Step 2: Read on and then check the answers at the bottom of this post.
As part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (an event on National Mall in late June and early July), SITES staffers hosted a brain-teasing game station about "Inventions & Innovations," both at the Smithsonian and across America.
The first game was “Guess the Century," featuring images of various American inventions that visitors had to place in the correct time period. Despite the heat and humidity, people crowded around the display all afternoon, waiting to test their knowledge. When guessing the century was too easy, visitors had to come up with the appropriate decade. (One teenager was so proud when he finished guessing that he had his picture taken with the completed game board).
The second challenge was a “Make a MacGyver Flashlight” activity. We provided kids and adults with instructions and supplies, including a D battery, a wire tie, and a small light bulb. After all, the Smithsonian is all about science, and we had fun helping people connect the dots--lots of smiles when the bulb lit up.
The “Inventions & Innovations at the Smithsonian” task presented participants with models, images, and background information about ten inventions currently on display at the Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C.--from contemporary art at the Hirshhorn Museum, the game of lacrosse at the National Museum of the American Indian, and an experimental aerial mail pick-up system at the National Postal Museum. We distributed a map showing where these objects/topics could be seen at the Smithsonian and gave visitors free web access to let them explore a little online before venturing off to the museums.
Of course, it wasn't all about games. SITES’ staffers Ed Liskey and Deborah Macanic, along with National Portrait Gallery historian Amy Henderson, led a lively discussion about inventions and innovation in America. More than 250 visitors participated in the challenges and discussions.
No doubt, the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival is a FREE extravaganza of international cultural literacy and knowledge sharing. Each year two different geographic areas in the world are featured, so why not plan your trip to the National Mall for the two weeks before July 4th and put some “folk” in your life?
Answer to the trivia questions: Most were intrigued to learn that they were invented in 1947, 1965, 1717, 1752, and 1815 respectively. How did you do?
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