Beachwatch 2013 - a great success
On Saturday 21st September Amgueddfa Cymru ran their annual Beachwatch event. This involved fantastic family science activities in the morning attended by 41 members of the public and seven members of staff. Participants looked at strandline and rockpool animals and seaweeds as well as fossilised corals and snails. Inspired by the fossils and shells that they had seen, the children went on to create wonderful pieces of artwork using Plaster of Paris on the wet sand of the beach.
After lunch, the volunteers gathered to clean the beach and do a litter survey recording all the items they found. The beach clean was attended by 59 volunteers including many of the families from the morning activities.
The results will be sent to the Marine Conservation Society who will collect the data from this beach and hundreds of other UK beaches that were cleaned this weekend. As well as making the beach safer for people and marine life, the Marine Conservation Society also use the data to find out where beach litter comes from and contribute to marine conservation.
As you can see from the photo we found a lot of rubbish including 9 tyres, half a canoe and a traffic cone! A huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers, Ogmore Beach now looks even more beautiful!
3 days to Beachwatch!
BEATCHWATCH – Saturday 21 September
10.30am – 12pm. Amgueddfa Cymru staff will be running fun family activities for the public to help them learn about the biology and geology of Ogmore beach. They will be looking at rock pools, strandlines, rocks and fossils along the shore.This year we will also have a fun ART activity involving plaster of paris and seashells. These morning activities are now fully booked, but you can still come along in the afternnoon to help out with the beach clean.
1pm – 2.30pm. Help with the Marine Conservation Society’s annual beach clean (Open to all).
Where: Ogmore Beach, Vale of Glamorgan. Meeting on the beach at Ogmore beach car park – down the ramp in front of the lifeguard centre.
Suitable for all ages, hope to see you there.
A batty summer at St Fagans!
I don’t know about you, but I cannot believe how quickly August flew by! It seems as if it was only yesterday that schools were breaking up, but now it is already time for us to welcome school visits again for a brand new school year!
This summer was slightly different for myself in St Fagans. Due to the redevelopment project we have lost use of the Tŷ Gwyrdd eco house, so our summer events this year had a slightly more nomadic feel than normal! It was nice to visit other parts of the museum and to explore some of the wildlife found in different places.
In total this summer, around 1000 people took part in a variety of nature activities within the museum, from minibeast bug hunts in the woods to our very popular twilight bat walks around the site.
The summer began with us re-opening the bird hide at its new location near Hendre Wen barn. After initial worries of whether we would attract similar numbers of birds as the previous location, I was very relieved after spending 30 minutes in the hide and spotting 11 different species. Hopefully we will continue to attract such a wide variety of birds to our feeders. The bird hide is open every day, so on your next visit be sure to pop in and see what you spot!
In August we had a bit of a bat scare at the Tannery. The Tannery building is home to a roost of rare Lesser Horseshoe bats. A small electrical fire broke out one morning in the room directly below the roof space where the bats normally roost. Thankfully a quick response from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service ensured that the fire did not spread. Luckily, the bats had flown to an area of the building unaffected by the fire. The story even made it onto the BBC website! Thanks to Anwen for the pictures!
The bats have now returned to their normal roosting spot and they seem to have been largely unaffected by the event. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for our bat camera which is situated in the building. A combination of smoke and water damage means that we will have to replace the camera, which we will be doing as soon as possible!
Bats at St Fagans seem to be going from strength to strength. We have 11 of the 18 British species known roosting within the museum grounds, including the elusive Nathusius Pipistrelle bat which has been found roosting in 2 of our buildings. Previous to this, there were only 2 known roosting locations for this species in the whole of Wales. This story also made the news recently!
This year we held 3 Twilight Batwalks, all of which booked up well in advance. Thanks to all who came and apologies to anyone who tried to book but were unable to! Next year we are planning on having 4 walks throughout August, with the possibility of more depending on demand! If you came on one of our batwalks, or took part in any nature events this summer, please let us know what you though, either by commenting here or sending an us an email!
Finally a big thanks to our new team of volunteers who helped out over the summer! Having an extra pair or two of hands during workshops and events is invaluable and means that we can offer a better experience to our visitors. I look forward to working with you again in the near future!
They're flying reptiles ... (not dinosaurs!)
Our penultimate family activity has gone down really well, with grown ups and children really getting into this simple activity. Hundreds of visitors have been very creative with pipecleaners, cards and pegs as these photos show. And even more satisfying is that everyone has gone home with the clear learning message that while pterosaurs were alive at the same time as dinosaurs they were a different species entirely!
For even more photos of all our family activities visit our flickr page
Next week is the activity I'm most looking forward to, designing our own pop art inspired record sleeves. My only fear is that some visitors might not know what a record is so I'll be bringing in a record player and some of my records!
week one of summer 2013
It hasn't been our busiest week in terms of numbers but I can't blame our visitors for wanting to make the most of the lovely weather. Not being as frantic as we often are has meant that families have been able to spend a long time engaging with some lovely handling objects and learnt a lot about Bronze Age design. I have been tweeting pictures of people's creations every day, but here are two photos from the week.
Tomorrow we change activities to look at and make our own Bronze Age shields.
Also I wanted to mention a very exciting family treasure hunt we are running throughout the museum during the school holidays. Cardiff Bay Rotary Club have kindly donated some book tokens as prizes. Come and see us for more information.
Have a nice weekend
Gearing up for a summer of family learning activities
Here in the Clore Discovery Centre we've been running round like crazy preparing to deliver a busy programme of Family Learning workshops throughout the summer holidays. Starting on Saturday 20th July we'll be running a different workshop every week for six weeks.
Have a look at the photo below for a taste of what we (you!) will be creating!
Every workshop links to an exhibtion,display or collection at National Museum Cardiff. The schedule for the six weeks is:
Week 1 (July 20th - 26th)Dress to Impress Bronze Age Style Visit the Mold Cape for inspiration to create your own lunula
Week 2 (July27th - Aug 2nd) Dress to Impress Bronze Age Style Visit the Mold Cape for inspiration to create your own Bronze Age Shield
Week 3 (Aug 3rd - 9th) Fishing for the Future
Discover what you can do to protect the fish in our seas and make some fish-inspired art to take home.
Week 4 (Aug 10th - 16th) Mughal India
Make your own story inspired by work in the exhibition.
Week 5 (Aug 17th - 23rd) Flying Lizards
Find out more about Pterosaurs and make a flying lizard to take home.
Week 6 (Aug 24th - Sept 1st) Pop Art
Make your own vinyl album cover inspired by works of art from the ‘Swinging Sixties’.
These workshops will happen in the Clore Discovery Centre between 11am and 4pm
They are free, and are drop in sessions which means places may be limited at times! But worry not, we have a gallery full of awe inspring museum objects for you to explore through handling, as well as plenty of trails and worksheets.
Hope to see you during the Summer!
Dont forget to follow @cloreexplorer
Beans on Toast
3 primary schools took part in activities exploring the new Beans on Toast exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff last week.
Pupils from Windsor Clive Primary School, Trelai Primary School and Ysgol Wirfoddol Abergwili explored where in the world our food comes from and how we can make sustainable choices about the food we buy. They then worked with an artist to create a 'World Food Stall' display to encourage discussion on the issues of food security back in school.
Funding was received to work with the artist through the British Ecological Society.
The exhibition will be open until 29 September 2013. Contact the Learning Department 029 2057 3240 if you would like to take part in future activities.
Rhondda Super Scientists
Williamstown Primary School pupils, in the Rhondda Valleys, were awarded first place amongst the sixty three Welsh schools taking part in the Museum's Spring Bulbs for Schools investigation this year.
The class of Super Scientists won a fun-packed nature trip to St Fagans: National History Museum where they were awarded certificates. As part of the day trip they studied newts, looked for mini-beasts, watched bats and built giant nests in the woodland!
Professor Plant: ''They all had a great day and should be very proud of how they represented their school. The standard was very high this year, the schools are getting better and better at recording and logging their data. Williamstown did extremely well with their recording and really got involved in the project from the start last November until the end in the spring - which came very late this year!"
Alison Hall, Teacher at Williamstown Primary: "The pupils said it was the best day out they had ever had - they loved viewing the bat roost in particular! In terms of the investigation, the children have have loved the whole process from planting and recording to measuring and waiting for the first bloom to appear. It has been great for improving their science, numeracy and ICT skills. We are now really enthused about nature and the environment and are keen to set-up more outdoor investigations in our school grounds".
If you would like to take part in this project next term - please complete the on-line application form: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/1738/
To see our teacher evaluation report - follow this link: https://scan.wufoo.com/reports/spring-bulbs-for-schools-evaluation-report/
As you can see from the evaluation question below the project is very cross-curricular:
We need you - have your say!
We’re very excited about our newest specimen on display here in the Clore Discovery Centre –an ichthyosaur skull that was found not far from here at Lavernock (near Penarth).
The skull is going to be on display throughout the summer and this is where you come in.
Instead of us writing an information panel based on what we know about the specimen, we’d rather find out what you would like to know.
So over the next couple of months come into the museum, investigate the specimen and leave your suggestions for what you’d like to discover about the ichthyosaur in the ballot box we’ve set up in the Clore Discovery Centre.
We’ve also got some exciting family workshops lined up where we’ll be learning more about the Jurassic seas that our Ichthyosaurs lived in.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @cloreexplorer
Saturday 6th July 2pm
Sunday 7th July 2pm
Saturday 13th July 2pm
what i've been up to...
I've been pretty quiet blog-wise but not work wise! Oriel 1 is now shut so I've been taking my art and craft activities further afield, trying out different locations on the site in St Fagans: National History Museum and going to Hay festival, Tafwyl, as well as doing some outreach work with schools.
Our quilting club is still going and our next meeting will be on 20 July and will be all day! from 11 until 1 and 2 until 4 (though you are welcome to just come along for some of it). I have also started up a knit and sew group, it's just a chance to come along and meet new people and exchange ideas and the next one of those is on 28 September from 11 until 1.
To keep up to date with what we're up to quilt and craft wise, have a look at our facebook page
We've also taken part in a few Craftivism projects and hope to do more of those over the next few months too. Again, there's a facebook page for that, although we don't just meet in the museum and take part in lots of other events!
And the other newish thing that I've been involved with is the St Fagans book group (yep, there's a facebook page for that too) which meets every month (next meeting 20 july) to discuss novels that have links with the site or have links with Wales. We also invite speakers to come and give us some context for the books too - so, for instance, when we read 'The Rebecca Rioter' by Amy Dillwyn, Sioned Hughes (curator: Politics, Trade and Religion) talked to us about the Tollhouse in St Fagans, when we 'read' (I'm yet to finish it) 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' by Hemingway, Heulwen Thomas talked to us about the Welsh links with the Spanish Civil War, and last meeting when we disussed 'The Hill of Dreams' by Arhtur Machen, writer and Machenite Catherine Fisher talked to us about Machen's life and times. The current book we are reading is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and we'll then be joined by Dr Madeleine Gray who'll be giving her historical take on the novel whilst we visit the church.
If you are interested in getting involved with any of these things please let me know! my email address is email@example.com and I'd love to hear from you.
I have to get back to my crochet bunting now!
Peregrines on the Clock Tower