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DISCOVERINGS VOLUME 20 A Newsletter for The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier ISSUE TWO

Fall 2011

Your headquarters for fall fun

DIRECTOR’S LETTER A common question when I meet people out and about is “What’s new at The Discovery Center?” Well, certainly not me as I celebrate my twenty-third year in this delightful space! But, new things happen every day…an idea, a donation, a new collaboration, an exhibit change, the presentation of a new exhibit, a new program and, of course, every day, a new salvageable comment from a young visitor! With pleasure, I will regale you with an exciting list of new things…some in place and some in process! Visit our NEW, easy and exciting web site! Enjoy our NEWEST exhibit: THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER TRAIL. The generous gift of the Crowley horse drawn milk wagon is now located in our Somersaults Café. Watch for the Girl Scout 100TH anniversary celebration Exhibit to open in January 2012. Congratulate us for being chosen as the venue to host this significant exhibit through 2013. We welcome 16 NEW three year old preschoolers (to date) in September. We continue our successful collaboration with HCA and special needs children into an integrated pre- school experience.

NEW additions to The Story Garden include a whimsical, sensational sculpture created by native Binghamtonian David Friedheim and given by The Karen and Edward Levene Foundation. Entitled, My New Best Friend, it is guaranteed to delight everyone! Also, the new donation box is astounding…another sculpture by Tino Ferro that should entice one and all to drop a coin in support of this garden! Look for new flowers, new colors, new interactive surprises, metal sunflowers and new stories. We have a NEW executive Board of Directors and new board members. What a dedicated and amiable group! Lucky us! A new five year plan is on their agenda. For the first time in our history we have initiated a 401-K for our staff. We have hoped to be able to offer this perk for some time. New classes will be offered this fall: A photography class for parents …how to take perfect family pictures. An acting class series will be announced and new weekday classes are highlights for the school year. And there is probably more to come. Our priority is to have things fresh, new and unique all the time. I thank everyone who stops to ask me “What’s New?” I will always have an answer!

Our Fall Hours Closed Sept 4-16 for our annual Paint & Polish—Reopening 10am Sept 17. Mondays: 10am-3pm Just for toddlers—birth through preschool age - Open to all on Oct 10, Columbus Day. Tuesday—Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday noon-5pm

Parlor City Boys Choir Auditions; September 26, 4:00 PM until all are heard. First rehearsal October 3, 4:00-5:30 Following Monday rehearsals: 10/17, 10/24, 11/7, 11/14, 11/21, 11/28, 12/5, 12/12. November 1 - Bowling Party. December 2 - First Friday performance. December 11 - tent. 1:00 PM - Phelps Mansion performance. December 16 - 7:00 PM - St. Ambrose - winter concert. For more information on PCBC visit: and click on PCBC.

SPECIAL EVENTS Halloween Hallows Treat yourself to some not so scary Halloween fun this fall. Visit our new exhibit, Halloween Hallows, a whimsical spook-tacular! Climb into our giant not so creepy, but oh so much fun, haunted house! Enter the mad scientist lab and learn about anatomy with “anti -body” then shake your bones around the tomb stones. Giggle with Halloween poems and riddles and try your hand at the shadow puppet theater. Don’t forget to take a ride on the magical pumpkin coach where your imagination will be all a-glow! Costumes are not required, but certainly welcome! Beware! Fun is everywhere! Exhibit opens Saturday, October 1st- Saturday, November 5th.

Say “Cheese”! - The how-to of Family photo taking Do you ever wonder how they take those great pictures of kids and families in the magazines and wish you could too? Learn some tricks and tips for taking great family pictures and create family heirlooms of your own in this two part photography series. Dave Williams, photographer and owner of Beyond The Print in Vestal, will guide you through the many features your camera has to offer and just how to use them. How on Earth do you have time to do this when you have children to care for? Let The Discovery Center staff watch them for you - that’s how! Children enjoy supervised play in the museum while you become camera ready in the classroom. Camera settings, composition and lighting will be covered during session #1. After class feel free to enjoy a bagged lunch in our café and then play with your child while taking pictures in our colorful gallery or outdoor Story Garden. Session #2 participate in a critique while Dave offers suggestions for making perfect family heirloom photos. All you need is your camera, freshly charged batteries, your camera’s owner’s manual and an excitement to learn! Dates: Monday, September 26th and October 3rd. Time: 10am-12pm. Cost: members $40, nonmembers $50. Call 773-8661 x 201 for registration.

Scarecrow Making Party October 10th 11am-3pm Join us on your day off from school for an afternoon of fall fun! You’ll learn scarecrow making techniques to create your own fall friend for your garden. Bring some old clothes and accessories from your closet to jazz up your scarecrow (we’ll have some here as well). You can submit your scarecrow in the Walk of Fame out in our Story Garden for prizes and ribbons including Most Colorful, Friendliest Face, Classiest Dress, Funniest, Scares the Most Birds and more. Judging takes place from 2:30-3 pm. You are welcome to take your scarecrow home at the end of judging. All activities are free with admission.

Shake, Rattle and Roll Halloween Dance Party and Trick-or-Treat Spook-tacular! Saturday, October 22 - Put your costume on and dance on over to The Discovery Center for a day of Halloween activities. It is going to be so much fun it is almost scary! Trick-or-treat through the museum (and The Story Garden weather permitting!), make wicked fun crafts, take an adventure with books with an interactive reading at 1:00 of “Wobble The Witch Cat” by S.T.A.R. (Southern Tier Actor’s Read), mix potions and rattle your bones to “Monster Mash” and other favorite tunes! All activities included with admission. Join us for lunch! Food sales 11:00-1:00, Reading 1:00, Dance Party 1:30-2:30 and Trick-or-Treating 2:30-3:15. Professional Photographer Dave Williams will be on site to take your child’s photo in costume from 11:00-3:30. Cost: 5x7, $5 or 8x10, $10. Photo’s will be available for pickup at The Discovery Center or at Beyond The Print in Vestal before Halloween.

SPECIAL EVENTS Good Books – Good Friends at Bookfest! Saturday, November 12th You are invited to spend a FREE day with your friends courtesy of The Discovery Center and our friends at the Four County Library System. All you need is a current library card as your ticket for a fun filled day of activities and storytelling as we make friends with books. Go on a scavenger hunt with Frog and Toad and explore our newest exhibit, the Susquehanna River Trail. Come early and join us for lunch! Food sales 11:00-1:00. Activities ongoing from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

A Village of Gingerbread – The Wonderful World of Disney! Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Calling all community members - scout troops, chefs, schools and everyday cooks! It’s time for all bakers to gather their aprons and rolling pins and mix up a batch of gingerbread for our 11 th Annual Gingerbread Exhibit. This year’s theme will be your favorite fairy tale or character from the wonderful World of Disney. Let your imagination soar with Mickey Mouse and friends to create Cinderella’s castle or Winnie the Pooh’s house in the Hundred Acre Woods. Just pick your favorite and call The Discovery Center to register (773-8661 x210) then pick up a board for your gingerbread structure. Entries must be submitted on or before Monday, November 28th. All participants will receive a pass for free play in the museum on opening day, Saturday, December 3rd. Come and experience the magic at this year’s Gingerbread Exhibit from December 3rd through January 8th. Happy Baking!

FREE PROGRAMS Explore & More Every Saturday at 11am & 3pm, Sundays at 3pm. Create an art project, conduct an experiment and learn something new! This is free with admission so pack a lunch to enjoy in our café and make it a day of learning and play! Sept 3rd & 4th – Summer is over and it’s back to school! Celebrate by making Back to School bookmarks! Sept 10th & 11th – Closed for our Annual Paint & Polish Sept 17th & 18th – Get creative and brain smart by making your own puzzle planks! Sept 24th & 25th – Fall is here and the leaves are turning! Create your own colorful fall leaves. Oct 1st & 2nd – October is Fire Safety Month. Practice your Stop, Drop & Roll and learn some fire safety tips. Oct 8th & 9th- Things are about to get batty! Learn all about bats and what makes their sense of hearing so special. Create your own bat puppet to take home! 4

Oct 15th & 16th- Owls are all around us. Listen to some owl sounds & dissect an owl pellet! Oct 22nd - Join us for our annual Halloween Event! Oct 23rd – What’s in that box?! Investigate some creepy crawly things inside our Halloween feely box! Oct 29th & 30th- There’s no bones about it, Halloween is just around the corner! Learn what bones you have in your body and make your own pasta skeleton! Nov 5th & 6th- Join us for some Native American bead making and discover your animal spirit! Nov 12th & 13th- Listen to the tale of the Corn Husk Doll and why she was so important to the Native Americans. Make your own corn husk doll to take home. Nov 19th - It’s time for Book Fest here at The Discovery Center! Nov 20th- It’s a Thanksgiving Sink or Float! Take a guess and use some science to see which objects will sink or float when you drop them into water. Nov 26th & 27th- The winter holidays are right around the corner. Make your own pop-up cards for the holiday of your choice!

FREE PROGRAMS Funday Mondays The Discovery Center will open just for toddlers (birth through preschool age) on Mondays from 10am to 3pm*. Big size fun will be had by our littlest friends as they explore the museum and make new friends with out the crowds that can sometimes overwhelm our littlest visitors. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in our Somersaults Café or outside in The Story Garden for some fun in the sun! *Note: Museum will be open to everyone on Monday, Oct 10 due to the school holiday.

Tunes & Tales - Tuesdays 11am Join us in Books and Beyond for Story Time every week. Enjoy guest readers and go on a reading adventure. Stay to do a story related activity and bring a snack or lunch to enjoy in our Somersaults Café.

Healthy Beginnings - Tuesdays 1pm Let’s get moving! Our new hands on program will teach young children and their families about healthy habits and nutrition for life. Learn how to make healthy snacks and meals to fuel your body right, play games and get your body grooving!

Little Hands Science - Wednesdays at 1pm There’s nothing young fingers like to do better than to explore the world around them! Hands on activities and exciting demonstrations will challenge your youngster and get them excited about science! Sept 21 – All about me! Discover your body’s five senses and test out how each one helps you every day. Sept 28 - An apple a day! Learn about the ins and outs of this healthy fruit, and try some different types of apples. Oct 5 - The leaves are falling and the weather is changing. Go on a fall nature walk and see what you can find. Oct 12 - Peter, Peter pumpkin eater! Put on some gloves and investigate the inside of a pumpkin, count the seeds and try some of this harvest vegetable. Oct 19 - Things are about to get batty! Learn all about bats and what makes their sense of hearing so special. Make your own hanging bat to take home. Oct 26 - It’s spooky, it’s creepy... it’s Halloween Science! Join us for some Halloween fun as we create a bubbling cauldron!

Nov 2 - Get your mind poppin’! Learn about the different types of corn and create your own colorful popcorn! Nov 9 - Thanksgiving is on its way and a long time ago the Pilgrims and Native Americans were busy making food for their great feast! Try your hand at making your own butter. Nov 16 - Gobble, gobble! See what makes the turkey such a silly bird and create some feather art. Nov 23 - It’s a Thanksgiving Sink or Float! Take a guess and use some science to see which objects will sink or float when you drop them into water. Nov 30 - That’s music to my ears. Investigate the science of sound as we create our own musical instruments from items around the museum.

Tremendous Thursdays at 1pm! Fun, Frolic, play and learn - Take a look at the surprises we have planned for you on Thursdays. This program is especially for our preschool and younger friends.

Center Kids Our new theme - Imagine That was inspired by the exhibits at The Discovery Center and things happening right in our own community. Center Kids is the second Saturday of the month from 1-3 pm in front of the Burlington Coat Factory in the Oakdale Mall. Sept 10 - Widgets & Gadgets Did you know that there are six different simple machines that help us with our everyday lives? We will learn about simple machines and how they make things work faster, easier and more efficiently. Then get your chance to build something of your own! October 8 - Stop, Drop & Roll! October is Fire Safety month, and today we will be learning all about fire safety tips and prevention. Make a home escape plan, practice your Stop, Drop & Roll and meet with a real firefighter! No November Center Kids! We’ll meet again after the New Year. 5

SCOUT PROGRAMS Scout Fun at The Discovery Center Workshops and badges and museum play- Oh, my! We are the place to be for exciting scout adventures; workshops, performances, and sleepovers! We can also come to your meeting location with any of our workshops! Don’t see a badge or journey topic that you’re working on? We can work with you to help achieve your scout goals. Workshop admission includes all materials, admission to the museum, and a DC fun Patch. Look for new badge workshops with the debut of the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting this winter! If you would like to receive an electronic copy of our scout newsletter, you can download our flyers on our website at: or send an email to Nicki at

Free admission for Scouts Each fall, Scouts can take part in two events with free admission and activities. Our Annual Bookfest on Nov. 12 is a day of story book fun, crafts, and book writing. Admission is free with a library card. Don’t forget our Annual Gingerbread Display. Any troop that creates a submission for our display will receive free admission to the exhibit opening on Dec. 3. Look for more information on these events in the newsletter.

DAISIES Bienvenido a Mexico! October 1, 1-2:30pm - Follow Zinnia on her adventure to Mexico! Learn all about this beautiful country as we blend up some foods, learn to speak Spanish, play some games, and create a special piñata to take home. $9. Pumpkin Party Oct. 22, 11-12pm - Be part of the fun festivities of our annual Shake, Rattle, and Roll Halloween Dance Party and Trick or Treat Spooktacular with a special workshop just for Girl Scouts. Learn all about the life cycle of a pumpkin, try your hand at fun pumpkin science experiments, and paint a pumpkin to take home with you. The fun continues in the museum with food sales from 11-1, Halloween Story telling at 1, Dance Party 1:30-2:30, and Trick or Treating in the museum from 2:30-3:15. $10 per girl includes pumpkin, DC fun patch, and admission to all Party activities. 3 Cheers for Animals! Nov. 5, 2-3:30pm - Learn how to care for animals of all kinds as we explore animals from all habitats, meet a local vet, and mix up a batch of dog biscuits to donate to our friends at the Front Street dog shelter. Donations for the shelter could be done as a service project. Please inquire about their list upon registration. $9. Snow-stravaganza! A workshop and a show Dec. 3 - Mark your calendars for an upcoming holiday event! Learn about the history of the snowman, play with fake snow, and create a special snowman decoration for your house. At workshop’s end, we’ll head to the theatre for a special local production of The Snowman in My Window.

BROWNIES Sugar Skull Workshop Oct. 1st 10:30-12pm - Girls will travel to Mexico to learn about the tradition of creating a Calaveras- a colorful sugar skull that was created in memory of deceased


loved ones for the celebration of Dias de los Muertos. We’ll learn how to speak Spanish, enjoy some tasty Mexican foods, and use icing and shiny papers to create a skull of your own to take home for Halloween. $10 Pumpkin Party Oct. 22, 11-12 pm - See complete description in the Daisy section. 3 Cheers for Animals! Nov. 5, 2-3:30pm - See complete description in the Daisy section. Folktale Fantasy Nov. 12, 10:30-11:30am -Folktales have entertained, enlightened, and educated us for generations. We’ll explore the elements of a folktale, create a clay character pendant, and work with a small group to write an original folktale for the group to enjoy. Stay and enjoy the Bookfest! activities after your workshop. $9 Snow-stravaganza! A workshop and a show Dec. 3 - See complete description in the Daisy Section.

JUNIORS Sugar Skull Workshop Oct. 1st 10:30-12pm - See complete description in the Brownie Section. Squashing Stereotypes Nov. 5th 10:30-12:30 - Earn your Speak Out award; explore stereotypes and how they can make us feel. Girls will identify stereotypes in their own lives and create a skit to inspire others to bust stereotypes. In the end we will all be inspired to be anything we want to be! $9 Folktale Fantasy Nov. 12th 10:30-11:30am - See complete description in Brownie section.

A Sleepover at the Museum! You arrive at 6 pm with dinner awaiting you. The night is filled with museum play, a badge workshop, and fun! You bring the scouts and we do all the rest! Cost is $24 per scout. 1 adult admitted free for every 5 scouts. All other adults are $4 to cover the cost of food. You will receive a packing list upon confirmation. Minimum of 20 scouts is required. Don’t have that many in your troop? Invite another troop to join you! Don’t see a date that fits your schedule? Call to schedule one that works for you! Murder Mystery Sleepover for Brownies and Juniors Oct. 15 Girls become an investigator as they learn techniques that PIs use to solve crimes. Examine fingerprints, learn how the crime scene is explored for evidence, and solve clues around The Discovery Center to uncover clues to reveal who among you is the murderer and who is the victim. Gingerbread Magic Sleepover for all levels Nov. 19 - The world of gingerbread comes to life not with the Gingerbread Boy, but his smarter sister - the Gingerbread Girl! We’ll read her funny tale, learn about the history of gingerbread, create a gingerbread ornament, and of course, decorate a cookie to enjoy! Troops participating in the Annual Gingerbread Village are welcome to bring their creations with them that night. Ornaments From Around the World Dec. 10 - Travel around the globe to learn about holiday traditions from all over the world. Grab your passport and learn about each country you visit. Get crafty as you make an ornament from that special place to take home for your tree or wreath.

SCHOOL PROGRAMS Museum To You! In today’s economic times, making field trips happen can often be difficult. We have a few suggestions for you! With Museum to You, we can bring our school programs right to your classroom saving bussing costs. Need further savings? Senator Libous’ Books program tickets can be used towards the cost of our school programs. Schools are required to come up with a nominal cost to cover the difference. Need more savings? Be part of our Eco-Kids Story Book Contest to win a free school program for your classroom (see info below)!

tions. All books must be submitted by Nov. 5 and will be on display during our Bookfest on Nov. 12 for viewing and voting. Admission to this event is free with a library card!

School Program Highlight Starlab Planetarium Show

Eco-Kids Story Book Contest

The magical world of astronomy comes to life in one of our newest school program offerings! The Starlab Planetarium show is a portable planetarium that brings the world of the night sky to life. Enter the giant silver dome and explore the celestial bodies with our star show. Students of all ages will be inspired to explore astronomy, earth science, oral traditions, history and mythology. You can do the planetarium show while visiting the museum or we can bring it right to your school. Room requirements apply.

Win a DC in-school program for your classroom! Classrooms K-6 are invited to create a collaborative class story book to become a permanent part of our exhibit, Eco-Kids. Choose a nature related theme and get to work; mammals, insects, birds, leaves, trees, eggs. Students should research, write, and illustrate part of the story for a collaborative classroom project. One classroom in each category will win an hour long school program of choice. Please register your class participation with an e-mail to to receive all rules and regula-

Did you know that we offer 40 minute programs for our preschool aged friends? Designed with lots of songs and hands-on activities, our Just for Preschool programs can be done during your visit to the museum OR we can bring it to your school to enhance your classroom fun. Choose from Dino Roar, Preschool Sprouts, or Sea, Sand and Me.

Here’s a special coupon for first time or returning school program purchasers : $20 off the cost of an hour long school program. Good for in-school or museum visits with a one hour school program Good for first time purchasers or schools that have not purchased in the past two years. Must be redeemed by February 29, 2011

Just For Preschools

PRESCHOOL & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS Discovery Kids Club - For grades K-5

Discovery Kids Preschool

“The Place to Be After Three” Discovery Kids Club is a place where school-aged children can go after school to make friends and learn to appreciate themselves as individuals through a variety of creative experiences. We place a strong emphasis on community building, leadership, and community service. Our educators will work with you to ensure your child’s after school adventure is the kind of experience childhood memories should be made of! We offer a hands on curriculum exploring arts and sciences. Children enjoy our interactive exhibits, outdoor play in The Story Garden and Taekwondo classes with Mr. John. Homework help is available and healthy snacks are provided. Kids Club hours are MonFri 3-6pm plus long days on most Binghamton City Schools holiday breaks. Kids Club follows the BCSD Calendar and is closed on snow days. BCSD transports full-time Kids Club members in grades K-5 to our program. Parents must provide transportation for children from outside BCSD. 2011-12 Fees: $60 per week. $65 non-refundable deposit due. Call 607-773-8661 x 208 for more information or visit

All the A,B,Cs and 1,2,3s of learning fun! Discovery Kids Preschool gives your child the jump start they need to foster a love of learning. We offer separate 3 & 4 year old morning and afternoon programs. Our program allows children to utilize our hands-on museum and explore the Story Garden, our interactive outdoor environment. Our professionally trained teaching staff will work closely with you to ensure your child’s experience is one they will cherish for years to come. For more information please call (607) 773-8661 ext. 208. Cost for morning programs are $72 per week, afternoon programs are $60 per week and for full day (please send a bagged lunch) $125 per week. Preschool hours for both 3 & 4 year olds: 8:30am-11:30am & 12noon-2:30pm Monday-Friday. Binghamton UPK is a free program for Binghamton residents only and children must turn 4 before December 1, 2011. UPK program hours for 2011-2012 are 12noon-2:30pm. Register today!


The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier 60 Morgan Road Binghamton, NY 13903


Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Binghamton, NY Permit #192

our Volunteers!

Volunteers help make the museum a success and we would love you to join us! We are always looking for willing hands to help in the museum for special events or just everyday activities. Volunteering with us is a great way to fulfill volunteer hours required for high school, college, or groups with a community service focus. Volunteers work flexible hours and we welcome all levels of experience. Have a special talent or a cool collection? We would love to share it with our visitors. If you are interested, send an e-mail to or call 773-8661 ext. 205. You must fill out an application before volunteering. Upcoming Events we need help with: Halloween Party Oct. 22, 10:30am-3:30pm, Bookfest! Nov. 12, 10:30am-3:30 pm, Gingerbread Opening Dec. 3, Holiday Break Activities Dec. 26-30.

Fall 2011 Newsletter  

Capturing a review of the wonderful summer at the Discovery Center, a message from the Executive Director, and a review of upcoming Fall fun...

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