SLC Young Ambassador Blog: Week 2

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 journey here at ACM, as well as, insights into the different summer camps that we offer at the Museum.

This week, I helped lead the ‘Young Scientists’ half day summer camp program for children, ages 4-6. For every half day camp, we have story time, hands-on activities and free play in the Museum. I assisted in leading science and art activities, playing with the children in the Museum and supervising them throughout their time at the camp. At this week’s camp, I had the opportunity to prepare the activities for each day, so I was able to see how much work goes into organizing a camp. Also, I was able to give feedback in ways to improve the activities for next ‘Young Scientists’ camp.

On Monday, July 8th, the theme for the day was measurement. The children learned about time, weight, temperature and length. Some of the activities for that day were, measuring and weighing sand, taking the temperature of warm and cold water, and creating a clock. Another activity that we had the children do was draw a picture of what they think a scientist looks like.


On Tuesday, July 9th, we learned about chemistry, reaction and slime. Camp leaders demonstrated baking soda experiments and helped the children create slime. The slime activity was very messy, but so much fun!Image

     On Wednesday, July 10th, the theme was color and magnification. Some activities that we had were, color mixing with paint, making a solar bead bracelet and Play-dough mixing. One of my favorite activities of the day was creating our own ‘rainbow’ using a flashlight and glass prism.Image

     On Thursday, July 11th, we learned about architecture and electricity. We had the children build houses out of wooden blocks and we had them create their own circuits.

     On Friday, July 12th, we learned about flying. The children learned about bats and made their own ‘bat hats’. They also created their own kite and roto-copter.

     Again, this week was amazing! I enjoy working with the children and watching them learn. Also, my fellow interns and volunteers are truly great individuals! I am amazed with all the learning that takes place during camp and I really do wish that I had the same opportunity at a younger age that all of these children are having now. Learning is fun!

     If you haven’t had the chance, check out my blog post from the first week of my internship!


Black History Month: Benjamin Banneker

21 02 2011

Once again for Black History Month, we are honoring an African American who invented important technology we use today.

Benjamin Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was a mathematician and an astronomer. He was also an innovator!

Banneker created a striking wooden clock. This was impressive because he had never seen a clock before he made it! He had only seen a small pocket watch. Banneker used his imagination and skills to create something big from something very small.

This was not your normal clock. It was a striking clock which chimes every hour. You can hear the way a striking clock sounds in the video below.

To celebrate Banneker’s success, we created our own clock from paper, and you can, too!

We used a paper plate, construction paper, a marker, scissors and a brass paper brad.

We cut out 12 square pieces of construction paper and wrote the numbers one through 12 on each piece. We cut out two arrows from our construction paper. Don’t forget to make one arrow smaller for the “little hand.” We glued our numbers in order around the clock. We secured our arrows in the middle by poking the brass brad through the arrows and the paper plate.

Now, you can play games with your clock and practice telling time!

Spring Forward!

14 03 2010

Daylight Saving Time is here once again, meaning we changed the time on the clock today to be one hour ahead. But do you know why?

Originally Daylight Saving Time was created to help save energy. When we set our clocks forward an hour like today, we have more hours of sunlight during the day.  With more sunlight, we don’t have to use as many lights in our houses

and buildings, saving energy.

Daylight Saving Time also affects farming and flying since both rely on sunlight.

Don’t forget, today is the Zilker Park Kite Festival, too! What a great way to take advantage of extra sunlight.

What will you do now since there is more time to spend in the daylight?