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Second Wednesdays

Second Wednesdays

The State Museum of PA

Homeschool Programs

Second Wednesdays
10- 11:30am

Museum curators and educators will led the six Pennsylvania focused programs. Families will experience a guided gallery tour and a discussion about the day’s topic, then participate in a hands-on family activity. These programs will give your family an opportunity to engage with our museum’s staff, ask questions and work together. After the program, families may continue exploring more about the topic with a museum scavenger hunt. Staff will be available for Q & A before and after the program.  

Each program starts at 10am and is expected to last 1 1/2 hours.
Programs will be open for a limited number of participants. Registration and pre-payment is required.

Rates: $3 per person for members. $10 per person for non-members. At least one adult is required to register with each family. 

Deadline for registration is the day prior to each program. Call 717-772-6997 or email RA-PHGROUPS@PA.gov to register now.

2022-2023 SCHEDULE

October 12, 2022 Groovin with Stone Axes

For thousands of years, indigenous people in Pennsylvania built homes, made canoes and cleared forests with stone tools. These tools are often found buried in our landscape, and as artifacts they provide archaeologists with an opportunity to study the activities of people that lived long ago.

Join curators Janet Johnson, Melanie Mayhew and Liz Wagner from the Section of Archaeology, to complete STEAM activities and use archaeological methods to examine stone axe artifacts.

November 9, 2022 Woven Arts: Domesticity and Creativity

Throughout history many Pennsylvanians have woven coverlets, clothing, and other textiles for everyday use. Many present-day weavers use historic techniques to produce Fiber Art, a term applied to fiber-based creations appreciated for the beauty of the final product as well as the skillful production.  Historic and present-day weavers use mathematics, patterns, and color theory to create designs.

With Curator of Fine Arts, Amy Hammond, you will bridge centuries of weaving by comparing historic coverlets with the techniques and designs of four Pennsylvania artists featured in the Art of the State 2022 exhibition. Participants will use their own skills to weave a wall hanging of their own design.

December 14, 2022 Wetlands of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has more than 400,000 acres of wetlands. Wetlands function as natural sponges that trap and slowly release rain, snow melt and flood waters. Many animals and plants depend on wetlands for survival. More than one-third of the threatened and endangered species in North America live only in wetlands, and nearly one-half of them inhabit wetlands at some time in their lives.

Senior Curator of Zoology and Botany, Dr. Walter Meshaka, Jr. will discuss the importance of wetlands in Pennsylvania by viewing an urban wetland represented in Ecology Hall and the wetland habitat of the beaver pond on exhibit in Mammal Hall. Participants will get hands-on with a demonstration of how water runoff carries pollutants through a watershed, experiment with how wetlands filter pollutants and create a diorama of a wetland area in Pennsylvania.

January 11, 2023 Horse Power to Gas Power

Transportation in the United States today is slowly transitioning from gasoline to electric powered vehicles. Over a century ago, the country was undergoing a very different revolution in transportation energy from horse power to gasoline power.

History curators Dr. Curt Miner and Bob Hill will discuss this transition as it occurred in Pennsylvania through a new transportation display, “Horse Power to Gas Power.”  Participants will experiment with alternative transportation power sources by creating a wind powered car.

February 8, 2023 Pennsylvania’s Land and People

Pennsylvania is not one place but many. From 1870 to 1920, T.M. Fowler created panoramic views of cities and towns, including many in Pennsylvania.

Using these hand-drawn images, Senior Curator of History, Dr. Curt Miner will discuss how regionally-specific natural resources transformed Pennsylvania communities during the Industrial era. Using our Giant Map of Pennsylvania, participants will learn about the various regions within the Commonwealth that together define the place we call Pennsylvania and create a custom passport to “travel the state.”

March 15, 2023 William Penn’s Holy Experiment

William Penn’s “Holy Experiment” established the foundations for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania was created when England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn in 1681. The Pennsylvania State Archives preserves the original Charter in a high-security vault, shielding it from strong light and environmental fluctuations. A copy of this document is on display in Memorial Hall at the State Museum throughout the year.

Archivist Brett Reigh will discuss the history of the original 1681 Penn Charter and the research resources available at the Pennsylvania State Archives. Explore the process used to create the document, such as iron gall ink, quill pens, parchment paper and block printing, and then create your own document using similar techniques.

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