Friday, October 9, 2009

Day #26/175 Days - LC Bates

Today was our 3rd class at the LC Bates Natural History Museum. It's really a very unique museum for this area of the state. If you live locally, I consider it a must see.

The class today was on insects. We started upstairs viewing some wasp nests. They were pretty impressive.

We also stopped here for a bit to look at this insect collection. This cabinet houses a pretty extensive collection. It was built (the cabinet & the collection) by a woman from Maine (I can't remember her name) who lived in the late 1800's. Her doctor had told her that for health reasons she should spend as much time outside as she possibly could. Thus began her hobby of collecting & cataloging insects that lived near her.

We also checked out some more collections upstairs as well as some photographs. This one is pretty cool.

It's a wasp nest built around an existing bird house.

We then headed downstairs to the classroom. This is where the real fun begins for the kids I think. Serena, our guide & teacher, does a really wonderful job making the subject come alive for the kids. Here is a photo of Conductor & his cousin demonstrating how the wings of a dragonfly work.

There were also a lot of preserved specimens that were handed round for closer inspection.

Dead-leaf moth

Giant Katydid

Serena also does a good job of breaking up the class time so that the kids (mostly boys!) are not sitting for 30 minutes or more. Here is a photo of Lego-Man, Happy & another little boy from class demonstrating how an insects legs move. Can you see how Serena is holding her fingers off to the side? The trick here was that Lego-Man was to move in the opposite direction from Happy & the other boy. I never realized that is how an insect moves. This is another reason why I do enjoy these classes.

Then at the end of the class time, there is usually some sort of hands-on thing for the kids to do - usually. Serena had lots of bug glasses for the kids to try out. Here is Lego-Man sporting a pair.

Then she had rubbing plates of various insects. Even Miss H got to do this one.

Happy showing his ant eye glasses.

Conductor is wearing some 3D glasses. They had some large cards with various insect parts on them that showed up in 3D with the glasses.

All-in-all the kids enjoy the class (even if they have to grumble about going...but we'll leave names out here). I should also mention that Lego-Man took most of these photos (except for the last few). We look forward to our next one in a few weeks.

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