Holiday Vacation Programs 2011

Eli Whitney Museum

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  • The Museum offers a day long (9am – 3pm) program to enrich the hours of the school holidays. This year, December 27th, 28th and 29th.
  • Before and after care (7:30 am – 5:30 pm) is available at $7 per hour.
  • Per day: $59 ($55 for members)

Click on each program for complete information and link to registration.

A Day With Clay


Try your hand at the Wheel. Olivia Mahler-Haug, the designer of our Micro Pottery classes will open the world of micro-pottery for new and experienced students. There are three ways to join the class. 1. If you have a wheel already from one of our summer classes, bring it in. We'll help you tune it up. 2. Or borrow one of our wheels for the day. 3. Or buy one of the new wheels as a holiday gift (additional cost $35). You can then use this same wheel in a summer class if you wish.

Class includes: a set of batteries, clay, a firing that will allow you to pick up the finished work on Friday.

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On every continent, people have created games of tiles and numbers that belong to the family of Dominoes. Paint a classic 28 piece domino set, plus a sampling of Inuit bones. Construct a box to store them. Learn to play games and puzzles from aournd the world. Then join into teams to create a great falling domino cascade. Construct and collect tracks and tricks to guide your domino acrobats.

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Hacking Neil Downie: Good Vibrations


Vacuum Bazookas, Electric Rainbow Jelly* is Neil Downie's first volume of brilliant designs for experimental science. Create a control box and a variable vibration motor. Experiment with it in four of Downie's projects: the elegant Hovering Rings, a new more flexible version of the Vibrocraft, the quirky Of Morse and Men (electric pencil) and the stubborn Gravity Reversal. We'll build the components in the morning and divide into four separate workshops to redesign and experiment in the afternoon.

*Available at the Museum. Retail $27.95. $20 with this class.©2001, Princeton University Press.
A great Holiday gift. A libretto to the math and science of our winter science series.

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MicroCupcakes: the Art and Science.


Cupcakes are the sweetheart of culinary invention. Their scale is perfect for experiment. And ours are an even more perfect scale. Concoct traditional and innovative batters. Bake. Decorate for flavor, for art, for fun. Create and test all-natural colorings. Construct a cupcake Tree. Perform baking science and flavor chemistry experiments. Sample your work. Bring home a treat for your family. Not recommended for children with food allergies.

Executive Chef: Karen Lenahan
Food Scientist: Mark Wesolowski
Sustainability Chef: Hillary Perrone
Chemical Engineer: Forrest Gittleson

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Mystery Parade


An ancient custom for closing the old year and wakening a new one inspired parades of Masquerade and Mischief. Mummers in the North Lands, Rhymers in England, Jonkonnu in West Africa and the Bahamas. And they have made their way into our culture's celebrations from coast to coast. Outrageous costumes let normally quiet folks slip into a secret identity and revel. Construct a Revel-bot, a marching figure whose wooden limbs come to life with beads, feathers, foil and frippery. We'll travel Google Earth to admire and master these traditions of whimsy.

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Noticing Neptune


499 years ago on the night of December 28th, the astonishing Galileo Galilei fixed his new telescope on Jupiter whose moons he had discovered. An unexpected speck of light transfixed his eye. Some 230 years later, modern astronomers realized that Galileo had noticed the 8th planet…Neptune. Construct a Galileoscope, a working model of the telescope Galileo used. Use your telescope to learn just how keen Galileo's eye was. Discover how an iPhone or iPad can direct your eye (iPhone and iPad not included). Construct a stand for your telescope which becomes a model of the planets. Make a model of Voyager 2. Take a day to know Neptune.

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Stop Action


A two day class (Tuesday and Wednesday) to learn the techniques of stop motion animation and the art of storytelling in a small space.

Tuesday you will develop your story (either in teams or individually) and plan it out. Then begin to shoot your vision with our cameras attached to our IMacs. Then, use IMovie to edit your masterpiece. And in the meantime, for inspiration, watch these two stop motion animated films – they are just amazing. First, the world's smallest animated movie shot with a Nokia cell phone: and, Gulp, the world's largest stop-motion animation set, shot on a Nokia cell phone: Enjoy.

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