

2. Choose a date to visit, and a time frame in which to arrive.

3. Enter the total number of visitors in your party, including children under age 2. The form will adjust the pricing as you answer each of the questions.

4. Check the appropriate box(es) to tell us who is visiting.

5. If you are a member, enter your group size (as allowed by your membership), and your membership ID number (found on your membership card and emailed to you on June 22, 2020).

6. If you are not a member, tell us if and how many children are visiting with you so that the pricing can be adjusted.

7. Carefully review the Visitor Guidelines, and check the box to verify that you have read and agree to the Guidelines.

8. Enter your payment information and submit the form. You will receive confirmation by email.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + ​Directions and Parking

The Montshire’s address is One Montshire Road, Norwich, VT 05055. Free parking is available at the Museum.

The Museum is conveniently located just off Interstate 91 at Exit 13 (look for the “Museum of Science” signs) in Norwich, Vermont, five miles north of White River Junction. The Museum is directly across the Connecticut River from Hanover, New Hampshire, home of Dartmouth College.

Public transportation options are available via Advance Transit buses, which stop at the top of Montshire Road each weekday (except major holidays). Advance Transit riders should plan for a five-minute walk from the bus stop to the Museum entrance.

Read more for detailed driving directions.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Accessibility

At the Montshire, we believe that joyful moments of learning and discovery should be accessible to everyone. That’s why we’ve taken care to expand access and to ensure that the experiences we offer are relevant, comfortable, and welcoming for all visitors.

Visit our Museum Accessibility page for more information.

Plus (click or tap to expand) + Museum Rules

We are eager to see our visitors again, and we want to ensure the health and safety of everyone at the Museum. We respectfully ask that visitors follow our new policies.

Visitors should not enter the Montshire building or grounds if they are unwell or showing any symptoms of illness.

Face Coverings and Masks

To minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread through respiratory droplets, we require that visitors over the age of three wear a face covering or mask when inside the building. Face coverings and masks are highly encouraged outside and we ask that you wear them when interacting with Museum staff or other visitors.

Practice Healthy Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is crucial in mitigating the spread of infection. We ask that all visitors wash their hands upon entry. We have upgraded our restrooms with touchless faucets, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers, and have increased the availability of hand-washing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout our building and grounds.

Maintain Social Distance

Social distancing has proven to be an effective measure in decreasing the risk of infection. We are limiting one visitor group per exhibit and ask that visitor groups stay together (all children must stay with adults at all times). We are also maintaining one-way directional traffic in the building and in some outdoor spaces

Limit Contact with Surfaces

To avoid the spread of infections, we are taking steps to limit visitor contact with surfaces. The coat room will be closed and there will be no personal storage in the Museum. No eating and drinking will be allowed inside the Museum building.

General Rules
  • It is our expectation that adults attend children at all times.
  • No pets, except service animals, are permitted in the building or on the trails.
  • Smoking is permitted in the parking lot only.

Updated Montshire Visitor Guide Coming Soon!

More to Explore

Camp Policies and Expectations

Montshire Museum of Science is incorporating the following policies and expectations into our camp programming.

Masks

All campers, Montshire staff, and adults who are picking up or dropping off a camper must wear a mask. If your child has a medical condition that precludes them wearing a mask you must contact us before camp starts. Mask breaks (during meals and various points throughout the day) will be provided when we can ensure physical distancing outside.

Daily Health Screening

All campers and staff will have their temperature taken and a health screening as they arrive. Anyone with a temperature over 100.4° F will be sent home.

Vermont Quarantine Rule

If you reside outside of Vermont or the greater Upper Valley of New Hampshire and are visiting from elsewhere, be aware of the current quarantine requirement established by the State of Vermont: Children who arrive from out of state need to quarantine for 14 days or be tested at day 7 before entering summer programs. Vermont has recently lifted this restriction for those coming from certain rural counties in New Hampshire, Maine, and New York. Refer to Vermont’s public health response regarding travel to the state for updated information. Please note these restrictions may change over time and we expect all camp families to comply with the requirements at the time of their child’s camp. If you have questions about this rule, please contact us at registrations@montshire.org.

Extended Care

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer extended care (before camp hours, 8:15am-9:00am; or after camp hours, 3:00pm-5:15pm) this summer. We will refund payments for this service.

Camper Code of Conduct

For many, summer camp will be the first time children will be back in a group setting in more than three months. It will be difficult to avoid returning to pre-pandemic social behaviors, so please help your child prepare for camp by practicing wearing masks at home, and talking about the following appropriate camp behaviors. Before the start of camp, ensure your child is ready to comply with all aspects of the camper code. Campers unable to follow these guidelines will not be able to participate in our camp program this summer.

All Campers will be required to:
Wear Masks Wear Masks: Children will be expected to wear masks that fit appropriately, covering the mouth and nose, and that they can put on and take off independently. Masks will be removed for meal and water breaks, during swimming/water play, and for activities like journaling, that allow proper distancing.
Physical Distance Campers and staff must strive to maintain a 6 feet distance from others. Although we cannot guarantee that children will maintain this distance, we will enforce these requirements when necessary, and to the extent possible. Personal belongings will also be spaced apart from others, and may only be touched by the owner.
Wash Hands Hand-washing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. Campers will be required to wash/sanitize their hands multiple times throughout the day and will be expected to know how to do this properly.

What the Montshire is Doing to Ensure Safety

  • Camp groups will not interact with other camps at the museum and will be completely separated from museum visitors.
  • Each camp has dedicated indoor and outdoor spaces, and a set of bathrooms that no other group or visitor may access.
  • We are limiting group sizes to 15 or fewer campers.
  • We have greatly increased our cleaning and disinfection schedules.

Color Scavenger Hunt

The science of color can be found in natural materials, like the foods you eat and plants that grow around you.

Download our color wheel and head outside on a nature color scavenger hunt.

​Plant Pounding

Chlorophyll is the green pigment we are most familiar with in plants. But flowers have different pigments in them that give them their beautiful colors.

Experiment with capturing pigments from different plant parts to create botanical art!

Cabbage Juice Chemistry

Cabbage — a delicious vegetable or a crazy color changing chemical? Make your own purple cabbage juice to use as a colorful pH indicator and try some kitchen chemistry at home. Download the activity sheet to get started!

Plant-Based Paints

Create your own watercolors using pigment that you extract from plants! Download our activity sheet and learn how.

Compost Color

Don’t throw that avocado pit away! Use your food scraps to add color to old napkins, clothing or pillowcases.

We call the colors we find in plants, pigments. People have been using the pigments found in plants to produce paint, ink, and dye for thousands of years. Pigments can come from all the different parts of the plant: seeds, roots, stems, bark, leaves, and flowers.

Plant-based pigments can be found in some of the things we might think of as food-waste, like avocado skins and pits, onion skins, and old tea bags. We can use these things to give fabrics, like old clothes, napkins, or linens, a new life!

Download our activity sheet to get started.

Resources for Equity and Inclusion

Talking About Race, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Addressing Racial Injustice with Young Children, from EmbraceRace

Talking Race with Young Children, from NPR Life Kit

100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say To Your Child To Advance Racial Justice, from Raising Race Conscious Children

How White Parents Can Use Media to Raise Anti-Racist Kids, from Common Sense Media

Books That Promote Diversity and Inclusion, from Common Sense Media

Books to Support Conversations on Race, from EmbraceRace

Exploring Shadows

A shadow occurs when light is blocked by an object. Experiment with shadows to begin exploring some of the properties of light.

Tracking Outdoor Shadows

By tracing the shadow of an object over the course of the day, you can track how shadows change as the Sun moves across the sky. Use chalk to trace your own shadows throughout the day, and build a sundial. Download the activity sheet to get started.

Sundial

​Build a Sundial

Download this template and make a sundial for your yard. A sundial can be fairly accurate if set up correctly (although sun time is not the same as clock time). The red arrow on the sundial must face north. To find north in your yard use a map, an app, a compass, or the North Star the night before you make your sundial.

Exploring Reflection

Stars (like our sun) create their own light. The moon and planets are visible because they reflect light from the Sun. Montshire educator Amy explains and introduces a fun new activity for this week. Download the activity guide to get started.

​Reflection Scavenger Hunt

Many of us think of a mirror when asked where we can see our reflections, but there are many things besides a mirror that are smooth and shiny and reflect most of the light that hits them. Find as many things in and around your house that reflect light well enough that you can see yourself in them.

Download the activity guide to get started!

Exploring Refraction

When light hits a transparent material, like glass or plastic, it may bend a little as it enters the material and again as it exits. The angle and shape of the material determines how much the light will bend or refract. A prism and a hand lens both use refraction to create a rainbow and magnify an object.

Download our activity guide to see this in action.

​What Can We Learn from Bones?

Paleoanthropologist Jerry DeSilva (and special guests!) compare different types of bones to show just how much we can learn from skeletons and fossils. Then download our activity sheet to go on a skeleton scavenger hunt and learn more about your own bones!

Comparing Bones

Before or after lunch is a great time for science! Dissect a chicken wing to identify its arm bones and compare them to yours.

Watch Montshire educator Rebecca explain, then download our activity sheet to get started.

More Chicken Bone Experiments

Wondering what to do with your leftover chicken? How about some bone experiments?

Smile and Show Your Skeleton

The most visible part of our skeleton are our teeth! Smile and show someone your skeleton. Count, compare, and map out the teeth in your mouth with our downloadable activity guide.

My What Big Teeth You Have…

Animals have teeth that are well adapted to how and what they eat – bark, seeds, insects, fish, grass, meat. Can you match the animal to its teeth?

Build a Working Model of Your Hand Bones

How do the bones in your hand connect? Build a working model of your hand bones using cardboard, string, and straws.

Watch Montshire educator Rebecca explain the process then download the activity sheet to get started.

​How Do Your Bones Compare?

Do cats have knees and do bats have pinky fingers? Compare your skeleton to these other animals to see if we’re all the same inside.

A Discussion on COVID-19’s Impact on Rural Health Equity

Speakers:

  • Anne N. Sosin, MPH Global Health Initiative Program Director, The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding
  • Elizabeth A. Carpenter-Song, PhD, Research Associate Professor, Anthropology, Dartmouth College
  • Sally Kraft, MD, MPH, Vice President of Population Health at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Fay Homan, MD, Little Rivers Health Care, Wells River/Bradford, VT

Learn about the lives of animals and the world’s past through bones and fossils!

Spend a week exploring color chemistry with Montshire at Home. Check out the videos and downloads of activities that you can easily do at home!

Spend a week exploring the science of light with Montshire at Home. Check out the videos and downloads of activities that you can easily do at home!

Spend a week exploring the science of skeletons with Montshire at Home. Check out the videos and downloads of activities that you can easily do at home!

Spend a week exploring the science behind air with Montshire at Home. Check out the videos and downloads of activities that you can easily do at home!

Make Paper Spinning Helicopters, Fish, and Octopuses

Experiment with your own Montshire paper spinning helicopters, fish, and octopuses at home!

Download the activity sheet for more information.

Make a Mini Ball Floater at Home

Claim that hair dryer in the name of science!

Download the activity guide here and make your own mini ball floater at home.

Paper Airplanes

The dart, the glider, or the even keel? Which paper airplane is right for you?

Check out these different airplane designs and then experiment with them!

Building in the Wind

Turn your summer time fan into a wind tube or sail boat exhibit, just like the ones at the Montshire! Watch Montshire educator Rebecca explain, then download the activity guide to get started.

Toy Parachutes

Operation TOY RESCUE is underway! Build a miniature parachute to bring your toy home safe and sound.

Watch our video and download the activity guide to get started!

Discover the joy of science at home!

Developed, hosted, and curated by the Montshire’s Education team, this online learning series consists of videos and resources that allow young learners to delve into a different topic using a variety of learning methods.

Learning opportunities include:

  • Teacher’s Guide for educators
  • DIY science projects for kids and parents to do at home
  • Downloadable activities, such as scavenger hunts and puzzles
  • Video explorations of science concepts

Science Topics

Spend a week exploring the world of bugs and creepy crawlers with Montshire at Home. Check out the videos and downloads of activities that you can easily do at home!

Bring all your bug questions for this special live Zoom webinar with Montshire Educators, Rebecca and Amy.

Bee Behavior

Biologists will track and follow an animal, recording everything it does. Be a bee biologist and follow a bee as it visits flowers. Record as many behaviors as you see.

Download our activity sheet to track bee behavior.

Flower Dissection

Why dissect frogs when you can dissect a flower?

Download our activity sheet and get an inside look (literally) at flowers.

Spider Spy

How many itsy bitsy spiders can you find in your house?

Download our activity sheet and let the hunt begin!

Tracking Tick Activity

Your favorite blood sucking parasites are back this spring! Learn more about them with Montshire educator Rebecca.

Download our activity sheet and track their activities, just like scientists do!

Knock, Knock; Who’s Under That Rock?

Bugs, slugs, worms and dirt. What’s living under there?!?! Map your animal discoveries as you look under that rock.

Download our activity sheet to get started with mapping out an entire world of bugs.

A Bug Scavenger Hunt

Head outside on a bug hunt to find the tiny, slimey, leggy, crawly, and creepily cool denizens of nature! Download our activity guide to start your adventure!

Spend a week exploring the world of puzzles with Montshire at Home. Check out the videos and downloads of activities that you can easily do at home!

​Tangrams

Tangrams are puzzles that were thought to have originated in China around 1,000 years ago and were introduced to Europe and America in the 1800s.

Montshire educator Amy shows us the different ways you can have fun with tangrams. Don’t forget to download a few for you to solve!

A Montshire Tangram Puzzle

You can create some fun shapes with tangrams — even letters! Can you spell out your name using tangrams?

Give it a go, then download our activity sheet to solve tangram puzzles that spell out “Montshire.”

Montshire Cube Puzzle

Puzzles can help you develop numerous skills, including spatial and geometry skills, problem solving skills, and patience!

Explore the many benefits of puzzles through this Montshire cube puzzle!

Peg Solitaire

Peg solitaire, or brainvita, requires you to develop a strategy to improve each time you try and solve it.

Montshire puzzle maven Amy shows us how to play these games. Then, give it a go yourself by downloading our activity guide.

Toothpick Puzzles / Matchstick Puzzles

Try out some lateral thinking as you solve these toothpick puzzles, also known as matchstick puzzles. Lateral thinking is a thought process that requires a creative approach as opposed to a purely logical approach

Don’t forget to download the activity guide!

Disentanglement Puzzle

The Handcuff Puzzle is a type of disentanglement puzzle that requires you to take apart or untangle parts of puzzles that aren’t completely attached. This type of puzzle falls into a study of geometry called topology—the mathematics of distortion.

Montshire puzzle expert Amy explains how to do a handcuff puzzle at home. Then download our activity and give it a try!

On April 30, 2020 ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, Montshire Museum of Science, and Vermont Institute of Natural Science will launch FourScienceVT, a consortium to provide critical support for the science education needs of Vermonters during the Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis.

The goal of FourScienceVT is to provide STEM educational content, programs, and resources from four trusted science museums to Vermonters across the State. Together the institutions seek to meet the social and emotional needs of struggling families during this time of great uncertainty through integrated online and in-person learning experiences.

As the pandemic continues to shutter schools, early childhood learning centers, out-of-school environments, and other informal learning spaces, these Vermont-based museums have banded together to provide resources in various online formats. Through offerings such as live science broadcasts on Zoom and Facebook, video content with friendly and knowledgeable educators, behind-the-scenes tours of collections, and downloadable resources for families and teachers, the group’s collaborative efforts cover a spectrum of learners.

“I want to thank the FourScienceVT museums for stepping up to provide STEM educational content to Vermont learners,” said Secretary of Education Dan French. “Because so much of STEM is about discovery and application, it is important to have high quality learning resources for students to explore. Vermont is lucky to have such robust institutions within our small borders, and I appreciate them contributing to our Continuity of Learning efforts.”

“Working together, we are able to provide a greater variety of learning resources, each leveraging our core collections, science experiences, and expertise,” says Montshire’s executive director Marcos Stafne. “Our ability to reach multiple audiences with high quality STEM content and to direct people to local science content happening in our State helps give Vermont families and teachers a place to turn to for inspiration and intellectual stimulation.”

The mission of the consortium is to provide high quality STEM education experiences to Vermonters during a time of crisis. The group also offers support to each other. “Each museum has the need to care for their collections, facilities, and employees, while developing new digital learning opportunities—all in a time of trauma,” notes ECHO’s executive director Phelan Fretz. “Our teams have been meeting on a regular basis to share best practices for digital engagement and action plans for safely reopening.”

To guide people through the stream of digital and downloadable resources, the group has developed FourScienceVT.org, a curated platform for families and schools to access Vermont-centric STEM interactive curriculum and experiences. “It’s a new world of digital engagement,” says Fairbanks’ Executive Director Adam Kane. “We made a quick shift to delivering programming online and have seen our viewership grow exponentially. Teachers are especially hungry for high-quality STEM content.”

“We know that in the best of times, teachers reach out to each of our museums for STEM support, and we have long established connections with local schools,” says Charlie Rattigan, executive director of VINS. “It’s a natural fit for our individual teams to work together to both create dynamic STEM experiences and get the message out. We’re here to support Vermonters during this time of need and hope to address the STEM education access disparity inherent in our rural communities.”

While this consortium has formed in a time of crisis, each museum has looked into the future when their individual institutions will serve as a place of recovery for families and schools. Creating a collaboration now works toward a targeted resource for STEM learning in the future, when schools and families will need additional support. For more information about FourScienceVT, visit www.FourScienceVT.org

MEDIA CONTACTS

ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

Erik Oliver
eoliver@echovermont.org
Echovermont.org

Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium

Anna Rubin
arubin@fairbanksmuseum.org
Fairbanksmuseum.org

Montshire Museum of Science

Trish Palao
trish.palao@montshire.org
Montshire.org

Vermont Institute of Natural Science

Mary Davidson Graham
mgraham@vinsweb.org
Vinsweb.org

Join local infectious disease doctors and researchers as they discuss their work to address COVID-19

Health Research Live programs include 20 minutes of presentations from experts, 15 minutes of break out groups to discuss issues with your community, and 20 minutes of a larger group discussion. This program will be conducted via Zoom.

This program is produced and organized by Dartmouth Synergy, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Montshire Museum of Science, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Population Health.

About the speakers

David de Gijsel, MD, MPH, MSc, is an infectious disease doctor and researcher for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He is also an Assistant Professor of Medicine for the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine and The Dartmouth Institute.

Richard A. Zuckerman, MD, MPH, is an infectious disease doctor and researcher for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He is also an Associate Professor of Medicine for the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine.

Density is this week’s science topic on Montshire at Home. Check out the videos and downloads of experiments demonstrating density that you can do yourself with salt, water, food coloring, cups, balls, and a few other items hanging around the house.

Create a Density Column

This week we’re learning all about density! Density is how much mass something has. A great way to learn about it is by building your own density column with household materials. Learn how with Montshire educator Mike.

Watch the video then download the activity sheet to start the experiment at home!

Exploring Density through Sink and Float

One way to explore relative density is by testing whether something sinks or floats in liquid or gas.

For this experiment, we’re going to see if objects are more dense or less dense than water by observing if they sink or float.

Watch Montshire educator Amy explain, then download the activity sheet and try this experiment at home.

Create a Liquid Rainbow

Have you ever wondered how liquids can stack on top of each other instead of mixing together? It’s because they have different densities and don’t mix well together.

See this in action! Create a liquid rainbow using density to colorfully layer salt solutions. Download the activity sheet here.

What Happens to Ice in Salt? An Experiment

Surprisingly, the density of the salt water keeps the melt water in a cold layer on top that insulates the ice cube.

Create a Colorful Density Column

Make a colorful density column using items from your kitchen. Montshire educator Mike explains today’s experiment.

Underwater Fireworks

Set off fireworks underwater! For today’s experiment, create cool patterns by making food coloring “erupt” in water.

Download the activity sheet here!

Join us for a week of videos, home projects, downloadable activities, and other learning resources as we build cardboard creations!

Starting a Week of Cardboard Creations

Why do we love building with cardboard at the Montshire?
- It’s cheap (sometimes free!) and easy to cut
- It’s sturdy yet flexible
- It has loads of textures that make cool designs

This week we’re working on some amazing cardboard creations! Watch this video and download our design worksheet to get started.

From 2D to 3D Design

Transform 2D to 3D by making a cube from a single flat sheet of cardboard!

Download our activity guide to get started.

A Cardboard Masterpiece

Create a beautiful work of art using a variety of shapes! Learn how to create abstract art by piecing together cardboard and create a masterpiece from your own imagination!

Follow the instructions in our our activity sheet here.

www.montshire.org/images/uploads/files/AbstractDesign.pdf

Creating a Marble Run

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’
Keep them marbles rollin’!

Today, we’re making a marble run using recycled materials. Ramps, trap doors, seesaws — so many ways to roll!

Watch Montshire educator Katie explain, then download our activity guide to get started.

Cardboard Wearables


Make a fashion statement by creating your own hat! Use your newfound cardboard crafting skills to create something fun, different, and wearable.

Watch Montshire educator Katie explain then download our activity guide to get started.

About the Speakers

Brendan Nyhan, PhD is a professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. His research focuses on misperceptions about politics and health care. He also studies social networks and applied statistical methods. He is published widely and contributes to The Upshot at the New York Times, and is the co-organizer of Bright Line Watch.

Alice Ely, MPH, is Executive Director of the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley which, as one of the State of New Hampshire’s 13 regional health networks, has quickly become the largest and broadest coalition of advocates on public and population health issues in the greater Upper Valley region.

From the early days of silent films to the glossy blockbusters of today, space continues to capture our cinematic imaginations. These movies offer beautiful imagery, daring adventure, and a meaningful story made more powerful with the backdrop of outer space. Moderated by the Hopkins Center Film Programming and Operations Manager Johanna Evans, go boldly where many filmmakers have gone before, as we discuss space and movies with great minds and film buffs of the Upper Valley.

Panelists will be:

  • Prof. Yorke Brown, Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College
  • Prof. Amy Lawrence, Film and Media Studies, Dartmouth College
  • Prof. Dan Rockmore, Associate Dean for the Sciences, Dartmouth College

About the Montshire Talks Speaker

Johanna Evans is the Film Programming Manager at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. She earned a BA in English (Creative Writing) at Dartmouth College in 2010 and an MA in Literature and Social Justice at Lehigh University in 2012. She continues to pursue both of those interests when she’s not singing, building Legos with her son, and seeing as many movies as possible.