Nearly 200 Birmingham students submit art and poetry for Earth Science Week at McWane Science Center October 14-20

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Little discoveries lead to big adventures at McWane Science Center. Photo via McWane Science Center

Earth Science Week takes place October 14-20, and McWane Science Center is gearing up for an exciting week of free events! Are you ready to explore and discover?

The Celebration Of Earth Sciences

Earth Science Week has been an exciting time for museums like McWane Science Center since 1998 when the American Geosciences Institute organized this national/international event. Their goal was to help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth.

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Fun and discovery at McWane Science Center. Photo via McWane Science Center

Discover “Earth As Inspiration” Through Art And Poetry

To get students in the Birmingham metro area involved in the week-long event, McWane Science Center decided to challenge students in grades 3rd-8th by requesting submissions for an art and poetry contest.
Using the theme “Earth as Inspiration”, students were asked to explore their relationship and responsibilities to the Earth when creating their submissions.

Were Birmingham students up to the challenge? They sure were!

“We had nearly 200 entries from students around the Birmingham area,” Bethany Harris, Coordinator Science Engagement at McWane Science Center said. “There were so many beautiful, thought-provoking poems and paintings, and I can’t wait to share them with the community during Earth Science Week.”

Harris created the contest with the goal of equipping students with the power and creative mediums necessary to share their scientific knowledge, evoke wonder and curiosity in others and provoke conservationist action through art.

“Creative writing and art can be such powerful forms of communication,” Harris said. “I think these works will spark action, conversation and conservation in the minds of everyone who sees them.”

Schools who participated in the contest include:

  • North Jefferson Middle
  • Oak Mountain Middle
  • Springville Middle
  • Rudd Middle
  • Berry Middle
  • Mountain Brook Elementary
  • Bryan Elementary
  • Vestavia Elementary West
  • Vestavia Elementary Central
  • Cherokee Bend Elementary
  • Shades Mountain Elementary
  • Home School students

Winners of the contest will be selected by October 20. There will be a winner from each grade level as well as an overall winner of the contest. The winners will have their entries displayed at McWane Science Center where it can serve as inspiration to visitors of all ages.

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Nothing beats a field trip to McWane Science Center. Photo via McWane Science Center

Participate In Public Programs And Activities

Art… poetry… this is just one aspect of Earth Science Week at McWane Science Center. There is much more to discover!

To celebrate 20 years of Earth Science Week, along with McWane Science Center’s 20th anniversary of sparking wonder and curiosity about the world, McWane Science Center will be offering exciting programs and activities October 14-20. Here’s a peek at what will be offered:

Bugs, Colors And Scientific Effects

One program you’ll definitely want to check out during Earth Science Week at McWane Science Center is the Bug Painting Workshop. This interesting activity uses the inherent pH-indication properties of the cochineal bug. A little creepy, but trust me, it’s totally cool!

When dried, ground and mixed with water, the cochineal bug produces a dark red pigment. (It’s been traditionally used to make the dye carmine.) During the program, you will learn how the pH in acids and bases work their scientific magic to produce changes to the color of the cochineal bugs pigment. Add an acid like vinegar and watch the pigment change from dark red to sunset orange. Drop in a base like ammonia and see the pigment transform into a deep shade of purple.

Cool, right?

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There is always something to learn at McWane Science Center. Photo via McWane Science Center

It’s all about those acids and bases at this program, scheduled for:

  • Oct. 14, 15, 19 – 12:30p.m.
  • Oct. 18 – 1:30p.m.
  • Oct. 20 – 11:30p.m.

*Event schedule is subject to change. Please call ahead at 205.714.8300.

Lightning Strikes

Electrify your curiosity at the Lightening Strikes program, taking place at McWane Science Center’s Rushton Science Theater.

Home to a Van de Graaff Generator—an electrostatic machine which uses a moving belt to accumulate extremely high voltages on a hollow metal globe—during your visit to the Rushton Theater, you’ll discover all about how lightning strikes.

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Lightning and explosions at McWane Science Center. Photo via McWane Science Center

See the Lightning Strike during the program, scheduled for:

  • Oct. 14 – 2:30p.m.
  • Oct. 16, 18 – 11:30a.m.
  • Oct. 20 – 4:30p.m.

*Event schedule is subject to change. Please call ahead at 205.714.8300.

Leaf Chromatography

The leaves are beginning to change colors across Birmingham. What better way to celebrate fall than with some leaf fun during McWane Science Center’s Leaf Chromatography program?

During this workshop, you’ll learn how to separate a mixture of pigments from the leaves into their individual parts.

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Future scientist at work at McWane Science Center. Photo via McWane Science Center

Check out Leaf Chromatography, scheduled for:

  • Oct. 14 – 1:30p.m.
  • Oct. 15, 17, 19-20 – 10:30a.m.
  • Oct. 16 – 12:30p.m.
  • Oct. 18 – 2:30p.m.

*Event schedule is subject to change. Please call ahead at 205.714.8300.

Birmingham, McWane Science Center, science, Earth Science Week, Earth sciences
McWane Science Center is the perfect place for families. Photo via McWane Science Center

Explore All Things Earth Science

Take part in Earth Science Week, happening October 14-20, when you visit McWane Science Center, located at 200 19th St. N., Birmingham, AL 35203.

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