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Family STEAM night slithers into museum

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Alison Penn Photo A local herpetologist shares information about cellular mutations and allows visitors to get hands-on experience with ball pythons — and compare Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli.

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Amanda Nicholson, curator of education, described the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) activities at the Roswell Museum and Arts Center on Thursday night.

“All this came to be last year,” Nicholson said. “When I started I had a couple of goals for where I wanted the education department to go. One of them is that I wanted to try a Family STEAM Night because we have the science collection, we have the planetarium and we have the art. In education right now, combining the arts with the science, technology, engineering, art and math — it’s a big thing. I wanted to be able to provide free opportunities for families and children to come and get excited about these concepts and learn that they are fun. They can play a huge board game and learn about statistics, chance and probability. They can learn about cellular mutations by holding snakes and talking to an actual herpetologist. It’s making that fun and sparking that interest, so it’s really all about the community.”

Caroline Brooks, executive director of the Roswell Museum and Art Center, said Thursday night’s event had 100 volunteers and that the museum is planning a similar event in the fall. For the fall event, Brooks said the museum received $10,000 in a grant from the Science Festival Alliance and Xcel Energy offered to match the amount.

For this event, New Mexico Military Institute, Leprino Foods, the Girl Scouts, and Roswell High Schools student council also volunteered. Sponsors were as follows: National STEM Informational Education Network, the RMAC Foundation, Science Festival Alliance, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

 

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