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DISPLAYING POSTS TAGGED: school holidays (5)

Dinorama ready for summer

Author
by Adrienne Leith
Publish date
12 December 2014
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Museum Victoria’s Senior Palaeontologist, Dr Tom Rich, says ‘most people don’t realise that Victoria looked completely different 120 million years ago. If you wanted to you could walk all the way to Antarctica. The vegetation was lush and green. During the winter, it was dark all day. This was the world of the polar dinosaurs that once roamed Victoria.’

It's a world that we're recreating in miniature through our Dinorama – a diorama of the rift valley in southeastern Australia during the Cretaceous period. Our preparators drew from the work of the museum’s palaeontologists and key artists, such as Dr Rich and Peter Trusler, to model the ancient landscape from styrofoam.

Two men in workshop Preparators Kim Haines and Brendon Taylor survey and discuss their progress on the Dinorama.
Image: Adrienne Leith
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Man building a diorama in a workshop Kim Haines sanding the waterways of the diorama.
Image: Adrienne Leith
Source: Museum Victoria

Man painting diorama in workshop Brendon Taylor putting the final touches on the diorama.
Image: Adrienne Leith
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The preps sanded and painted the diorama to create the detailed waterways of the valley. Preparator Brendon Taylor also painted a backboard to show the sky and give the diorama depth.

Apart from adding the last touches of some vegetation, the diorama is now ready for the foyer in anticipation of our summer holiday program. Come to Melbourne Museum in the summer holidays to help populate the Dinorama with miniature animals from the period. 

The Dinorama activity will run daily from 11am to 3pm from 26 December to 27 January.

Links:

MV Blog: Dinosaur diorama

School Holiday activities at Melbourne Museum

Dinosaur diorama

Author
by Adrienne Leith
Publish date
18 November 2014
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Comments (1)

Adrienne creates and presents public programs at Melbourne Museum.

Imagine a Victorian Cretaceous rift valley complete with river bed, trees and a suite of prehistoric animals. Now imagine it recreated in miniature in a classic museum diorama: the DINORAMA!

Displayed in front of the Forest Gallery, the Dinorama will be the feature activity of our summer school holidays at Melbourne Museum. We're inviting visitors to make thousands of Cretaceous animals to fill the little landscape with life.

model of dinosaur Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei was a horned dinosaur, fossils of which were found at Kilcunda. Kim Haines made this tiny version.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

In consultation with our palaeontologists, our preparators made miniatures of three animals—Koolasuchus cleelandi, Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei and Qantassaurus intrepidus—that lived in Victoria approximately 120 million years ago. From the models, the preparators make moulds…. and from the moulds, summer visitors can create thousands of little beasts from modelling clay.

model of dinosaur Michael Pennell's model of Koolasuchus cleelandi, a three-metre-long predator that lived in and around fast-flowing cold streams. Fossils of Koolasuchus were were found on the coast of Victoria just east of Phillip Island.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Every couple of days we'll bring out a new colour of clay until we have a Dinorama filled with multi-coloured ancient animals. Our school holiday activities start on 26 December, so keep an eye on the Melbourne Museum foyer after then.

modelling a dinosaur Inverloch was the discovery site of Qantassurus intrepidus, a small herbivorous hypsilophodontid with large eyes for foraging in long polar winters. Brendon Taylor created this model. You can see an animatronic Qantassaurus in the 600 Million Years exhibition.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Colourful calendar fiesta!

Author
by Alice
Publish date
4 July 2014
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Come on down to the Discovery Centre this school holidays to help us colour in our giant Aztec Sun Calendar! 

Aztecblank The newly installed Aztec Sun Calendar needs your colouring in skills!
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The Aztecs, along with their Mesoamerican cousins the Incas and the Mayans, developed complex calendar systems to structure their lives. These calendars were used to plot their religious festivals and sacrifices, as well as marking the seasons and when to plant their crops. They formed the very backbone of the Aztec civilisation – just imagine if your birthday determined your destiny!

 To honour the mighty Aztec Calendar we have created an almost life-size replica of the famous “Eagle Bowl” Sun Calendar – uncovered in 1790 under the central plaza of Mexico City.

The calendar is full of hidden religious symbolism – in centre place the Aztec Sun God, Tonatiuh, sticks out his tongue while clutching sacrificial human hearts. Surrounding him are the symbols for each of the 20 days in the Aztec month and the faces of the previous Aztec suns: Jaguar, Wind, Rain and Water.

Come and help us bring this ancient relic to life by colouring in your own little segment of the calendar – and see if you can figure out some of the hidden shapes and symbols while doing so!

families Families contributing to the first calendar installation.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

We have also put aside a colourful quiet corner in the Discovery Centre for those interested in learning a little bit more about this fascinating ancient civilisation. Copies of the exhibition catalogue along with dozens of other books on the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican cultures are on offer for those eager to learn a little more. 

Readingroom Beanbags, bunting and books - learn about the Aztecs in our colourful reading room.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Our first installation was a huge success with families and visiting school groups - so make sure you get in quick to make your mark on this colourful collaborative calendar! 

finished Completed Aztec Sun Calendar from last school holidays.
Image: Alice Gibbons
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The Discovery Centre is free to visit and located on the Lower Ground floor of Melbourne Museum. Come visit us Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10am-4:30pm.

Summer visitors build LEGO mosaics

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
3 January 2014
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This January we have The Brickman in residence at Melbourne Museum! Ryan McNaught is LEGO® Certified Professional - and yes, that means his job is to play with LEGO®.

Ryan created two mystery mosaics for our visitors to construct over the summer holidays. Thousands of coloured plastic bricks, plus the support rig that holds the mosaics, arrived just before Christmas and the fun began on Boxing Day.

Men unloading from truck. Ryan's crew unloading the pieces of the framework designed to support the mystery mosaics.
Image: Rod Start
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Man assembling frame Assembling the mosaic frames. And what do you use to hold LEGO® baseplates together while you bolt them down? Bits of LEGO®, of course!
Image: Rod Start
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Men with LEGO® Ryan unpacking hundreds of little numbered square plates, which form the mosaic when covered in LEGO® pieces.
Image: Rod Start
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Bits of lego Each of the plates are numbered, colour-coded, and correspond to a space on the mosaic frame.
Image: Rod Start
Source: Museum Victoria
 

visitors doing lego activity in foyer Visitors began constructing the mystery mosaic in the Melbourne Museum foyer on Boxing Day.
Image: Rod Start
Source: Museum Victoria
 

You can come and help fill in the mosaic between 11:00 and 3:00 every day until 26 January as part of the Summer holiday program at Melbourne Museum.

Time Lens app for holiday visits

Author
by Mirah Lambert
Publish date
8 July 2013
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Mirah is the Online Learning Manager.

We’ve been a bit app happy of late, from the recent release of Museum Victoria's Field Guide to Victorian Fauna for Android to new apps based on its code mentioned in the previous blog post.

Just in time for the start of the winter school holidays we've released another free app, Time Lens, designed for kids and their families to enhance a visit to Melbourne Museum.

The curious curator with the Time Lens The curious curator with the Time Lens.
Image: Stray Puppet
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Time Lens Episode 1: Treasures and Gems is a scavenger hunt around the museum, where you solve puzzles to assist our curious curator in finding 15 objects and uncovering their fascinating stories. When found, each of the objects comes to life on your screen and tells you about its past.

Screenshot of Time Lens app Screenshot of the Time Lens app.
Source: Museum Victoria
 

As you play you also achieve badges and gain recognition as a History Harvester, Science Sleuth, Treasure Hunter and, if you find them all, as Museum Master. You can even trade in your virtual badges for real ones as part of the launch of the app at Melbourne Museum these holidays.

The app is available for Apple and Android devices and is about 85-90 MB. This means it is too big to download over 3G, but can be downloaded over a wireless network. If you’re keen to play we encourage you to download it before you come. Otherwise, it is possible to connect to the museum's public wifi network and download it when you arrive at Melbourne Museum.

Using Time Lens app in Forest Gallery Young visitors earning the Time Lens Forest Frolicker badge.
Source:  Museum Victoria
 

Families have been seen eagerly hunting around the museum, discovering treasures and hidden gems. If you want to find out more, we are activating the Time Lens twice daily as part of the school holiday programs, with an introduction to the app and support with downloading at 10:30am and 12:30pm each day. 

Links:

Melbourne Museum winter school holiday program

MV's mobile apps

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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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