Saturday, January 25, 2014

2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival



Extreme STEM Symposium for Students
April 24

"Celebrating  Diversity in STEM?"
Sneak Peak Friday, April 25 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Presented by the Department of Defense
Grand Finale Expo 
April 26 - 27, 2014

New this year
First Robot Zoo!

The 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival will feature over 3,000 fun, interactive exhibits, more than 100 stage shows and 33 Author Presentations. Last year, major Science Celebrities including Bill Nye the Science Guy, Mayim Bialik from the Big Bang Theory, Sid the Science Kid, and Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman from the hit TV Series the MythBusters performed on stage. We attended the Sunday events and we really needed two days to see and participate in all the events. Both my older son and 4 year old daughter found the festival exciting, and participated in as many events as possible from building a kaleidoscope water tube to operating robotic vehicles in a game of basketball. It seemed like there were hundreds of booths with hands-on activities in biology, anatomy, microbiology, space exploration, solar technology, wind power and more. We watched several of the live shows including an awesome bubble making demonstration, Sid the Science Kid and the director of NIH singing science songs to classic Beatles' tunes (My favorite). There were many booths for young children to create unique arts of work, math clubs for girls and even a large area dedicated to building blocks. Our only negative experience was the 45 minute wait to tour the Magic School Bus. 


Additional events include the USA Science & Engineering Festival Book Fair, and a Career Pavilion for high-school students that includes a College Fair, a Job Fair and a Meet the Scientists and Engineers Networking area. This site was very busy with high school and college students and adults. 

Adults and children collected free Lockheed Martin slap bracelets in vivid metallic colors with science slogans (ex. Engineers Rock, Full of Potential Energy). Some of the children (and adults) began looking like transformers with bracelets from their wrists to their shoulders.   Cool sunglasses are always a hit also! 

We took Metro to the Convention Center (Mt. Vernon Sq/7th St-Convention Center) which made the trip very easy with no parking worries. Week day parking is good, but weekend difficult. Refreshments were available, but lines were long. Come prepared with snacks and drinks. We brought a light weight stroller, and it became useful in carrying around all the art projects, flyers and freebies the kids received. 

First meeting February 2, 2014
Students, professionals, teachers,
parents, engineers, scientists and more

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Friday, January 24, 2014

2014 St. Patrick's Day Events

March 1, Saturday, 12:30-2:30
Starting Alfred Street and King St and runs along King St to Lee St
Car show registraton 8:30 to 11:30 in front of Ireland's Own restaurant on North Pitt St
Dog Show 10:30 am Market Square
Ballyshaners link for more information.


Gaithersburg, MD
March 15, 10 am - noon
Starts Corner Bakery and ends at Kohl's in the Washingtonian Center
Gaithersburg link for more information.

Manassas, VA
March 15 beginning at 11 am
Begins Quarry and Prescott Rds South down Center Rd ending at West St
Manassas link for more information.

Baltimore, MD
March 16 beginning at 2:00 pm
Begins at the Washington Monument to Pratt St to Market Place
Baltimore link for more information.

Washington DC
March 16, 12 noon-3:00
Constitution to 7th St to 17th Street
Washington DC parade link
Facebook link


Thursday, January 23, 2014

2014 Storyville at Woodlawn and Rosedale Libraries

Baltimore Country Library System

Storyville is an interactive early literacy and learning center for children ages birth to five and their caregivers. There are two locations featuring different themes. Woodlawn is a forest themes center, while the Rosedale branch features a seashore theme. A child size village is located within the center, and children can explore a variety of themed rooms. At Woodlawn, there is a large grocery store with toy cash registers, a post office, a theater and puppet show stage, a large kitchen with a washroom, baby dolls and cradles, an architectural area with magnets and blocks, a large trolley with conductor seat and a large tree house with reading nooks in the trunk and tree top. Books are strategically placed in all areas and match each room's theme.

There is no charge to use the facility, and only a limited number of children and caretakers are allowed at a time. There is a brief check-in, and visitors do not have to be a resident of Baltimore County. There is a small area outside the play area with two bathrooms and a small table for eating snacks from home. The library outside of Storyville has a nice children's area to visit and wait if Storyville is full.

Storyville Suggestions and Rules video

Storyville Information

Mon-Thurs 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fri-Sat 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Woodlawn Branch
1811 Woodlawn Drive
Woodlawn, Maryland 21207-4074

Rosedale Library
6105 Kenwood Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21237-2097

Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 National Cherry Blossom Festival

kids activities washington dc   maryland kids   DC kids

National Cherry Blossom Festival
March 20-April 13

Family Days March 22
at the National Building Museum

Kite Festival March 30

Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival April 5

Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony April 7

Sakura Japanese Street Festival April 12

Parade April 12

Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries.  The Festival was expanded to two weeks in 1994 to accommodate a diverse activity schedule during the blooming period. More than a million people visit Washington, DC each year to view the blossoming cherry trees and attend events celebrating Japanese culture and the splendor of the Spring season.  There are numerous events for children and adults scheduled over the next two weeks, so reviewing the festival calendar is an ideal tool.   Children are amazed by the Japanese drum troupes and Japanese fan and umbrella dances.  Discovery theater will have an event Komodomo Day (Children's Day) that will include Japanese dance technique and story telling.  The Chinese Lantern Lighting and Festival Parade are extremely popular events.   The Kennedy Center will have daily shows for children and adults commemorating the Cherry Blossom Festival.

We usually get off at the Smithsonian stop since it is about halfway on the mall. We never leave Washington without a visit to the Museum of Natural History for a walk through, last minute bathroom breaks and a visit to the lunchroom and gift store. Bags are still checked at the entrance so be prepared for lines. However, the lines generally move quickly. Bring a lunch and picnic on the mall while the weather is still ideal.

Don't forget to check out other Cherry Blossom Festival events.

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 World Artist Experiences


Photo by World Artists Organization

Dong Chorus 2World Artists Experiences (WAE) bridges international understanding through cultural and citizen diplomacy in communities, colleges and schools. The arts are used as an international language.

WAE encourages international interaction by providing channels of communication and exchange; including opportunities for educators and students, cultural experiences, direct public interaction with the world's people, and empowerment of students to become world leaders.

Upcoming Events link
Call 410-647-4482 for more information

Mongolian Dance Troupe
The Wedding of Ordo

in partnership with the
Embassy of the People's Republic of China

January 17 7-8:00 pm
at Maryland  Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD

January 21 7-8:00 pm
Chesapeake Arts Center, Brooklyn Park, MD

7th Annual International Film Festival
Bridges to the World
Free to public, limited seating

The Bridges to the World International Film Series is a statewide, month-long initiative in recognition of the State's global reach and a reflection of those connections here in Maryland.  World Artists Experiences and the International Division of Maryland's Office of the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Embassies of the respective countries invite the public to attend free screenings of five international films, one each from the Ukraine, Chile, China, Slovinia, and Israel.   Specific films are subject to change and all shows begin at 7 pm.  Arrive early due to limited seating.   Recommended for 16+


February 3-7  Ukraine's "Haytarma"
February 10-14  Chile's "My Favorite Enemy"
February 17-21  China's  "Ocean Heaven"
February 24-28  Slovenia's "A Stubborn Memory"
March 3-7  Israel's  TBA

Mondays: Salisbury University's Great Hall of Holloway Hall, Salisbury, MD
Tuesdays at Frostburg University Rm 111, Frostburg, MD
Wednesdays at Southern Maryland Higher Ed Center, California, MD
Thursdays at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, Annapolis, MD
Fridays at Towson University, Van Bokklen Hall, Towson, MD
A Chinese New Year Celebration
The Year of the Horse
in partnership with the
Embassy of the People's Republic of China and Avalon Theatre
A family celebration with cultural activities for all ages and puppet shows.
Sunday January 26, 2-5:00 pm
Avalon Theatre, 40 Dover Street, Easton, MD 21601

2014 World Artists Experiences writing project:

Building Bridges to Celebrate Our Global Village
Deadline February 21, 2014
WAE "believes that we must encourage mutual understanding among the world's people to foster respect, trust, and ultimately, peace." Mrs. Betty McGinnis, WAE President and Founder, hopes the project will "spark a lifelong interest in exploring our world, knowing the world's people, and promoting a lifestyle of responsible world citzenship."The book of writings will be presented to world artists and citizens as a means to bridge the world through mutual understanding, respect, trust and cross cultural interaction.

The World Artists Experiences 2014 Writing Project is open to all Maryland students in grades 3-12. The topic is Building Bridges Between People Everywhere. The poem or non-fiction prose should be about your experiences living in our interconnected global world, or your thoughts about making connections across boundaries that separate people. All submissions are due by Friday, February 21, 2014.
Online Registration link


Student Essay Awards 2013 Ceremony
Last yer, thousands of essays were received and reviewed by a panel of literary experts including Dr. Michael Glaser, Rachel Anastasia Heinhorst, Kenneth Carroll, Le Hinton, Lisa Jennings Munson and Deanna Nikaido. Writers of the winning essays were honored at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China on April 23 in Washington DC. Students with their parents and school teachers/principals were given a tour of the Embassy prior to the ceremony. 
First Secretary of China Mr. Lin Ronhui opened the ceremony with a very warm welcome and some history of Chinese literature. Dr. Michael Glaser, Professor Emeritus St. Mary's College and Maryland Poet Laureate 2004-2009, recited selected poems in English while Ms. Zhu Yanhui echoed the verses in Chinese. The readings were made even more poignant with zither music by Ms. Chen Huilan.   Students received anthologies of all the winning essays. Copies of the collection will be on view at the Embassy and each of the student's schools. Additional copies may be purchased from WAE ($5).  
2013 Winners
Al-Rahmah School
Habiba Matumla, 6th grade
Mecca Mustafa, 8th grade
Hagar Shabazz, 8th grade
Annapolis Middle School
Johanna Guardado, 8th grade
Bennett Middle School
Sabrien Abdelrahman, 7th grade
Brooklyn Park Middle School
Iyona Hyatt, 6th grade
Chesapeake Public Charter School
Katelyn Kovach, 4th grade
Emily Nelson, 4th grade
Dulaney High School
Minwei Cao, 12th grade
Esperanza Middle School
Katharine Cognard-Black, 8th grade
Garrison Forest School
Jimin Park, 11th grade
Yunfei Xu, 9th grade
Islamic Community School
Mecca Abdul-Aziz, 11th grade
Kipp Ujma Village Academy
Joniah Kimbrough, 5th grade
Leonardtown High School
Rachel Aaron, 11th grade
Sarah Rawlings, 11th grade
Linganore High School
Miranda Gardiner, 12th grade
Laura Schumaate, 12th grade
Monarch Academy
Nina Encarnacion, 5th grade
Mountain Ridge High School
Andrea Beechie, 10th grade
Old Mill Middle School North
Aliyah Miller, 6th grade
Severn Middle School
Abigail Rogers, 8th grade
Smithsburg Middle School
Katlin Gertz, 7th grade
South River High School
Sally Albright, 9th grade
Anna Levendusky, 12th grade
Paris Walker, 9th grade
St. James Academy
Becca Behner, 8th grade
St. Mary's Ryken High School
Dawn Coady, 11th grade
Clare Tennant, 11th grade
Alexandra Ye, 10th grade

World Artists Experiences
P.O. Box 9753
Arnold, MD 21012

Friday, January 10, 2014

2014 National Gallery or Art


"Stories in Art" program for Kids

"Winter Story Series:

Investigate Modern and Contemporary Art"

The 'Stories in Art' programs are one hour classes in art appreciation for children ages 4 to 7. These classes are really meant to give children some exposure to art basics and a variety of artists in a fun and easy going environment. Museum educators use stories and a little drama to introduce children to different artists and specific works of art. Children gather on the floor beside the educator while parents are allowed to observe from afar. Relevant stories are read to the children, and art educators tell the children interesting and amusing stories about the artists and their native countries.

Next, educators lead the children to another gallery in the museum to explore the painting of the day using their imagination. Children always appear eager to answer questions presented by the art educators, and listen intently to the information stressed. Children are taught how to look at art and examine it carefully for details. Children learn the differences between still lifes, portraits, landscapes and cityscapes and abstract art, use of color and even lines and shapes used. During the Picasso class, the instructor used her hands to demonstrate what 'cubism' means. The children did grasp the meaning, and demonstrated with their own hands. We have participated in a number of these classes, and our children are always excited to point out a particular piece of art they remember. As parents, we are happy to see how excited our children are when they recognize a painting and how much they enjoy sharing their thoughts during class discussions.

After the approximately 30-40 minute discussions, children are able to create their own artwork using the theme of the day. The program is free, and is on a first-come basis. Registration occurs in the museum lobby when doors open, and there is NO early registration. Typically we arrive to the museum about 30 minutes before the gallery opens on the weekend, and there is always a line forming. Not a major concern since there are five sessions on weekends. Sessions are limited to about 60 students per session. Classes are further divided into two groups of about 30 students and one instructor. Plan on arriving 45 minutes to an hour earlier for morning sessions due to large crowds on Sunday. Weekday sessions are usually less crowded. There are usually animated kid movies with more information about the artists being discussed, so watch them while you wait or after the class. These are kid friendly and sometimes very funny. Exploring the Calder mobiles in gallery are exciting. There is a small gift store on the lower level, and a much larger store in the concourse area. Watching the cascade falls and walking on the concourse moving sidewalk are amusing activities for the children. The cafeteria opens at 11:00 am.

 Children receive booklets that can be stamped for each class attended. Children with 3 or more stamps receive a prize. Remember to bring them with you each time you attend a class. The Summer 2012 session gift included a drawstring backpack with a quote from Matisse, "Creativity takes Courage." Inside the bag was a palette of paints, sketchbook and sheet of stickers of French landmarks.

Winter classes are held in the Modern Art (East) building, while Summer classes are in the West building. In general, the programs for children ages 4-7 are held in the Summer and Winter, while classes for ages 8+ are scheduled in the Spring and Fall. Sunday morning is a popular day, so plan to come at least an hour earlier than the time you would like to attend. Afternoon classes and summer time Monday/Tuesday classes are generally not full but not a guarantee. We checked out the designated books from our local library, and read them all prior to the first class. This is a great idea if you can manage it because the classes are usually full and children can have a difficult time seeing/hearing the story as it is read.

There is an Art Appreciation program for older children (8 to 11) and their parents,

Artful Conversations

For teenagers with a strong interest in the Arts,
the NGA has a Teen Volunteer program.
The summer program is full and deadline for the
**Due to building renovations, the National Gallery of Art's Winter series will not take place. The summer series begins July11, 2015 and includes Stories in Art (ages 4-7), and Artful Conversations Ages (8-11).

Cancelled due to renovations
Past film
A Horse on the Balcony

Saturday, January 11 at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, January 12 at 11:30 a.m.

East Building Auditorium

Ages 9 and up

Ten–year–old Mika, a boy with Asperger's syndrome, finds it difficult to make friends—until he meets Dana, a spirited young girl. When Mika spots a horse standing on an apartment balcony across the courtyard, the two friends concoct a bold plan to keep the animal and help its owner, Sascha, stay out of trouble. This extraordinary tale of friendship reminds us to celebrate the unique gifts and qualities within each of us. In German, with English subtitles


National Gallery of Art
4th & Constitution Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20565

(202) 737-4215
(TDD) (202) 842-6176.

Monday- Saturday
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.




Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 American Art Museum

Kogod Courtyard

The museum is the home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world. Its artworks reveal key aspects of America's rich artistic and cultural history including present day artists. More than 7,000 artists are represented in the collection. Exhibits range from stained glass to electronic media to bottle cap sculptures. Children can explore the museum using scavenger sheets available at the front desk. On Family Days, there are special "Art Carts" placed throughout the museum to introduce children and others to specific types of art with a hands-on experience. Art Passports are available on Family Days, and children can complete all items to receive a small gift. The exhibits are really fascinating and children will not be bored. The museum is stroller friendly with ample bathrooms on each of the three main floors. If you get lost, check for the exhibit room numbers (N223 indicates North hall room 223) and particularly if you are searching for items on the scavenger list.

The American Art Museum participates in Girl Scout programs that meet requirements for Brownie Try-Its, Junior Girl Scout badges and Cadette interest project awards. Senior Scouts are invited to contact the Education Department directly with their proposals. Girl Scouts who  live outside metropolitan Washington, D.C., and unable to visit the museum in person, can participate via real-time videoconference. In-gallery and videoconference Girl Scout programs are offered October through May, last approximately 45 minutes, and are available free of charge. Reservations are accepted for weekdays until 2 p.m. including Monday Federal holidays.

Renwick Gallery is home to the Smithsonian American Art Museum's craft and decorative arts program. Visitors can view the best crafts and unique hand made items from the 19th century to present day. Programs include 'Sit and Stitch' for those wanting to improve or learn new techniques, home design and craft making events.

Family Day Events
Family Days  on Saturdays are free and include art activities and a scavenger hunt.

Cherry Blossom Family Day
April 12,  11:30-3:00 pm
Mother's Day
May 10, 11:30 am-3 pm

Art a la Cart with Hands on Discoveries
starting at 2 pm
Most Saturdays/Sundays
Check Museum Calendar

American Art Museum 

8th and F Street, NW
Washington DC 20004
Calendar link

Renwick Gallery
1661 Pennsylvania Ave (at 17th St)
Washington DC 20006

The museum is conveniently located above the
Gallery Place-Chinatown Metrorail station (Red, Yellow and Green lines).

2014 National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery is housed in the same building as the American Art Museum. Visitors can view portraits of poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists who are a part of American history. Portraits range from extremely realistic to clever use of graphics. One of my favorites is the portrait of Eunice Shriver, Founder of Special Olympics, and some of the young athletes.

The Portrait Gallery has 'Discovery Kits' to help families learn more about exhibits in fun and creative ways. Kits may contain items for a scavenger hunt, 'Portrait Detective" and self-guided tours. Families can check out the kits outside the Education Center, Room E151 on the first floor and return them by 4 pm weekdays and 5 pm Sundays.

Handheld photography and video for personal use are permitted in the permanent collection galleries, but not in special exhibitions or in the Lunder Conservation Center. There is a museum shop and cafe on the first floor.


Maya Angelou

Special Memorial
May 29-June 12

A book of condolences will be available for signing and will
be presented to her family after June 12.


Young Portrait Explorers
(toddler to age 5)

Story time, art viewing and hands-on art activity
FREE but registration required due to limited class size (25)
Meet in G street lobby at 10:25 - 11:30

Registration Link

April 14 - Isadora Duncan

May 12 -Julia Child

June 9 - Jackson Pollock


Portrait Story Days -
Free - Drop In for Ages 5 and up
Listen to a story and create some art work
1st floor of education center, room E151

Romare Bearden
Saturday, May 24,   1-4 pm
Sunday, May 25,  2-5 pm

Gertrude Ederle
Saturday, May 31,   1-4 pm

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Saturday, June 7, 1-4 pm
Sunday, June 8, 2-5 pm

Benjamin Franklin
Sunday, June 15, 2-5 pm

Mark Twain
Saturday, June 21, 1-4 pm
Sunday, June 22, 2-5 pm

John Muir & Teddy Roosevelt
Saturday, June 28, 1-4 pm
Sunday, June 29, 2-5 pm

IMAGINE: IMAGE Teen Workshops
June 23-26, 10 am-3 pm
Ages 14-18
Explore portraiture and create your own portrait.
Portraits will be on display June 26 from 1-3 pm
Free Event must Pre-register due to limited space

Portrait Discovery Kits
for Seek/Find cards, Portrait guides and
Compare/Contrast activity
Selected Saturdays and Sundays
Check Museum Calendar
Available on a first come basis

Open Studio Fridays from 1-4:00 pm on Fridays
Creative fun with different mediums each week.


Special Event:
Clean Sweep by Dance Metro DC
Open Dress Rehearsals
June 16 at 12 pm & June 17 at 5:30 pm


Past Special Family Day Events

Chinese New Year
January 24, Saturday 11:30-3 pm
Arts/crafts and more

Sweet "Arts" and Valentines
February 14, 11:30 am-7 pm

President's Day Family Day
February 15,  Saturday  11:30-3 pm
Art activities, scavenger hunt and musical performances


8th and F Streets NW, Washington DC 20001

11:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. daily Closed December 25

The museum is conveniently located above the
Gallery Place-Chinatown Metrorail station (Red, Yellow and Green lines).