Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Julie's Journal 5/24/2010

Julie Johnson is the new Director of the Detroit Children's Museum under its new association with the Detroit Science Center. Julie will be blogging her thoughts as she works toward the reopening of this Detroit institution! Here is her ninth post:

Wow! What a wonderful weekend with our visitors at the DCM. We had 164 visitors this past Saturday. We eagerly read the surveys and are trying to incorporate some of the suggestions you made. We are busy improving and expanding the exhibits this week. We can't wait to share the latest changes and updates when we open at the end of June.

The past 2 months have flown by as we prepare to open the Children's Museum. We have worked on so many different things from behind-the-scenes chaos of computers, phones, and security systems, to hiring staff and making sure the building is clean, safe, and inviting. We have also been busy removing artifacts that had been in the cases since last summer, searching the collection to bring out pieces that may bring memories of years ago, reinstalling Silverbolt, moving cases, working with teachers on the lending collection for their multicultural days to adding donated displays and so much more. None of this would be possible without the help of the entire DCM staff and a little help from our friends at the Science Center. They are awesome!

We are working feverishly to finalize the remaining areas of the Children's Museum that were not quite finished at this last open house. We can't wait to show off all of the wonderful artifacts, hands-on activities, new planetarium shows and programs. Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to visit the DCM at our Open Houses this spring. We hope to see all of you this summer.

Dinosaurs Rule! A post by guest blogger Kelly Fulford

Our staff might love the Science Center, but so do their kids! Our very own Kelly Fulford, VP of Sales & Marketing, took her son Hayden to the Detroit Children's Museum open house this past Saturday. She shares that experience with you here, along with some great pictures of her dino-lovin' son:

In the land of the five-year-old boy, the dinosaur is king. And so my son Hayden and I set off to the Detroit Children’s Museum community open house last Saturday in search of the prehistoric creatures that never fail to captivate and delight.

Upon entering, the first exhibit we encountered was an Andrewsarchus skull. Cool, but not a dinosaur. Next we stopped to look at the model houses (“Look mom, they’re eating pizza!”), ancient masks and Civil War relics. Also cool…but still not a dinosaur.

Finally we turned the corner and found the one object that was a “must see” on this trip – a model of Triceratops, or a “three horn” for all you parents who have suffered through that series of dinosaur movies that must not be named. We also found some nice displays with dinosaur pictures, and the leg bones of a dinosaur and a mammoth.

Amazingly all dinos were forgotten once Hayden caught sight of Champ the Tiger. While Champ is a “no touch” exhibit, there was a nearby display of animal pelts that the kids could feel, including skunk fur (“yuck!”), and an educational board that showed us which animals have fur, feathers, skin or scales. The animal theme continued as Hayden joined a group of other kids building a zoo using blocks and toy animals. And in the puppet theater, Hayden got to be an elephant, one of his favorites.

All animals aside, we also got to look at crystals and rocks under a magnifying glass. Hayden insisted that the red rock must be from a volcano, of which there was a model nearby. We also looked at books together and checked out the computer stations. After an hour-and-a-half, we never did make it to the art area, but we have to save something for next time, right?

And there definitely will be a next time, because in the next few weeks leading up to its June 26 grand re-opening, the Detroit Children’s Museum will be bringing out more artifacts, creating more hands-on activities and guess what? Adding more dinosaurs! And every few months, they’ll bring out more new things for us to see from their collection of over 100,000 artifacts.

So while we started out in search of dinosaurs, we found so much more…and we can’t wait to see what’s next.

Kelly Fulford

Hayden’s Mom and VP of Sales & Marketing for the Detroit Science Center

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Julie's Journal 5/4/10

Julie Johnson is the new Director of the Detroit Children's Museum under its new association with the Detroit Science Center. Julie will be blogging her thoughts as she works toward the reopening of this Detroit institution! Here is her eighth post:

Thanks to all our wonderful visitors and loyal followers of our blog. We have been very busy this past week or so rearranging, fixing, and setting up new gallery spaces. We have removed all of the artifacts in the cases in the main gallery and are cleaning and repairing any fixtures etc that need it. We are bringing out of storage some dioramas to place on the main floor which needs some ‘tender loving care’ from our exhibit shop before they will be open for viewing. We will be adding several more pieces soon and hope to have most of the display cases filled in time for our next Open House for May 22.

We have also been working very hard on the latest requests from schools regarding our lending collection. This is very exciting as we get to see the students enjoy the artifacts at their schools. We are looking forward to extending this out to all schools in the area.

We hope to see you soon.