SLC Young Ambassador Blog: Week 3

22 07 2013

Hello, my name is Alana Zamora from San Marcos, Texas. This year, I was selected as a 2013 Smithsonian Latino Center Young Ambassador; Up to twenty-four graduating high school seniors are selected each year and are given the amazing opportunity to intern in a museum/cultural institution in their local community for four weeks. Currently, I am interning here at the Austin Children’s Museum. I will be posting weekly blog posts to describe my experience here at ACM, as well as, insights into the different summer camps that we offer at the Museum.

This week, I worked directly with children, ages 7-10, that were enrolled in the ‘smART’ full day summer camp program here at the Museum. For every full day camp, we go on daily field trips, experience innovative hands-on activities, and play in the Museum. This week, I photographed the camp’s field trips and activities, and in the latter half of each day, I worked upstairs in the office, filtering, editing and uploading photos that I had taken from the camps onto the Museum’s Flickr account.

On Monday, July 15th, we walked with the children to the Staar Building so they could view the mobile that is displayed upstairs. After that, we went back to the Children’s Museum and had the children create their own mobile out of a hanger, string and random recyclable items.Image

On Tuesday, July 16th, we took a field trip to MAKEatx, a membership-based workshop where individuals can pursue their diverse interests and activities independently and creatively. The workshop currently houses a powerful laser cutter capable of cutting, etching, and engraving a wide variety of materials, brand new computers with the latest design software, and ample work space. The campers had the opportunity to create their own design for a key-chain or magnet, and were able to watch the laser cutter create it right before their very own eyes!Image

On Wednesday, July 17th, we had an amazing tour at Blue Genie Art Industries. BGAI is a nationally recognized creative firm specializing in large scale commercial fabrication of three dimensional objects, monuments, exhibits, themed environments, and artist services. Some of their recent clients include Dell, PEZ Candy, Schlotsky’s, Whole Foods Market, Make a Wish Foundation and the Austin Children’s Museum!Image

On Wednesday, I also had the opportunity to photograph the Technology Camp for incoming 4th, 5th and 6th graders at the Museum’s off-site locations at Silicon Labs. The children were able to design games and create their own animations using Scratch, a computer programming language made for kids. The campers also created game controllers, and program sensors and motors to construct a Rube Goldberg Device.Image

On Thursday, July 18th, our daily field trip was to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. The garden is a natural oasis in South Austin dedicated to the work of 20th Century American sculptor Charles Umlauf. Umlauf’s sculptures range from detailed realism to lyrical abstractions. His materials are equally diverse, from the exotic woods and terra cotta or cast stone of his earlier pieces, to the rich bronzes and alabasters or luminous marbles of his prime. With equal facility, Umlauf sculpted family groups (particularly mothers and children), delightful animals, and religious and mythological figures.Image

On Friday, July 19th, we visited the AMOA-Arthouse. The museum provides rich environments for a wide range of audiences to investigate and experience excellence in contemporary art. The museum accomplishes this through innovative exhibitions, education, interpretative programs and direct access to the creative process. The current exhibit that we had a tour of was ‘Advanced Young Artists’. The displayed artworks were developed by artist-mentors and teens in partnership, resulting in either one unified piece of two individual works related through process and/or concept. One project from the exhibit was titled “The Identity Project”; This project consisted of wearable masks that the artist and their mentor created. Viewers were encouraged to choose a mask, step into the photo booth, and express themselves through physical gestures/poses. In interacting with the masks and producing an image, the viewer becomes a participant and a piece of live sculpture.Image

This week, I was very privileged to experience my first art camp! Although I was not a camper, I had fun being a Camp teacher and photographer. I love that the children are being exposed to all types of art mediums and that they are able to express themselves through various art forms. This week has been a very neat experience and it is something that I will never forget.

If you haven’t had the chance, check out my blog posts from the previous weeks of my internship!

  1. http://blog.austinkids.org/2013/07/22/slc-young-ambassador-blog-week-1/
  2. http://blog.austinkids.org/2013/07/22/slc-young-ambassador-blog-week-2/




Rube Goldberg Music Video

4 03 2010

Everyone at the Museum is talking about this totally amazing music video by the band OK Go! As you know, we’re big fans of Rube Goldberg machines.

Some of us think it can’t be real. Some of us say it must have taken months to get it right! Either way, it will make you want to watch it over and over again. What do you think?

Thanks, Paul, for bringing it to our attention!





Creme Egg Rube Goldberg

8 03 2009

Around this time of year Cadbury Creme Eggs start showing up in stores. You could eat one…OR you could design a way-too-elaborate contraption to smash it to pieces!





Become Rube Goldberg!

15 10 2008

Have you ever heard of a Rube Goldberg invention before?

Rube Goldberg was a famous cartoonist who lived from 1883 to 1970. Although Rube Goldberg was originally an engineer, he quickly decided that engineering was not for him and started working for a newspaper instead. He began submitting cartoons to the newspaper’s editor. The editor decided to publish the cartoons and Rube Goldberg became very successful for his creative drawings. He even ended up winning the Pulitzer Prize, a VERY important award, for his inventive cartoons!

So what made Rube Goldberg’s cartoon so inventive? Rube didn’t just draw ordinary cartoons- he drew elaborate, complicated machines made up of springs, cogs, animals, and everyday objects in order to accomplish a simple task, like making breakfast! You can create your own virtual Rube Goldberg invention on the Zoom Website.

Last year at Maker Faire, a group of people created their own Rube Goldberg invention when they built a life size version of the fun board game, Mouse Trap! You can watch their creation here:

You don’t have to be an adult to come up with your own Rube Goldberg invention! Ask your parents for permission to use things around the house like toilet paper tubes, pieces of cardboard, dominoes, string, marbles, and more! What kind of an invention can you come up with? Tell us about it!