It’s been such a long winter, but I was finally able to order our first shipment of early spring plants for the BCM Garden this afternoon. With luck, they’ll arrive on Friday and visitors will help us plant them with throughout the Celebrate Earth Festival from April 14-22. We’ve got some stalwart shade perennials on their way, some flowers that butterflies and bees love, some with scented foliage for our Touch and Smell garden, and some blooms just cheerful enough to make it into our new Shoe Garden — flowers growing out of donated and discarded shoes. Bring your outgrown or worn out shoes to help us plant the Shoe Garden at 1:30 on April 14, 15, 16, 21, and 22.
When I ordered the plants today, the flowers’ Latin names just sounded so darn poetical! Try reading this aloud:
Helleborus, pansy tray
Vinca, salvia all day
Asclepias and echinacea
Ranuncs so cute I want to date-cha
Catmint bee balm monarch food
Better feed the wild brood
Peat moss ‘neath athyrium
Stone pond gravel, cedar mulch,
Potting mix to fill the gulch
It’s been a blast watching kids invent all kinds of ingenious gadgets at our family science workshop this month, Masters of Invention. Kids are constantly bumping into the corners of a world that’s been designed for adult-sized people, and they’re always dreaming up solutions to problems, so they’re natural inventors.
Here’s a sampling of some of our favorite inventions they’ve come up with so far:
- A cap to cover a loose tooth while you’re brushing your teeth (I’d forgotten that it hurts to brush your teeth when one of them is loose).
- Glasses made of lightweight fabric that wraps around your head, so they don’t get sweaty and fall off all the time.
- A cat robot that bakes cupcakes.
- A toothbrush filled with toothpaste that dispenses the perfect amount when you squeeze the handle.
- A remote control that lets you rewind your life.
- A hairbrush with bigger, softer bristles.
- Two variations on the jet pack.
- A dog bucket (to be honest, I don’t know what this is supposed to do).
- And, my personal favorite, a ball that never
Guest post by Charissa Ruth, Museum Team Educator
A week off from school. That’s a lot of free time.
During that free time, the high school students in the Museum Team program at Brooklyn Children’s Museum weren’t watching TV or playing video games- they were traversing all over New York City visiting colleges. Our goal? One week. Four colleges.
It was a whirlwind week! Our group would meet up at the Museum and trek out to the chosen college campus of the day using a mixture of bus, train, and walking. Once we got there we’d generally spend another hour to two on our feet being led all over campus seeing classrooms, studios, cafeterias, libraries. We sat through long information sessions and equally long commutes.
It was a lot to take in but it was worth it. The teens ventured to parts of NYC that they don’t often frequent and began to weave together a picture for their future. The idea of college life shifted from being this vague and looming future to being smaller components like extracurricular activities, work, classes, buildings, and dorm life. The teens asked thoughtful questions, met people, and soaked in as much information as possible. We left each campus
How much do our Animal Caretakers love the Museum’s animals?
Enough to wear these ridiculously ugly shirts.
Payaso is our sun conure, a small parrot native to South America with colorful feathers and a nice loud squawk. He lives in the Science Inquiry Center with Dora the Tarantula, Laurel the mud turtle, and Studmuffin the basilisk lizard. Sun conures are very social, curious birds, so we try to have Payaso out of his enclosure for enrichment as much as possible. Eva and Nolynn love having Payaso around, but when he’s perched on their shoulders, he’s constantly grooming them to show his affection. He’ll comb through their hair with his beak, nibble their ears and cheeks, and pick at patterns or buttons or zippers on their clothes.
Enter the new bird enrichment uniform. This ravishing collection designed by Animal Care Coordinator Eva and sturdily sewn by Museum Educator Charissa has all the bells and whistles a bird could hope for. Hideous buttons sewn all over the neck and shoulders, ribbons and twiddly bits, and nonfunctional zippers
Greetings, friends! This is Jordan, reporting to you from the basement of BCM.
You all know that BCM has some wonderful live animals on display. You might not know, however, that we also have a reptile room in the basement, where several snakes, lizards, and other creatures bask in terrariums under their heat lamps and eat crickets, waiting for their turns to meet children during educational programs.
One of our reptile room friends is a female basilisk lizard named Bossy.
(photo source: Brian Stein / Flickr.com)
Recently, Bossy the basilisk laid eggs! Do you think we will have baby basilisks at BCM?
A handful of basilisk eggs
Nope – no baby basilisks! Since Bossy is a female lizard, she would need to mate with a male lizard to produce fertilized eggs – meaning eggs with baby lizards growing inside.
Since Bossy laid her eggs without a male mate, her eggs are unfertilized. This means there is no baby growing inside. Have you ever seen unfertilized eggs