Archive for January, 2013

Disability Affecting Explanations? My Second Weekend at Cosmo Caixa

Written by Cameron Harnish. Posted in Personal Reflections: Team 3

My second Saturday at the Cosmo Caixa evolution exhibit was pretty standard, as far as Saturdays at one of the worlds most interesting museums goes. I had the morning shift, which meant about forty-five minutes (starting at 11:00) of waiting around and having only about two or three people to explain things to. But right around 11:45, when everyone in the city has finished their morning croissants and are ready for a day of learning, the “traffic” around my exhibit went from three “early” birds (one of which asked me where the planetarium was) to a group of about three families. Once I got the ball rolling with one family, the other two started to follow me as I talked about, you guessed it, evolution. By the time I reached the point of my final explanation (the last tank of the exhibit) I felt like a legitimate tour guide/evolution specialist. Let me tell you, that experience alone made the whole Cosmo Caixa Explainers Program even more priceless.

I saw that throughout the process of spending four hours a weekend every weekend at my exhibit, you start to pick on little behavioral patterns by all of the animals in the five tanks; as well as noticing little shifts in those patterns. For example, I notice that the Lizard’s get shy around big crowds or that the piranhas always swim about eight centimeters above the bottom of the tank. After decent traffic at my exhibit, my two hours were up and I was headed for home. Little did I know that those two hours on January 26th at the Cosmo Caixa would be my last on two feet for a while.

Thanks to a foot injury, I arrived for the afternoon shift walking on crutches. I was originally supposed to have the morning shift, but I had to go to the hospital. But thankfully, Sofia stepped in and sacrificed her morning plans so that she could cover for me. I owe her one. Blessings aside, I was able to enjoy my two afternoon hours after all. That afternoon was the first time that I had ever had a person in a wheelchair visit my exhibit. He was the first of two to come to my exhibit in a wheelchair. It turned out that my disability increased my ability to do my job well. Those explanations were by far the easiest of the weekend; not only did we maintain an ideal walking rhythm given our conditions, I felt like I was able to connect with them. This connection led to a higher than average level of openness with regards to the number of questions asked, and the depth of my explanations.

Until next time (hasta la proxima),

Cameron Harnish (11th Grade)

2 Weekend of explaining.

Written by gabriela14. Posted in Personal Reflections: Team 1

Hello,

I was explaining on saturday from 17:00 to 19:30 and on sunday from 11:00 to 13:00. These weekend was also ver peculiar. It was a very busy weekend, literally I did not sit down or close my mouth for the whole two hours. But it was still very fun to see all the children learn and look at you with enlightenment. This is probably the best moment of the explaining program when a kid looks up to you, and in his/her eyes you can see their amazement.  So far its been a lovely experience.

By now I have fully adopted the could maker site. It is my favorite to explain as well because its the one the fascinates me the most. I have built such a big relationship with the museum that I was even explaining the people working their!

Looking forward the next weekend.

Gabriel Antoni

Perception, a new experience.

Written by Lucas Caetano. Posted in Personal Reflections: Team 1

Hello everyone,

This past weekend I spent 6 hours in CosmoCaixa as an Explainer. Saturday from 11:00 to 13:00 and Sunday from 17:00 to 19:00 I was an Explainer in the physics exhibits while on Saturday from 17:00 to 19:00 for the first time I was an Explainer in the perception exhibits. This was a new and exciting experience in which I had to change my way of explaining things because I did not use the same knowledge as I had done so in the physics exhibits. I throughly enjoyed explaining the Vanishing Cat exhibit and, not to my surprise, most visitors loved the exhibit and asked many questions about it. I look forward to be in the Math and Perception exhibits and to be able to widen my knowledge on such topics. As always I thank CosmoCaixa and BFIS for this opportunity.

 

Fair winds,

Lucas Caetano.

First day as explainer

Written by juliam15. Posted in Personal Reflections: Team 4

Two weekends ago was my first day as an explainer at the Cosmo Caixa. That morning I was very nervous and even a little scared. I thought that when I would try to explain something to a kid or an adult I would blank out and forget everything. I was also a little scared that I would get something wrong while explaining and would end up telling the visitor something totally wrong about the exhibit.

At the start of the morning there weren’t many people walking around the exhibits which also helped me to ease into my new role as an explainer. I placed my newtons cradle on the table and walked around the exhibit a little to make sure I knew what they were about and didnt start talking about biology in the middle of the physics.

The first exhibit I explained was the longitudinal waves, most of the visitors were most interested in it that many of the others. The first time I explained it I’m pretty sure my voice was shaking a little and some of the words might have been a little hard to understand but soon after I had explained some of the exhibits a few times I was more confident and I realized that there wasn’t much more a trick to it than to be yourself, put on a smile and explain what you know.

“Honey, your baby brother is a salamander.”

Written by sofias14. Posted in E : Investigation Team 3, Personal Reflections: Team 3

Hello inquisitors,

How different are we all, really? What are all living things so different on the outside, yet so similar on the inside?

Yesterday during my first hour at the museum, a small girl and her father approached me, asking me about one of the animals that they had seen in the tanks, and I asked if they would like a tour of the exhibit. The girl was quite quiet, but the father enthusiastically agreed, and we started the process. By the time that I get to the end of the exhibit, I talk a little bit about the theory of it all: Natural selection and why it occurs with smaller children, DNA mutation and interspecies breeding with the adults, and I show little diagrams of bone structures and embryos of different animals to both groups.

By the time we got to the end of the exhibit, I showed the diagrams of the different embryos to the family. In the first trimester, a human and a fish embryo look almost identical I’ve come to learn. The father looked at the image, looked back at his daughter, and said “Honey, remember when I told you that your baby brother is a little salamander right now? Well, I guess I used the right words.”

That’s not the only interesting thing that happened this weekend at the museum. I began the explanation with a middle aged woman, and as I asked my normal “Are you acquainted with the theory of evolution?” she responded with “I better; I’m a biological philosopher.” She and I got into an interesting conversation about the “why” behind evolution. We all can see it has a direction, but we don’t really know why, and I don’t think we ever will.

See you soon!

Sofia

First Day At Cosmo Caixa

Written by Cameron Harnish. Posted in Personal Reflections: Team 3

My first day at the Cosmo Caixa was Saturday, January 19th. I was assigned to the exhibit on evolution. When I got to the exhibit, I jumped right in and asked the first person that I saw if he wanted to know more about the exhibit or if I could help him in any way. I received a dismissive “no” and a complementary “gracias”   I then proceeded to ask the next three people I saw the same question. In essence, I got the same response that I got the first time from these three as well. I thought to myself   “This can’t be a coincidence, maybe I should change my approach.”

To make a long story short; after trying various approaches, I started to realize that a lot of people were confusing the Lizard in tank 5 (I labeled all the tanks in my notebook to make the note-taking process easier) with a snake. I repeatedly heard kids say “Mira mama! Hay una serpiente!” That was usually my cue to say “Eso es un Lagarto.” The usual response from parents and children was “Ah SIII?” I would then point out the Lizard’s feet, and go on to explain a little bit more about the purpose of the exhibit.

I learned the hard way that quick explanations are very important when a parent has kids. I started to get a strong sense of english from a man who spoke english (the only english speaker that approached me that day) and I went into a little bit further detail about evolution and such, pulling out my little diagrams and such; when the man suddenly asked me one of the only questions that I was not prepared to answer: “Where are my kids?” We set off to find them, but luckily they were close by, looking at the fish exhibits that are close to the Evolution exhibit.

The second most interesting question that I received that day was “Que creen los Americanos sobre la independencia de Catalunya?” Not really knowing what to think, I replied that we were focused on our own economic problems right now. That first day taught me the importance of being able to react to odd questions, and the importance of being open and dynamic (both in answering questions and when trying to approach an individual/group), and it also gave me a better level of comfort when dealing with strangers.

Until next time,
Cameron