JMM Insights: What’s A Wondernaut?

It’s hard to believe, but it was less than three weeks ago (March 5) when the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in Maryland. That very afternoon I held an impromptu meeting with Paige and Rachel to start working on a digital companion to our upcoming Jews in Space exhibit, to be prepared to serve the families and school children who rely on JMM as a resource for informal learning. With the support of the whole JMM team, they have come up with an outstanding concept and prepped it for initial roll-out in just 20 days!

And the best part is that there is no age limit on these activities. So even if you can barely remember 4th grade, you might take a stab at a few of these activities and even earn a badge or two of your own. We won’t judge.



The Jewish Museum of Maryland invites you on a grand adventure: Wondernauts 2020!

Wondernauts 2020 explores the Wonders of Space. Inspired by Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit exhibit, we will dive into challenges about everything from ancient star patterns to famous firsts in space science, to the imaginings of writers and artists picturing a distant future. We’ll even be observing our own skies!

Throughout our journey we will face challenges and tasks that will ask us to think hard, think creatively, and consult the world around us. As we complete these challenges, we’ll earn badges to mark our success.

Our Wondernaut activities are perfect for a variety of ages and a whole lot of fun for the whole family – not just those in the house with you, but those you’re hanging out with across the digital divide! We’ve made sure to include activities at all different skill levels and needing a minimal amount of materials.

And don’t worry, not all the activities require you to sit in front of a computer! We’re making all the activities available as pdf downloads and will mark the ones that don’t require a computer or electricity, to make them easy to find.

A science fiction lover? You might like to try our Design a Sci-Fi Cover and Create a New Planet activities!

More of a history buff? Check out the Mapping Historic Skies activity!

Perhaps you’ve got a small astronaut-in-training at home – check out our Build a Space Probe and Searching for Galaxies activities! (And don’t forget to Design Your Own Space Helmet.)

We’ll be posting activities and badges on a weekly (and sometimes daily!) basis, so we’ll be adding a section to this weekly JMM Insights newsletter highlighting what’s new for our Wondernauts.

And of course we’ll share these new additions on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr) as well.

Are you ready to become a Wondernaut?


In the last week, we have all used some of our time for passionate reflection. In yesterday’s post, Tracie’s passion for social justice comes through in her very thoughtful review of a book I mentioned last week (Eric Goldstein’s The Price of Whiteness).

Flip back to Monday, and you’ll see my post about passion for Passover. Go back to last Friday and there’s a summary post about last December’s Great Jewish Bake Off likely that’s likely to bring out a passion for cookies even among the most disciplined of us.


That’s right, Esther’s Place: The JMM Shop is now selling online.

We’ve got a limited inventory of some of our favorite products, including our JMM branded swag and items perfect for Passover.

Don’t see something you’re interested in? Contact Shop Manager Chris Sniezek at and let us know.


The Peale Center:

Remembering the Maryland Women’s Suffrage Movement
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 12:00pm

Maryland women played an important role in the passage of the 19th Amendment. Kacy Rohn will discuss her research providing new insight into the statewide suffrage movement.

Boston Jewish Film: 2020 ReelAbilities

Once Upon a Boy
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 7:00pm

Ron is intelligent, charming and full of life, but every day, his movements are increasingly limited by cerebral palsy. The film follows this remarkable family’s struggles as the parents do everything in their power to raise three children who are happy with their lot, despite the unfathomable gap between them.

JWA Quarantine Book Club

I Want You To Know We’re Still Here
Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 8:00pm

Join author Esther Safran Foer for a virtual discussion on her memoir I Want You To Know We’re Still Here.


Development Director Tracey Dorfmann is finishing up Wild Ones: a Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in AmericaJon Mooallem explores the relationship Americans have with indigenous animals in our natural habitats.

This straightforward exploration of the wildlife conservation movement in America is a must-read for animal lovers. A different perspective on the wild species that reside in the United States of America along with humans. You will look at animals as diverse as the Polar bear and the Butterfly through brand new optics. Truly an eye-opener and an important read.

Next up for Tracey? The 1952 masterpiece about the nature of bigotry, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.

What are you reading this week? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!


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