Getting a New View: How To Build Your Own Stereoscope

Posted on February 12th, 2014 by

Hello Folks,

Here in the Education Department at the Jewish Museum of Maryland we’ve come up with a fun and creative way to construct a Stereoscope.  What’s a Stereoscope, you say?   Well, a stereoscope is a mechanical tool used to view images that are side-by-side depicting a scene as seen independently by the right eye and left eye.  These types of images are known as stereoscopic.

The first stereoscope was invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1838. Image via.

The first stereoscope was invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1838. Image via.

The Stereoscope that you may be more familiar with and the two that we have in our exhibit  Passages Through the Fire Jews and the Civil War look more like this one.  Image via.

The Stereoscope that you may be more familiar with and the two that we have in our exhibit Passages Through the Fire Jews and the Civil War look more like this one. Image via.

Stereoscopes brought the images to life.  Giving the viewer a sample of the subject in 3D.  What we’ve done is somewhat modernized the device using simple and inexpensive materials. Check out the images below to construct your very own! You can also download the instructions as a PDF HERE: Stereoscope How To.

StereoscopeHowTo

StereoscopeHowTo

StereoscopeHowTo

 

Sean SchumacherA blog post from Museum Educator Sean Schumacher. To read more posts from Sean, click HERETo read more education related posts, click HERE.

 

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National History Day

Posted on January 15th, 2014 by

Typically every week, the education staff gets many requests to schedule school group visits to the Museum.  Over the past week, in addition to field trip requests, – we have had several requests from schools to participate as judges at the schools’ upcoming National History Day competitions.  Over the years we have been invited by schools to  participate, but I thought it was kind of unusual that in the past week, three separate schools have reached out to the JMM to be judges at their school’s National History Day competition.

nhd

http://www.nhd.org/ 

I wondered what would be involved – being a judge ….. it just sounds so OFFICIAL.

So, I did some investigating about National History Day.  National History Day (NHD) is a highly regarded academic program for elementary and secondary school students.     National History Day makes history come alive for students by engaging them in the discovery of the historical, cultural and social experiences of the past.    NHD inspires students through exciting competitions and transforms teaching through project-based curriculum and instruction.  Each year, more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide participate in the NHD contest. Students choose historical topics related to a theme and conduct extensive primary and secondary research through libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews and historic sites.

Every year National History Day frames students’ research within a historical theme. The National History Day theme provides a focused way to increase student’s historical understanding by developing a lens to read history, an organizational structure that helps students place information in the correct context and finally, the ability to see connections over time. This year’s theme is Rights and Responsibilities in History.

In addition to discovering the exciting world of the past, National History Day also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • research and reading skills
  • oral and written communication and presentation skills
  • self esteem and confidence
  • a sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process

After analyzing and interpreting their sources and drawing conclusions about their topics’ significance in history, students present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. These products are entered into competitions in the spring at local, state and national levels where they are evaluated by professional historians and educators.

As a judge, for National History Day, each judge will be given a rubric and some “interview questions” for each student. Each judge will be given a set amount of students to interview and judge based on the final project.

The National History Day program culminates in the Kenneth E. Behring National Contest each June held at the University of Maryland at College Park. This is where the best National History Day projects from across the United States, American Samoa, Guam, International Schools and Department of Defense Schools in Europe all meet and compete. This year’s competition will be held on June 15 – 19. 

The education staff at the JMM is delighted to be asked by our partner schools to participate in such an exciting learning experience for area students.   It’s wonderful that history and social studies are being taught in our schools.  The fact that teachers bring their students to the JMM for field trip opportunities and attend professional development workshops only reinforces the importance of history museums in our community. It’s even more exciting that teachers view the Jewish Museum of Maryland as an important stakeholder in our community.

You can find out more about National History Day by visiting their website at http://www.nhd.org/ and more information about Maryland History Day here!

ileneA blog post by Education Director Ilene Dackman-Alon. To read more post by Ilene, click here.

 

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Mapping Jewish Community – A Hopkins Mini-Course

Posted on January 13th, 2014 by

Back in late November, I received an intriguing email from a history Phd candidate from Johns Hopkins University. She and another history grad student were putting together a mini course for JHU’s intercession, in which undergraduate students can take 3-week courses in a wide variety of topics that they wouldn’t necessarily get to explore in the normal semester. This particular mini course was to be about mapping Jewish community in Baltimore—and what better place to start then the Jewish Museum of Maryland?

New facade!

The JMM

The three of us and Ilene Dackman-Alon met to discuss the scope of the course and to see where we could help out.  It was ultimately decided that the class would have their first meeting here at the museum, where they would tour the synagogues and exhibits, and later on, back in their classroom, our living history character, Ida Rehr (played by Katherine Lyons), would come visit them.

Cover of the Voices of Lombard Street brochure

Voices of Lombard Street

Last Tuesday, the class arrived, eager to learn about the roots of Jewish Baltimore. Before beginning the tour, they took turns introducing themselves and explaining why they had signed up for the course. Many of the students came from mixed backgrounds—one Jewish parent—and so were curious about the history and culture from which they came. When the instructors—the grad students—introduced themselves, they talked about how their identities weren’t shaped just by their religion, but also by where in the country they grew up. One, who grew up in Viriginia, said she felt that she had the very specific identity of being a Southern Jew, while the other, who grew up in New York City, related strongly to the cultural identity of being a New York Jew. Listening to this conversation, Ilene and I couldn’t help but wish that the Chosen Food exhibit were still here!

LSS by Jono David

LSS by Jono David

The students enjoyed seeing the two historic synagogues and learning about the migration of the Jewish community within Baltimore. It’s great to see so many people who are interested in learning about the Jewish American experience and identity and that the JMM is viewed as an invaluable resource for schools of all kinds!

abby krolik copyA blog post by Visitor Services Coordinator Abby Krolik. To read more posts by Abby, click here.

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