‘Secrets of Circles’ rolls into Long Island Children’s Museum
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“We work together to create exhibits that respond to all communities,” says LICM spokesperson Maureen Mangan. “This exhibit was especially attractive to us because it has such a strong STEM component, which is so central to what’s happening in schools right now.”
“Secrets of Circles” was designed to intrigue a wide range of ages, as well as visitors from different backgrounds. Since San Jose has a large Vietnamese community, that culture is reflected throughout the exhibit’s different stations, including the tri-lingual descriptive signage (English, Spanish and Vietnamese). The rich colors, bamboo plywood, eco-friendly building materials, and cultural and historical artifacts within the exhibit represent people and circles from around the world and over time.
Families will leave the museum understanding, LeBlanc says, that “seeing circles is an everyday occurrence. A circular wheel makes a cart move easier, and they use circular shapes to build bridges. Circles are in every part of life.”
The exhibit has been designed, Mangan explains, so that visitors can “look, feel and then try do it yourself.” To that end, museumgoers will have a chance to:
* Look for circles in the colorful international marketplace fruit stand, in the shade of the Vietnamese boat you paddle, and in the umbrellas and hats that provide shelter.
* Draw a perfect circle — one that glows in the dark — using mathematical techniques familiar to artists and engineers.
* Place reflective shapes on a large turntable and set it spinning. The random placement is transformed into a beautiful pattern, captured by an overhead camera. Change the placement and the pattern changes.
* Build gear contraptions and put those circles to work turning the hands of a clock, a music box ballerina and a drill.
* Set three colorful lights, like the spokes of a wheel all connected to the same center point, all whirling, and discover how three circles of different sizes are then created..
* Find out how moving points can make circles when you move glowing circles to create a cylinder, a sphere, or even a torus.