January 27, 2006

Museum plans interactive programs for kids

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will entertain kids and their parents with a series of special, interactive programs during the spring semester.

The programs, which will take place both inside the museum at Faner Hall and out in the field, include sculpture, mural-making and fossil hunting, to name a few. The programs get under way in February.

The museum scheduled five Saturday programs, aimed at children and an accompanying adult, beginning Feb. 18. Its Learning Adventures series, aimed at children ages 6 to 14 accompanied by parents, are set for April 1 and April 8.

A complete listing of the programs follows:

• University Museum Saturday Programs: These programs run from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the University Museum, located on the ground floor at the north end of Faner Hall on the SIUC campus. Programs are limited to about 15 participants. Call 618/453-5388 to pre-register.

Feb. 18: Giant Robot Sculpturemania

Participants will begin by looking at and making sculpture in the Sculpturama Challenges. They will finish by making abstract robot sculptures 7 feet tall using Styrofoam and Velcro.

March 4: Mural Fantastica

Participants create a mixed media mural using photographs, photocopies, images they take at the museum, and their imaginations. Each participant will take part of the mural home.

March 25: 2nd Annual More Than Just A Scavenger Hunt Challenge

Participants will find objects, meet challenges and reap rewards. And, of course, they will create the Museum News: Scavenger Hunt Edition.

April 8: Peculiar Portraits, Looney Landscapes, and More

Participants will take portraits of each other and will combine these with their own drawing to come up with something completely different. They will create Looney landscapes in the same way.

May 20: SIUC PlantQuest

Intrepid young scientists will tour the SIUC campus to create their own botany journal.

• University Museum Learning Adventures: Participants gather at the University Museum before heading into the field. Participants should wear long pants and bring a hammer and sturdy plastic bag if possible. Call 618/453-5388 to pre-resister.

April 1: Fossil Hunts 1&2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Participants travel to Vienna and Carterville to search for fossils. Cost per adult/child pair is $20, plus $8 per additional child. The cost is $12 for adults registering as individuals. Price includes cost of materials.

April 8: Fossil Collection Workshop, 10 a.m. to noon

Cost is $5 per student (no cost for fossil hunt students). Bring your own fossils and work with fossils from the museum’s learning collection. Students in this workshop will learn how to preserve, organize, and display their fossils.

Offering education and training activities for a variety of pre-adult age groups is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.