Monthly Archives: March 2014

The History Behind St. Patrick’s Day

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green. But who was St. Patrick?

Born in Britain during the 4th century, St. Patrick was kidnapped and enslaved by Irish raiders when he was a teenager. Although he was able to escape after six years and become a priest in Britain, he later chose to return to Ireland as a missionary, in order to help spread the teachings of Christianity to pagans. According to Irish folklore, he also used a shamrock to explain the Christian concept of Trinity to the Irish. In spite of continuous opposition from pagan leaders, he continued to evangelize for thirty years while baptizing newly converted Christians and establishing monasteries, churches, and schools. He died on March 17th and was canonized by the local church.

St. Patrick’s Day was first publicly celebrated in Boston in 1737 where a large population of Irish immigrants resided. Nearly 200 years later, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931. During the mid 90’s, the Irish government also began a campaign to promote tourism in Ireland on March 17th.

St. Patrick’s Day has slowly evolved to become a celebration of Irish heritage. Through the years, along with legendary shamrocks, many symbols were included in festivities that are reflective of Ireland’s folklore, culture and national identity such as leprechauns, ethnic cuisine and wearing green. Other places that join in on this celebration include Japan, New Zealand, Argentina and Canada, along with many cities across the United States.

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Field Trip Forecast for Mar 13th-31st

Field Trip Forecast for Mar 13th-31st

Mar 13th: 39 children, 10-12 pm
Mar 14th: 34 children, 10-12 pm
Mon, Mar 17th: Museum OPEN for St. Patrick’s Day, 10-5 pm
Mar 18th: Group Free Tuesdays
Mar 19th: 53 children, 10-12 pm
Mar 20th: 12 children, 10-12 pm
Mar 21st: 16 children, 10-12:30 pm
Mar 25th: Group Free Tuesday
Mar 26th: 45 children, 10-12 pm
Mar 27th: None
Mar 28th: 40 children, 10-12 pm

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Daylight Savings Time

What is Daylight Savings Time and where did it come from?

In the spring, the clock moves ahead (losing one hour) when Daylight Savings Time starts, and falls back one hour (gaining one hour) when Daylight Savings Time ends in the fall. To remember which way the clock goes, keep in mind one of these sayings: “Spring forward, fall back” or “spring ahead, fall behind.”

The History Behind It
During the First World War, Germany instituted a daylight saving program to save power. They ordered everyone to set their clocks ahead by one hour. Doing this made it so that it was light longer into the evening, saving their country energy in the form of electricity.

The invention of Daylight Savings Time was mainly credited to William Willett in 1905 when he came up with the idea of moving the clocks forward in the summer to take advantage of the daylight in the mornings and the lighter evenings. His proposal suggested moving the clocks 20 minutes forward each of four Sundays in April, and switching them back by the same amount on four Sundays in September.

The DST schedule in the US was revised several times throughout the years, in which the DST schedule period lasted for about seven months from 1987 to 2006. The current schedule began in 2007, where Daylight Savings Time starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Experiment!

How Does It Work?
Water is denser than oil and the two liquids never mix. So when the water moves, it pushes the oil around, making shapes like waves. Take a look at what happens when the 2 are combined!

What You Will Need:
Clear bottle/jar with lid
Water
Blue food coloring
Glitter (optional)
Cooking or baby oil
Plastic floating toys

Instructions:

 

 

 

1. Fill the bottle/jar halfway with water

 

 

 

 

 

2. Add drops of food coloring until you like the color you see

3. Shake in a little glitter

 

 

 

 

 

4. Pour in oil until the jar is three-quarters full

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Place a floating toy on top of the oil, then screw on the lid tightly

6. Shake the jar gently to set your ocean in motion

 

 

Check out other great experiments on National Geographic Kids! These awesome illustrations come from the the blog of the Austin Children’s Museum!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

 

Dr. Seuss’s 110th birthday was March 2nd! In honor of this wonderful man, we have an entire post dedicated to his classic work.

Dr. Seuss was born in Massachusetts and attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1925.  He was an American writer, poet and cartoonist and was best known for the children’s books he wrote and illustrated.

 

Fun Facts about Seuss:

1. Dr. Seuss’s real name was Seuss’ real name: Theodor Seuss Geisel

2. During World War II, Seuss served as the commander of the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces.

 

3. Seuss’ first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was rejected by publishers 27 times.

4. Dr. Seuss’s honors include: two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the Pulitzer Prize.

 

5. He wrote Green Eggs and Ham on a dare. Seuss’s publisher bet that Seuss couldn’t write a book using only 50 different words. In an effort to make learning to read more exciting for kids, he wrote a silly tale about a picky eater (a common complaint of many parents) and a fellow who won’t take “No” for an answer. The result? Green Eggs and Ham.

 

6. Seuss wrote and illustrated 44 children’s books. These books have been translated into more than 15 languages and have sold over 200 million copies around the world.