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Reading Public Museum plans a summer of science

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Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 10:06 am

The Reading Public Museum is sizzling with new educational, science-themed exhibitions and activities, and is eagerly preparing to dive into a “Summer of Science.”

The museum is launching its sharpened focus on interactive education and innovation with exhibitions like "Toothpick World," opening June 5 and running through Dec. 30.

Museum Summer Camp, offering sessions for children from 4 to 11 years and running from June 4 through Aug. 31, will also be highlighting this renewed passion for the sciences.

Stan Munro’s "Toothpick World" explores the innovation of architecture with impressive scaled replicas of world-famous towers and buildings.

What makes these replicas so remarkable? They were made by hand and entirely out of toothpicks and glue. Munro first ventured into the realm of toothpicks during his fifth-grade art class. Each student was to design a toothpick structure that could support an egg.

His structure not only supported an egg, but also his overturned desk. Since that first success, his curiosity has blossomed into a portfolio of renowned, detailed and stable architectural creations that have captured people’s fascination around the world. Munro’s experience serves as an example that a little curiosity and encouragement can go a long way.

This exhibition is made possible through the additional support of Friends of the Reading Museum.

Visitors of the museum will also be in for a treat this summer with artist Jiawei Gong’s installation, "Sweet Salvation," which runs from June 2 through July 8. Gong uses the traditional Tibetan sand mandala-making techniques to create a modern symbol, but instead of sand he uses various types of sugar. He was born and raised in China and teaches in the fine arts department at Kutztown University.

Museum Summer Camp works to feed those curiosities and develop creativity in campers. Interactive, hands-on activities keep campers excited and involved. There are different themes and age groups from which campers can choose. One camp theme focuses on the ecosystem and the natural science and another focuses on innovation and design. For more camp information, contact Joel Weber at 610-371-5850 x227 or joel.weber@readingpublicmuseum.org.

In addition, an exciting new interactive exhibition, "Dinosaurs: T-Rex Face-to-Face," opens at the Reading Public Museum on Sunday, July 1, and continues through Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. Visitors will see huge, life-like, cutting-edge animatronic versions of dinosaurs — each outfitted with cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence — react to their every mood.

They will travel back in time 67 million years to explore the world of the cretaceous period, when the infamous T. rex roamed the earth. This exhibition is made possible through the support of McDonald’s and GiggleWorks. More information available soon!

From July 1 through Sept. 3, “By Design: Architecture” will be on display in the museum’s Works on Paper Gallery and will feature everything from prints of Roman ruins, Gothic cathedrals, European palaces, modern skyscrapers, and city views of London, Paris and more. All works are from the museum’s permanent collection.

The Reading Public Museum is at 500 Museum Road.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults (18-64), $5 for children, and seniors and students with IDs, and free to members and children younger than 4.

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