Thursday
Apr122012

Since the schools are closed this week, I've been taking the time to research our next exhibit; "Moonshine to Millionaires":the NASCAR story.  After reading through all of the exhibit text, I have discovered my own intrigue and excitement regarding NASCAR.  The American history alone is enough to engage your love of cars and racing, but my research took quite the turn as I stumbled across this video documentary about the driver of the #3 car, Dale Earnhardt. 

Watch this video and get prepared to be moved:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am11x8VdrmE&feature=related

I have to admit that I have not been a NASCAR follower until recently, however, I can't tell you how excited I am to be a part of this exhibit and it's potential to be our BIGGEST, most EXCITING exhibit ever!

NASCAR is completely relevant and alive in today's culture.  Young and old can turn on the television or radio and listen to a race on any given weekend.  These drivers are racing in real time, inside machines that are testing the boundries of science on a daily basis. 

Thursday
Apr052012

We had a great program today with the 3rd and 4th graders from The Saratoga Academy (Clifton Park).  What a terrific group of kids!  The highlight for me was durring the first floor exhibit tour.  I stopped at the race car engine, in an attempt for students to recognize and understand what lies under the hood (or trunk in some cases) and ask them to give me three ways to start an engine.  This ties in the past, present and future of automobile manufacturing as the answers I am looking for are; Hand Crank, Key and now Push button (as they start the electric cars of today and the future).  However, as I called on one young man in the front row and asked him to share one of the ways that you can start an engine, his answer (straight faced and as honest as only a child can be) was...HOT WIRING!!!!  Time for me to go back to my tour speech blackboard and edit my "engine" question to; "Can you tell me the four ways you can start an engine?"!

As teachers, we must constantly adapt our teaching practices and techniques to help fit the age level and needs of our students.  It's moments like the one above that proves this theory and makes my job more interesting every day!

Tuesday
Apr032012

"Under the Bus"

This past Saturday kicked off our 2-day "Under the Bus" program funded by a grant from the "Community Foundation".  Together with Boy Scout Troop 24, we began the New York State inspection process on our Ford Model "A" School bus so that I can utilize it to bring educational programs to schools and other local community events.  Our master mechanic (Don Buesing) and jr. mechanic (Jacob Kamen) led the way as we went item by item, focusing on its location, design, purpose and functionality.  By the end of the program we all had grease on our hands, our clothes smelled like gas, and our understanding and knowledge was tremendously increased!  In other words, we learned a lot, and we couldn't have been happier!

After the crowd had dissipated, I had the opportunity to sit in the driver seat and take a piece of history for a few spins around the parking lot.  With Don talking me through the process, I have to say that the maiden voyage was a success!  I can't wait for "day two"!

Wednesday
Mar282012

Today was my last program with St. Pauls Christian Child Care.  What a terrific 3 weeks I've had getting to meet your teachers and students!  You have made my first month with the museum a total success, and I thank you so very much.  I look forward to working with you and your staff next year!

 

Wednesday
Mar282012

Educator's Night at the Museum

There is only one word to describe last night's event here at the Museum...Success!  "Thank you" to all the educators who attended and took the time out of their busy schedules to join us.  Educator's night at the Museum was designed for two purposes; first, to raise local awareness of the Auto Museum and how amazing it is, and second, as an opportunity for professional development between educator's.  Everyone was learning last night. 

A special thanks to the staff and volunteers who helped to make last night possible.

Seth