Muffins with Mom


Check out CMAC’s event calendar for details on other activities and programs so you don’t miss out on what’s going on at the museum!


Solar Panels

A solar panel is made up of many small solar cells. Each solar cell uses light to make electricity.

We see electricity at work every day. When a person turns on a lamp, electrons move through the cord and light up the bulb. That flow of electrons is electricity.

Solar cells use light to make electrons move. The cell is made up of two different layers that are stuck together. The first layer is loaded with electrons, so the electrons are ready to jump from this layer to the second layer. That second layer has some electrons taken away. It is ready to take in more electrons.

When the light hits an electron in the first layer, the electron jumps to the second layer. That electron makes another electron move, which makes another electron move, and so on. So the light started a flow of electrons, or electricity.

Solar cars have been developed in the last 20 years and are powered by energy provided from the sun. They get their power from flat solar panels on top, that take in the sun light. A solar powered vehicle can only run efficiently when the sun shines, although most vehicles of this type have a battery backup. Electricity is stored in the batteries when the sun is shining and this power can be used when sun light is restricted (when it’s cloudy).

History of Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s only natural to wonder where this widely popular and celebrated holiday originated and evolved.

The origin of the famous holiday goes back to the era of ancient Greek and Romans, although roots of Mother’s Day can also be traced back to the UK, where a celebration called ‘Mothering Sunday’ was held much before the day in honor of mothers were celebrated elsewhere in the world including the US.

However, the celebration of the Mother’s day as we see it today is thanks to two great woman named Julia Ward Howe and Anna Jervis.

Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe was an activist, writer and poet was the first to suggest the idea of an official celebration of the Mother’s Day. In her famous Mothers Day Proclamation, written in Boston in 1870 she wrote a passionate appeal to women and urged them to rise against war. Suggesting a day of honour for Mothers on June, she also initiated a Mothers’ Peace Day observance on the second Sunday in June. Her idea, backed by her relentless campaigns and calls for the official day later spread and replaced Mothers’ Peace Day.

Anna Jarvis
Anna Jarvis, who is often referred to as the ‘Mother of Mothers Day’ is considered to be the founder of the celebration in the US. The activist was inspired by her own mother Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis, who wanted to see the existence of Mother’s Day.

After much lobbying, campaigns and awareness programs, her hard work paid off. By 1911, almost all the states in the United States celebrated Mother’s day. On 8 May 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Present Day
Mother’s Day has endured. It serves now, as it originally did, to recognize the contributions of women. Mother’s Day, like the job of “mothering,” is varied and diverse. Perhaps that’s only appropriate for a day honoring the multiple ways women find to nurture their families, and the ways in which so many have nurtured their communities, their countries and the larger world.

Check out these websites for more history on Mother’s Day!
Mother’s Day: History & Origin
National Women’s History Project

It’s National Pet Week!

National Pet Week is May 4-10, 2014. Always the first full week in May, National Pet Week is dedicated to celebrating the more than 200 million pets that enrich our lives each and every day.

National Pet Week was created in 1981 by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the Auxiliary to the AVMA to honor the many important roles pets have in our lives and to promote responsible pet ownership. Whether companion, comedian, confidant or protector, our pets are always there for us and don’t ask much in return. National Pet Week celebrates this bond and encourages pet owners to be certain they provide their best friend with all they need for a happy, healthy life every week of the year.

Yahoo posted an article today on 10 Things Parents Should Do for Their Pets During National Pet Week, including:

Check out this website for a list of activities on National Pet Week for children in grades 1st-4th grade!

Be on the lookout for these upcoming programs!

Grow Your Own Garden

Children are natural gardeners. They’re curious, like to learn by doing and love to play in the dirt. Working in a garden a child can experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time, while observing the cycle of life firsthand.

Gardening gives children a chance to learn an important life skill, one that is overlooked in standard school curriculums. Gardening is also a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature.



If possible, let them have their own garden beds. Whether you use raised beds, containers or ground plots, be sure to give each child their own separate plot. Keep it small, very small for young kids. Put their plots right in the middle of the action, with the best soil and light and set them up for success.

Reuse the sandbox. If your children have grown past their sandbox years, consider converting the old sandbox to a garden bed. This gives them continued “ownership” of a familiar space and encourages a sense of responsibility to the gardening project.

Engage them through the entire process, from seed to table. Children learn better when they understand the context of their activity. They will learn that gardening  can be fun, but far more than idle play; they are contributing to the family well-being.

Start from seeds. While it’s a convenient shortcut to buy starters, children will learn more by seeing the growing process as it begins from seed. The care given to sprouting seeds and nurturing the young seedling are a valuable part of the gardening experience.



  • Plan what week you want to start and when you’ll end. Look to this great guide for the basics.
  • Make a list of the things you will need to keep your garden manageable.
  • Keep a garden journal to allow them to keep up with what’s happening in their garden.
  • Know that you can tell a seed very well by its package.
  • Know the tools of the trade – the tools you’ll need to garden.

Check out this website for a more detailed list of what to do and expect before starting your garden! For a guide to what types of vegetables or flowers to plant, check this link out – it gives a very helpful guide for 15 vegetables and 20 flowers down to history of the organism, to the best time of year to plant it, spacing and depth, special care and even harvesting!


Today is Earth Day!

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Networkand celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.


Earth Day is important. It educates us about what we have and what we are losing by acting in ways that aren’t environmentally friendly or energy efficient. Earth Day reminds us that we need to take action now to protect our environment before it’s too late.

Without it, some landmark accomplishments might never have happened, such as:

  • The establishment of Environmental Protection Agency in 1970
  • The Clean Air Act of 1970
  • The Clean Water Act of 1972
  • The Endangered Species Act of 1973
  • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976
  • The Federal Occupational Health and Safety Act aimed at “in-plant pollution”

Thanks to succeeding Earth Days, people have become more aware of the role that the environment plays in helping sustain life in this fragile world of ours and that we need to take an active role in protecting it. For instance, since that very first Earth Day in 1970, we now:

  • Practice recycling, which was nearly non-existent 40 years ago
  • Have alternative, energy efficient forms of energy, such as different types of light bulbs
  • In 1975, catalytic convertors became mandatory for all cars in the US; and now we have hybrids and the first electric cars that don’t use gasoline
  • SO2 emissions have dropped by 40%; acid rain levels in the US have decreased by 65% since 1976
  • Depletion of the ozone layer has been controlled

Check out these awesome websites & blogs for Earth Day crafts that you can do at home!
–  Handprints Around the World
–  Watercolor Earth inspired by this pin from Pinterest
–  Over 25 ideas for Earth Day crafts