2nd, 3rd

Eli Whitney Museum

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House of Straw, Sticks or Bricks

House of Straw, Sticks or Bricks thumbnail

Construct a basic shelter. Choose walls and roof. Consider what materials are available where. Build a family. Consider the problems your walls will protect them from: rain, snow, heat, fire, winds, floods, mice, bugs or wolves.

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Simple Machines 2021

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Whitney demonstrated the power of machines to guide and ease work. The screws, threads, levers and pulleys of this machine organize effort into power you can feel. Students assemble interchangeable parts and invent a personality for their machine.

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Cultures thumbnail

To understand a people, study them where they live. Construct simplified model houses to consider the climates, resources, materials and traditions that define culture. Focus on a region. Focus on a historic area. Focus on a common pursuit like baking bread. Create façades of local architecture.

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New England Whaling Ship


Using the Charles W. Morgan, (a 19th c. whaling ship now berthed at Mystic Seaport) as a model, understand the industry that brought whalebone to the Strouse Adler Company Corset Factory in New Haven to make undergarments for upstanding Connecticut ladies.

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CT Clipper Ship

CT Clipper Ship thumbnail

In the first half of the 19th century, Connecticut joined the race to California and China in sleek, bold Clipper Ships. Construct a model clipper with a hold to export and import cargo that built Connecticut's industry and commerce.

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Canal Boat

Canal Boat

Canal boats tell the story of the first bold man-made trade network, of community cooperation, of the ingenious use of water power. Construct a boat, its mules, people and canal bed in 1/4th" scale. Operate a model lock. With the rich illustrations of Peter Spier's Erie Canal ©1970

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Rocks of Connecticut

Rocks 2013 lens, light

Each child will build a display box to sort and test 6 (plus a mystery rock) rocks and minerals brought to the Museum from across Connecticut. Each sample will have different properties.

Every student will learn to use and will take home a lighted field microscope (10x - 60x).

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Leonardo Paddleboat

Decorated Paddleboat

Water was the teacher Leonardo loved best. He studied its tiniest droplets and its shattering waves. He envisioned boats the future would bring. Construct his paddlewheel boat and conduct experiments that Leonardo proposes for all students of science.

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Woodland Village


Each student constructs half inch scale figures and a lodge… representing Quinnipiac or other woodland traditions…trees, tools, and totems that can be combined in a diorama of native American life. Adapt contemporary materials with the resourcefulness once applied to barks, skins and shells.

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